Santee Coastal Reserve

Georgetown, South Carolina

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Half a day's walk through a delightful mix of freshwater and saltwater coastal systems. The 24,000-acre Santee Coastal Reserve, located on the south side of the huge Santee River Delta, offers maritime forest, great expanses of rice field wetlands, and paths bordering the Intracoastal Waterway and the South Santee River. Santee Coastal Reserve is a birder’s paradise—almost 300 avian species have been spotted here. The reserve provides great wintering ground for several duck species and serves as a permanent residence for brown pelicans, mottled ducks, wood ducks, black-bellied plovers, pine and yellow-throated warblers, Carolina and marsh wrens, coots, and many birds of prey, including bald eagles and a large concentration of ospreys. Shorebirds, swallow-tailed kites, herons, egrets and ibis are plentiful. Large turkey buzzards haunt the trees bordering the marshlands. But birds are not the only wildlife here. Alligators prowl the waters, and white-tailed deer, feral hogs, and many small mammals frequent the woodlands and marshes.

Santee Coastal Reserve Professional Review and Guide

"Half a day's walk through a delightful mix of freshwater and saltwater coastal systems. The 24,000-acre Santee Coastal Reserve, located on the south side of the huge Santee River Delta, offers maritime forest, great expanses of rice field wetlands, and paths bordering the Intracoastal Waterway and the South Santee River. Santee Coastal Reserve is a birder’s paradise—almost 300 avian species have been spotted here.

The reserve provides great wintering ground for several duck species and serves as a permanent residence for brown pelicans, mottled ducks, wood ducks, black-bellied plovers, pine and yellow-throated warblers, Carolina and marsh wrens, coots, and many birds of prey, including bald eagles and a large concentration of ospreys. Shorebirds, swallow-tailed kites, herons, egrets and ibis are plentiful. Large turkey buzzards haunt the trees bordering the marshlands. But birds are not the only wildlife here. Alligators prowl the waters, and white-tailed deer, feral hogs, and many small mammals frequent the woodlands and marshes."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Georgetown
Distance: 7.8
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: Half a day
Season: Late winter, early spring
Local Contacts: Santee Coastal Reserve, PO Box 37, McClellanville, SC 29458;; (843) 546-8665
Local Maps: Map posted on bulletin board at trailhead, and free maps sometimes available in a box there. Minim Island and Cape Romain USGS quads.
Driving Directions: Directions to Santee Coastal Reserve

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