MACEDONIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Some residents in Berkeley County say they are concerned about a road that is being blocked off by the property’s new owner.
Families who live in the Macedonia area say they’ve been driving down Walleye Road for well over 100 years.
Michael Frank purchased about 700 acres of land earlier this year; a portion of Walleye runs through that land.
Frank said he recently gates the property, but the gates were then stolen.
“My family has owned this property on Douglas Acres off Walleye Road for more than 100 years that I know of,” said Gail Roberts.
Roberts said during that time, Walleye – near her property – has been an open-access road for as long as she can remember.
“It’s always been open to the public to travel from 17-A through Walleye to 41 Bethera and those other areas,” said Roberts.
“We’ve traveled this road all our life. So have hundreds of people in the community,” said Dean Yates who lives nearby.
Yates was at the county office building on Wednesday and showed us a map they were given which marks the road as a forestry road. A sign on Walleye labels it a forest service road, too.
“I mean if it’s forestry service it should be open to everybody. Private road, you’d think he’d let people that traveled it for the last hundred and something years continue to travel.”
Berkeley County officials say the paved portion of Walleye is maintained by the state and the dirt portion is maintained by the forest service.
The forest service said while the map may show this as a forest service road, it simply means the forest service has access. Since gating the road off will not prevent access to the national forest, the private property owner can gate their road.
Frank said he gated it off partly because he wants to spend time hunting his land.
A petition to keep the road open has garnered more than 1,000 signatures.