South Carolina is one of the best spots on the East Coast for bird and wildlife watching. South Carolina's 46 counties, covering 31,055 square miles from the coast to the mountains, contains as diverse a set of habitats as you'll find in such a small area. Our urban areas and agricultural tracts, maritime hardwood forests and upland pine stands, swamps and streams, all have distinct complements of birds and wildlife.
This park provides year-round opportunities for excellent South Carolina bass fishing, boating, and offers shoreline campsites and nature trails. The park was one of 16 built by the CCC and many of the original structures built by the work teams remain standing as fine examples of classic CCC architecture.
The Intracoastal Waterway begs to be explored from Buck Hall boat launch on the Francis Marion, or perhaps you’d prefer to paddle, hunt or fish the three rivers on the Enoree Ranger District. Nine rifle ranges will help maintain your aim for hunting season. There are hiking trails, campgrounds and picnic areas, a human-made shell ring built 4000 years ago, fishing rodeos and waterfowl hunts, and an environmental education center.
The High Hills of Santee are dotted with the hiking and biking trails that wind through the park – some of which connect to the Palmetto Trail that leads hikers through the Manchester State Forest. Poinsett’s 10-acre lake makes for a serene setting, and can be used for fishing and johnboat rentals. The park also offers campsites, a fishing pond, a coquina bathhouse built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, pre-revolutionary grist mill ruins and rustic cabins.
Savannah Lakes Village has two 18-hole award-winning championship golf courses, carved from the rolling landscape wrapping Lake Thurmond, that offer unique challenges and breathtaking vistas. The community also offers activities such as boating and fishing, biking, hiking, swimming and tennis.
Santee State Park sits along Lake Marion. Locals know the lake for its abundant population of large catfish. Santee State Park camping is offered on the lake, but for guests who prefer to spend the night indoors, rondette cabins, 10 of which sit on piers over the lake, are available. Other amenities and activities found in the park include biking and hiking trails and pontoon boat tours of the flooded cypress forest on Lake Marion.
Parson’s Mountain Recreation Area is in the northern portion of the Long Cane Ranger District. It features 28-acre man-made lake next to a 23-site campground. The day use area was designed with an earthen pier, a pedestrian bridge and a boat ramp for non-motorized boats. The Parson’s Mountain Lake Trail and Parson’s Mountain Tower Trail incorporate the Upstate’s rich history and diverse wildlife habitat.
Frequented by nature photographers from all over for its unique landscape and dynamic ecosystem, the swamp at Beidler Forest offers a beauty unsurpassed by any other nature sanctuary in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Here, 1,000-year-old trees and native wildlife abound in a pristine sanctuary that has been untouched for millennia.
Five miles of pristine South Carolina beaches, thousands of acres of marsh and maritime forest, a saltwater lagoon and ocean inlet are all part of this park’s natural allure. Of all the lighthouses in South Carolina, the Hunting Island Lighthouse is the only one in the state that is publicly accessible.
Explore the black water swamp on a flat bottom boat amidst blooming azaleas, camellias and other native flowers and flora featured in the gardens. Enjoy 3.5 miles of nature trails, experience our amazing butterfly house with over 12 species of butterfly and the reptile center and aquarium.