Tent Sites
Drinking Water
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
About Elmwood Recreation Area

Primitive campsite. This recreation area is located in the northeastern portion of the Francis Marion National Forest. It’s a popular camp during deer and turkey hunts on the Waterhorn Hunt Unit. The area also serves as a South Carolina Department of Natural Resourcesgame check station during big-game hunting season. Click here for a printable guide.

National Forest
Drive In
Walk In
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
Trash Available
+ More
RVs and Trailers
Sanitary Dump
Elmwood Recreation Area is located in South Carolina
33.199 N
-79.47 W
Get Directions
From Charleston, take US Highway 17 north past McClellanville to Rutledge Road (SC Route 857-S). Turn left onto Rutledge Road, and drive four miles to Elmwood Recreation Area.
3 Reviews of Elmwood Recreation Area

I understand the point of this campground.

It is a very large area with no designated campsites. The vault toilet has grass growing around the entrance that is about knee high. There was a water spigot on site that worked. I would filter it first.

No one was there when we showed up for a mid-day lunch and nap!

If it isn’t hunting season this campground may be a good place to check if you need free.

Nice spot

Nice spot water and bathrooms on site very quiet and peaceful

First to Review
Ranger Review: Primus Kamoto OpenFire Pit & Spatula at Elmwood Recreation Area

Campground Review:

When we pull into a free, national forest campground in the dark, it’s really hard to get a perspective of where you are – everything seems just a bit spooky. When I saw the sun rise, I popped out of Hamlet (our adventure rig) to take a look around. Wow…this remote dispersed campground was AWESOME! We parked under a gorgeous live oak dripping in Spanish moss which was backlit by the morning sun. We decided to stay for a few days and explore the area.

This campground has drinking water (still a bit rusty this time of year) and very clean pit toilets. There are no picnic tables or tent pads. Sites are not established, so you can park wherever there is space. The large lawn area in the back of the campground can accommodate a couple very large RV's, but keep in mind there are no hook-ups. There were just a few campers there in March, so plenty of space from which to choose. And, the best part…absolutely no mosquitoes this time of year. The only downside of this campground are the lack of established firepits, so people tend to build fires (and leave scars/remnants) all over the place. We had our new Primus Kamoto OpenFire Pit with us, and this was the perfect place to use it for a “leave no trace” fire. Hutch cooked me Belgian waffles for my birthday with our Amish waffle iron…what a treat!

We cycled through the national forest, stopping at both the Hampton Plantation (historic rice plantation) as well as St. James-Santee Church (beautiful 17th century church) – both within a few miles of the campground. The following day, we drove to the Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center on Hwy 17 and spent the afternoon learning from “Wolfman Rob” about the conservation efforts of the Red Wolf as well as touring the ancient native shell mounds in the area. In addition to all of this, there is a canoe put-in for Wambaw Creek just a few miles down the road from the campground.

Note: While there is a general store a few miles away, they didn't have much, so come prepared with groceries as it's about 20+ miles to the nearest grocery store in Georgetown! McClellanville is much closer, but only has a Dollar General.

It’s official folks, we’ve fallen in love with the coast that lies between Georgetown and Charleston, SC! Check out our blog on The Dyrt's Online Magazine about our experience on the coast of South Carolina.

Product Review:

As Rangers for The Dyrt, we’ve been testing out these products in various boondocking and beach locations around the southeast. We will admit that we are “foodie vegetarians” who love to cook over an open fire, but don’t often use campground or picnic stop grills to put our food on directly. They are often rusty, greasy, and somewhat gross. We had been using a propane grill (using the same propane connection that we use for heating our adventure rig), but found that it didn’t have quite enough power to cook things quickly especially for the amount of space it took up in the truck. Now, if we have access to a bit of dry wood, we can easily create a fire anywhere (that is legal and safe, of course!).

What we like about these products:

  1. Firepits and grills in campgrounds are often so large that to build a fire big enough to cook over and/or add some warmth to your evening’s activities, you must have a lot of wood and spend a good deal of time maintaining the fire. This unit allows you to build a small, focused fire for cooking, or a slightly larger one for warmth. We were surprised how much warmth we got from the heat radiating off the metal sides. You, of course, can also use charcoal.
  2. Firepits in campgrounds are often wet and soggy, filled with trash from not-so-leave-no-trace focused campers, and the grill is often quite rusty. This unit allows you to start with a dry pit and the airholes on the “V” shaped bowl and sides help to increase the amount of oxygen to the fire, while the bottom allows ash to drop out like a wood stove.
  3. Robustly constructed overall. Grill top is sturdy enough to hold a pan without bending, and the tight “weave” is perfect for burgers, dogs, and even grilled pizza!
  4. No need for propane, just collect some downed wood from your campsite and you have all the fuel you need for a nice cooking fire.
  5. Great for use on backcountry canoe and rafting trips where there may not be an existing fire pit or grill. Also, great for tailgates, beach parties, or anywhere else you may want to cook with wood or charcoal.
  6. Folds down to an easy to store size, whether you keep it in your vehicle or garage.
  7. The spatula (sold separately) is a nice design. Sturdy, long enough to reach the food on the grill top without having your arms directly over the fire, and stores nicely inside the fire pit when it is in its folded down position.

What could be improved:

  1. It’s a bit heavier than it looks, so it’s not something you are going to want carry very far.
  2. We’ve used it about 6 times and left it out in the rain one night. There is already some rust developing on the non-enameled surfaces.
  3. While perfect for a canoe trip or rafting trip, it doesn’t fit well in our sea kayaks. A smaller version for sea kayak camping would be a great addition to the line!

Product Link: https://primus.us/products/kamoto-fire-pit?variant=30578573842

Product Video: https://youtu.be/6ooC6kDfjKI

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