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Santee Coastal Reserve is a hidden gem near the South Carolina coast offering eight, first come, first served primitive campsites in the Santee Coastal Reserve Wildlife Management Area.
The campsites are spacious and can easily accommodate multiple tents and/or RV's. This is primitive camping so there are no water or electrical hook-ups. We drove the short distance to the Elmwood Recreation Area to fill our water jugs. They do not sell firewood at the campground and we didn't see any for sale by local residents on our way in. Fortunately, we were able to gather a lot of downed wood around our campsite since it wasn't until the end of our stay that we found out that firewood, groceries, fishing, and other supplies were available at the Seewee Outpost, about 26 miles south of the reserve on highway 17.
Out of the eight sites, only about 4 or 5 were occupied at any given time and everyone was fairly quiet. Except for one camper who ran his RV generator for hours morning and night. Fortunately, they only stayed one night.
There are several hiking trails around the reserve where you can see various birds and spot alligators bathing in the sun. The only wildlife that we weren't happy to see were the gnats and mosquitos, which we weren't respecting so early in the season.
Overall, this is a beautiful campground and e look forward to visiting again.
My husband and I stayed there for two weeks in January. It is a true resort. It has indoor pools, outdoor pools, waterslide, putt putt, bowling alley, and an arcade. We ate dinner one night in the restaurant and it was absolutely wonderful. The chef actually came out and spoke with us. The grounds are immaculately kept. The sites are all flat but there is not much space between the sites. If you’re used to camping in a state campground with trees and space between the sites, this is not the place for you.
We are going back in a week with my children. Two of my children and their families are renting the tiny houses that are available for rent. My husband and I will be in our camper it will be the hub for the family gatherings. Great place for kids to ride their bikes and splash in the water park. Can’t wait.
Lots of birdsong. Mostly peaceful and quiet. An old Vietnam vet named Jim stopped by to give us some sweet potatoes and fill us in on the local history. He also told us that Elmwood is a better choice if we ever make it back this way. He said that since this campground is not serviced by the Rangers, there have been cases where people have had items stolen when their site was unattended. Jim told us that it was around this site that General Francis Marion gathered his forces to fight the British in a decisive revolutionary war battle. He said they mainly subsisted on the sweet potatoes grown here. He told us that it was only about 5 miles southeast of here that the church burning recreated in the movie The Patriot took place. Old Washington road I think he said and you can still visit it. Jim is not the only friendly local ambassador we met. When I was struggling with a big log I wanted for firewood, a man on property to the west saw how hard it was for me to split a big log and brought a couple of nights worth of cut wood over in his very old jeep. My biggest disappointment here was the pit toilet. It seems they could do better with that or maybe just stock some cleaning supplies there.
This place is so unique. They offer kayaking, paddleboarding, tubing, camping, glamping, night paddles with 6 different kinds of smores!! And the super cool Escape River Island which is 10 challenges like survivor or amazing race or escape room or something. Great team building!!! Definitely one of the coolest places I've been and staff is so awesome!
This place is weird, but my kids LOVE it! Once you are set up you don’t have to leave Ocean Lakes until you check out. It’s on the beach, has its own water park, putt putt, arcade, community building with entertainment and Sunday church services. There are also lakes for fishing, a snack bar, and laundry facilities. We like to stay in the K section with a tree for shade. We have a pop up. The section up towards the beach is basically a parking lot with very little privacy. You can rent golf carts when you arrive, if you want, but you don’t have to. Every time I’ve been there it was clean and family friendly. No late-night drama. If you are looking for a more natural camping experience, try Huntington State Park.
We had a great spot; right on the beach. The park was huge, seemed like a thousand spaces. Would be very overwhelming in the summer time. There were also permanent homes. Each campsite had decent room and a pavilion with the picnic table. The laundry situation was pretty great. There was plenty of room and enough machines for everyone.
We had a perfect spot, right on the beach. It is an enormous park, they have beach houses, permanent homes, mobile homes and rv spaces. The RVs get the best spot. The water park looked fun (I was there off season) and everything was clean and the employees friendly. Would stay here again when passing through to a final destination.
We have stayed at Carolina Pines 4 times with the last time being for a month. It was a wonderful experience with the staff providing activities, especially on the weekends. There are 4 pools and a water park for the kids. During the summer weekends they provide pool service for drinks which is really nice. Electric golf carts are allowed and they have rentals on site. The resort also has a beach house directly on the beach with shuttle service. Sites are well maintained. We will be spending New Years week there and understand that it is completely full! This has become our go to beach resort.
This is a primitive area along the Palmetto Trail in the Francis Marion National Forest.
Many hiker's heading to or coming down from the Appalachian Trail will camp here in a beautiful setting underneath live oak trees.
There are 3 areas to camp: along the dirt loop road, a big field, and a few areas tucked back in the trees.
This first appears to be a small campground due to the size of the road's loop. But, there are several large areas with plenty of room for tent or hammock camping.
There are only a couple spots for an RV or Travel Trailer to park, but they are pull through along the side of the main loop.
Plenty of parking for those willing to walk their gear into the large field, or along the camping areas down by the trail.
Depending on the year, you'll either have this campsite all to yourself, or be sharing it with 100 other tents. Large groups love this free site (i.e. church youth groups) as it's easy to get to and about 30 minutes to Charleston, SC.
I've always found this place to be one of those "nearest far away places" due to the seclusion.
Everything here is pack in and pack out, so don't expect anything fancy, just a free and fun spot to camp for a night. Down the road is the Wambaw Cycle Trail, a maintained trail system for motocross & dirt bikes.