The Low Country
A campground can be a fun, relaxing base from which to explore the beaches, islands and marshes of the South Carolina and Georgia coasts. Many camping destinations, such as Cumberland Island National Seashore, are superb bird- and wildlife-watching sites. Great beaches highlight Edisto Island and Hunting Island State Parks. Sapelo and Cumberland Islands are two examples among many that provide superb nature viewing and also a chance to investigate interesting human history. You can learn about Georgia's indigenous people, its colonization by Europeans, the lives, culture and influence of African slaves, and more.
Camping in the Low Country, like other outdoor activities there, is best in fall, winter and spring, when the weather is cooler and less humid and there are fewer biting insects.
Colleton State Park, Canadys - With 25 campsites on the Edisto River, this 35-acre park is a popular put-in point for canoeists and kayakers. It is located just off I-95 about 50 miles west of Charleston.
Edisto Beach State Park, Edisto Island - Located 50 miles southeast of Charleston off US 17, this park includes 103 campsites and cabins. Excellent beachs and bike trails make Edisto a popular destination.
Hunting Island State Park, Beaufort - The Park has 200 campsites campsites with individual water and electric hookups. Some are available for reservation, the rest are first come, first served. The campground offers heated restrooms, showers and a dump station. Some relatively secluded tent sites are available. Hunting Island also has 15 two- or three-bedroom cabins for rent. Each has heat, air conditioning, bed and bath linens, television, a fully-outfitted kitchen, bathroom, etc.
See Practicalities for information on contacting South Carolina State Parks.
Skidaway Island State Park, Savannah - Swim in the pool, send the kids to the playground, or take a walk along the one-mile nature trail or the three-mile hiking trail. This park has 88 tent, trailer andRV sites and offers educational and interpretive programs.
Ft. McAllister State Historic Park, Richmond Hill - If you're a Civil War buff, head for Ft. McAllister State Park, site of a preserved Confederate earthwork fortification. The Park has 65 tent, trailer and RV sites, boat ramps and a dock, and a museum.
Sapelo Island - Visit this 6,110-acre barrier island for its diversified wildlife, forested uplands, vast expanses of salt marsh and complex beach and dunes systems. Sapelo was owned by tobacco magnate R.J. Reynolds, and you can tour the Reynolds Mansion. The African-American community of Hog Hammock lies at the southern end of the island. Not just a preserved historic village, Hog Hammock is a living community of people who speak the Gullah language and live the culture of their African ancestors as they have done for more than 200 years ago.
Pioneer camping for groups up of to 25 persons is permitted. Groups camp near the beach on Sapelo'sCabretta Island. A minimum stay of two nights is required. Sapelo also offers accomodations forconferences, workshops and retreats. Arrangements for overnight stays can be made at the Sapelo Island Visitor Center in Meridian, Georgia.
Ossabaw Island - This pristine island belongs to the State of Georgia as a HeritagePreserve. Limited group camping is permitted. Group organizers should contact the OssabawIsland Foundation in Savannah, Georgia.
Cumberland Island National Seashore - Located near the mouth of the St. Marys River, the island's unspoiled environment provides a unique opportunity to experience a natural coastal ecosystem. A part of the South Atlantic-Carolinian Biosphere Reserve, Cumberland will be permanently protected in its primitive state. The island's developed campground, Sea Camp Beach, has rest rooms, cold showers, and drinking water. Each campsite has a grill, fire ring, food cage, and picnic table. There are no facilities in the backcountry sites. The Park service limits visitors to 300 per day. Reservations are required.
In addition to exploring the outdoors at Cumberland, campers can investigate the island's human history. The Carnegie family were the last private owners of Cumberland, before they donated it to the National Park Service in 1972. The mansions they built on the island still stand. Greyfield Inn is privately owned and operates as a bed and breakfast. Plum Orchard is fully restored and is open to the public for touring on the first Sunday of each month. The Stafford House is privately owned (as is about 10 percent of Cumberland Island.)
Crooked River State Park, St. Marys - Swim in the pool or visit the ruins of an old sugar mill at this500-acre park with 60 tent, trailer and RV sites. This park is a good place to launch a boat and go fishing. Located seven miles north of St. Marys.
See Practicalities for information on contacting Georgia State Parks.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication