Hiking & Backpacking
South Carolina is home to hundreds of miles of hiking and backpacking trails crossing wetlands, marshes, and beaches within the 3,000 square miles of public land included in the Santee River Basin. Experience day hikes through the swamps or coastal plains, or take an extended journey and access the Palmetto Trail that connects through Francis Marion National Forest and Cape Romain Natural Wildlife Refuge.
Backpacking in the Santee region begins with the Palmetto Trail and it’s adjoining passages through a variety of public assets. The Palmetto Trail is a 380 mile mountains-to-sea trail that features more than 60 miles in the Santee Basin. This trail can be experienced as a day hike with numerous access points throughout Francis Marion National Forest or section hiked over multiple days.
Additionally, Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge offers a tremendous amount of hiking access along the coast of South Carolina. The Refuge, first protected in 1932, features more than 66,000 acres of trails and beaches for hikes of varying lengths. The Santee Coastal Reserve features 24,000 acres of protected land with a variety of trails, historical features, and wildlife viewing.
Visit Hiking Project for online hiking resources to access the Santee River Basin.