The best TENT SITES camping near
Kiawah Island , SOUTH CAROLINA

199 Reviews33 Campgrounds
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Most Recent Kiawah Island Camping Reviews
Primitive National Forest Camping

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.

National Forest Free Campground

This primitive camping facility is located between McClellanville and Honey Hill. A short camp loop swings through an upland pine/oak forest and encircles a fire lookout tower. The fire lookout tower is no longer in use.

This semi-primitive campground is about 30 minutes north of Charleston, SC, 8 miles west of Highway 17 in the heart of the Francis Marion National Forest.

The number one thing I love about this site: It's free. It's easy to get to. It's camping!

There are 12 fairly large sites spaced well apart so you avoid that parking lot feel. LOTS of trees. Each site has a picnic table and a fire ring.

The entire campground is well maintained by the National Forest Service, and the ranger. I say it's semi-primitive because there is a vault toilet which is old, yet clean. 

In the center, there is an old abandoned fire tower that is fenced off from people going up it.

I've been here several times and overall, it's fairly quiet. However, there was one Friday night where a bunch of 20 something's came in, climbed up the fire-tower and partied making for a not so quiet experience.

Since it's free, you can expect to see some interesting neighbors coming in and out. But with the ranger station down the street, the rangers do patrol this daily (I've never seen them in here at night). It's first come first serve, so weekends are usually packed. You better get here early.

I give it 4-stars because it's clean with generous spaces and we've always had a great time. Plus, the spots have so many trees, it makes hammock camping a breeze. All sites are perfect for car / truck camping. Just pull up and unload.

Nearby are several of the major trails that run through this National Forest, including the popular Swamp Fox. The site also is right next to one of the dirt forest roads, that takes you in even deeper.

10 minutes away, at the Highway 17 intersection are gas stations & mini markets, so if you need some basic supplies, things are right down the road.

Directions: From Charleston, take US Highway 17 north to McClellanville. At the intersection of SC Highway 45 (the yellow caution light) turn left, and drive eight miles to the camp.

Great place for a weekend.

This is our first time to this state park. There are 2 separate campgrounds. One that is right on the beach with plenty of beach access and the other that is called Live Oak campground. This is the one we stayed at. The sites are all level with hard packed sand. They are rather small sites though. Deepen enough for a fifth wheel but not very wide. Your fifth wheel and your truck is all that will fit in most sites. Not a lot of extra room left for all your accessories. The tails are great and be sure to bring your bike. The only negative is the amount of Ticks that your dogs will pick up if you take them on the trails. Be prepared the are tiny little devils! The park is right off a busy highway so depending on the site you choose you will hear a lot of roadway noise. We were in site # 89. Next time I will chose one well away from the highway. All and all a beautiful place for a weekend getaway!

Beautiful campground!

Camped at site 32 in mid-November and site and grounds were both beautiful and very well kept. Staff was extremely friendly and attentive. There was a nice walking/biking path around the campground and downtown Charleston and Isle of Palms beaches were both close by. We are already planning a return trip.

Best SC beach!

We just spent 3 great days on liveoak #109 and partied on the beach side with friends in #72 and #70. The beach has fabulous shells of all types and the surf was roaring- even heard it over at Liveoak! The restrooms are extremely clean and the little town is right next door(bi-lows is convenient) with great restaurants you can walk or bike to. Plan to come back many times!

A Caboose and wildlife

A little out of the way , nicely kept KOA. I love the decorum. The office houses a shower , laundry , pizza service and a small coffee and liquor bar. The staff was very nice and professional. The dog park is itty bitty which might prompt you to take a walk on the trail around a small lake……..but remember where you are cause your dog is not the top of the food chain here! No swimming in that lake! Well shaded and intricately interwoven parking spots. AND a Caboose to rent! Very cool. We stayed here overnight enroute to NC, it was moderately full but started filling up the day we left. The Parris Island is not far off and I’m sure during graduations this KOA gets crowded as well as evacuations and vacations.

HORRIBLE DO NOT GO!!! WOW

Wow, where to begin….. So I attempted to schedule a horse back riding event for my fiancé' and I for her birthday(thought that it would be cool to take a ride on the beach) I filled out the info online and left the page to double check the distance. When I came back to the page it had already taken payment and the 17 miles away was really 95 miles driving distance. I IMMEDIATLY called OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER again and got NO response or answer! Also, woke up the next morning at 7am to start calling AGAIN. Guess what no answer. Ill put my bottom dollar that if you call this establishment right now that they will NOT answer…. IF YOU CALL and they do answer the phone Ill pay for your next ride(look me up) IF they dont….(DO NOT DO IT!) This was the response that I got….. After calling 20mins after accidently signing up and also the other 20 plus times…..(AGAIN NO CALL BACK they sent me an email AFTER the fact!! bunch of crooks!!)"I will not issue a refund as it clearly states this information on your sign up." OK…. WHY didnt you answer the phone at all or call me back???!?!? I have a nephew who is 8 years old that gets back to people faster… He needs to get a job there and I bet that I could triple your intake overnight just by answering the phone and calling people back… Communication is everything!! they have NONE!! wow. DO NOT GO HERE!! Instead you should totally check out Seabrook Island Equestrian Center. They call you back and also want to earn your business not just take your money.

Very nice campground

We really enjoyed our to night stay at this campground. The site are nice and generally spaced well. The baths are updated and nice. We walked to town for lunch and coffee. We will return again for a longer stay.

Lovely place

My husband and I had a wonderful time kayaking in the salt marsh and walking on the nearby beach

No Frills RV park

We were looking for somewhere to stay to get away from the tropical storm this past week.he park is small, about 30 or so sites, but it is well maintained. If you're looking for a NO FRILLS RV park in Charleston, SC, with monthly rental rates, which include electrical, this is the place! Please keep in mind, this is NOT a resort, with a pool, putting green, laundry and shower facilities but for Charleston, SC, the price is right and the owner(s) are very accommodating. Close to downtown!