Bike the Marsh at Santee National Wildlife Refuge - Bluff Unit

Rate this Adventure Santee State Park Boat Ramp

Cycle through 5 miles of pristine marshland in the low country of South Carolina for the chance to see hundreds of bird species, white-tail deer, alligators, and more!

From Columbia SC, take I-26 South towards Orangeburg. Stay on this road for 31.5 miles and then take exit 136 to merge onto SC-6 E towards St. Matthews. Continue about 34 miles until you enter the town of Santee. Turn left onto I-95 Northbound and continue another 3 miles. You will see a large wooden sign on the lefthand side of the road, take this left onto Fort Watson Rd. Follow this road all the way through until you hit the traffic circle, and then park. 

From the parking lot head towards the gravel road and go around the gate. DO NOT do this loop after November 1st. The refuge is reserved for migratory waterfowl, and so it is closed to all traffic, foot and bike. If you are unsure always check beforehand at the Visitor's Center before your ride. After you go around the gate, follow the gravel road until it opens up into the marsh. The road will fork, stay right, and the gravel road will weave around and through the ponds and marshland. To remain less intrusive, stay to the outer-boundary road (you can still see all the wildlife you could possibly hope for). Be sure to take a rest on the wooden bench and watch wild birds fly in to land and forage, or deer gallop across the marsh. Eventually the road will merge back with the original road, and you will follow it back to your car.  

Pack List

  • Water Bottle (16-32 oz)
  • Bug Spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Binoculars
  • Camera
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RT Distance 5 Miles
Elevation Gain 0 Feet
Activities Photography, Mountain Biking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby


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