Francis Marion National Forest
A fascinating walk through a wetland world, this historic, self-guided interpretive trail traverses embankments built by humans dating to the 1700s. The embankments and ditches were built to create a patchwork of fields or impoundments for rice production. Interpretive signs inform visitors of the history of this magnificent swamp.
With water pooling on both sides of the trail, travelers will witness a wide array of wildlife, from the wood duck to the yellowbelly slider turtle and the great blue heron. Alligators float in the serene pools alongside the trail, while a river otter occasionally scoots across the scenic footpath.
Length: 2 miles; loop.
Travel time: 2 hours.
Difficulty level: Moderate
Surface type: Unsurfaced; grassy.
Camping: Not permitted.
Safety: During temperate months, be prepared for biting insects and high temperatures. Be advised of big game and waterfowl hunting seasons. Avoid using the trail during excessively wet periods. From December through March, a large portion of the trail may be submerged to provide habitat for waterfowl.
Restrictions: Hikers and day use only; no camping.
Recommended season: Fall and spring.
Directions: From Charleston, take US Highway 17 north to I'on Swamp Road (FS Road 228). Turn left and drive two miles to the trailhead on the left.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication