in the Lowcountry
The Lowcountry is a prime location for nature lovers. From beaches to woodlands, there is something for every outdoor enthusiast. With each scenic location comes a variety of activities to enjoy while you’re there.
Sportsmen, rejoice! The region is an oasis of fishing with fresh and saltwater options. It’s also a hunter’s paradise with unmatched lodges and plantations. The outdoor fun continues with miles of beaches and seemingly endless water activities. From boating, sailing and jet skiing to kayaking and paddle boarding, you can experience true South Carolina beauty on the water.
First, stop at the Lowcountry Visitors Center & Museum (Frampton Plantation) to pick up maps and area information before setting out on your adventure. From there, it’s a short drive in any direction to experience rivers, trails, state parks, wildlife sanctuaries, lighthouses – you name it! Set out on your own trek with your map in hand, discovering as you go. Or schedule a tour and experience the area as a local, learning on the way. The choice is yours.
Parks & Wildlife Management Areas
The largest estuary of its kind on the East Coast, the ACE Basin, covers 350,000 acres of cypress swamps, saltwater marsh, beach, woodlands and coastal communities bounded by the namesake Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto Rivers.
At Edisto Beach State Park you can unwind in a cabin or at the oceanfront campground. The Edisto Interpretive Center and Edisto Serpentarium offer insights into the area’s ecology.
In the small community of Jacksonboro, the Edisto Nature Trail leads to fauna, flora and historical landmarks including old rice field banks.
Bear Island Wildlife Management Area provides a haven for shore and wading birds and self-guided driving trails across old rice fields. On U.S. 17 in Green Pond, Donnelley Wildlife Management Area includes wetland and upland habitats including rice fields, forested wetland, tidal marsh, and upland forest types.
Continue your adventure at the Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary and Discovery Center, which features a truly unique “braided creek” swamp. A network of boardwalks, hiking, biking and canoe trails provide a perfect vantage point to observe the diversity of wildlife.
Colleton State Park along the scenic Edisto River is a paddler’s paradise with 23 miles of blackwater river to explore. Then in Hampton, Lake Warren State Park features picnic facilities, a spacious lake for fishing and boating, and a community building. The park also features a 200-acre lake and two nature trails.
The most popular state park in South Carolina, Hunting Island State Park, delights with miles of beach, fishing pier and a jungle-like interior. The climb to the top of the historic lighthouse provides pristine panoramic views of the surrounding area.
In Ridgeland, you can explore both the Blue Heron Nature Trail and the Blue Heron Learning Center. Depending on the season, you will be treated to a variety of butterflies attracted to flowers in a special butterfly shaped garden. Nearby, outside of Hardeeville, the Savannah Wildlife Refuge borders the Savannah River and provides outstanding wildlife viewing.
Birdwatchers, the Lowcountry is the perfect destination for your beloved hobby. Port Royal’s Cypress Wetlands Trail is home to herons, hawks, eagles, owls, falcons, geese, ducks, and other migratory waterfowl. See how many you can spot, and you may also discover other residents including alligators and turtles.
In the heart of Hampton County, you’ll find the Webb Wildlife Management Area, a blackwater wonderland along the Savannah River. This area is protected by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to protect and preserve the wildlife habitat on the historic property. Follow the Bluff Lake directional signs to find the 2.1-mile Savannah River Nature Trail and a 1.2-mile canoe trail. Two oxbow lakes provide great opportunities for fishing and canoeing. There are many opportunities along the way to spot local wildlife, including white-tailed deer, fox squirrels, turkeys, alligators and turtles.
Near Bluffton, the Victoria Bluff Wildlife Management Area has controlled hiking, bird watching, picnicking and camping. Crossing from the mainland to Hilton Head, you pass the entrance to Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge, which includes Pinckney Island, Corn Island, Big and Little Harry Islands, and Buzzard Island.
Birding enthusiasts enjoy viewing a variety of winged creatures here, as well. View the large concentrations of white ibis, herons, and egrets. On Hilton Head Island, you can drop a line for freshwater pond fishing at Jarvis Creek Park or walk the trails at the Audubon Newhall Preserve.
Leave the land behind when you paddle a kayak or canoe along one of the many Lowcountry rivers. Pause to commune with nature as you spot waterfowl and fish, along with the animals on nearby land.
Pick up the pace with a personal watercraft when you feel the need for speed. Rent a pontoon boat for a leisurely day on the water with your family. Let the wind guide you with a sailing expedition. From the freshwater of Hardeeville and Walterboro to the salt water of Edisto Island, Beaufort, Bluffton and Hilton Head Island, rental companies are available to get you on the water for a day of fun.
With an abundance of marinas, charter fishing services, boat ramps and fishing piers, advanced and novice fishers will find plenty of places to wet a hook in the Lowcountry. Freshwater catches include catfish, sunfish, bass and crappie. Casting in salt water can yield snapper, king mackerel, grouper, redfish and more.
Knowledgeable hunters head to the Lowcountry for the longest white-tail deer season in the country (August-December). Professional hunting lodges and plantations are available and provide services including meals and guides.
Are you into sports? Build a golf lover’s itinerary that has you playing multiple courses during your stay or enjoy one round as part of your family vacation. Or show off your forehand on the tennis court and impress your kids.
Get everyone out to soak up the sun with a group bike ride. Or saddle up and take a horse ride amid Spanish moss-draped trees or along the beach at Hunting Island. You really can’t go wrong however you decide to view the breathtaking Lowcountry communities.
Camping in the Lowcountry
It’s like a voice calling to you, begging to reconnect with nature. Answer the call and escape to one of South Carolina’s campgrounds for a chance to unplug and reconnect in the great outdoors.
There is an abundance of campgrounds in the Lowcountry with amenities to fit any need. Find them here:
- Bluffton – Beaufort County
Stoney Crest Plantation Campground
- St. Helena Island – Beaufort County
Tuck In The Wood Campground
- Hilton Head Island – Beaufort County
Hilton Head Harbor Rv Resort
Hilton Head Island Motorcoach Resort
- Edisto Island – Colleton County
Edisto Beach State Park
- Hunting Island – Beaufort County
Hunting Island State Park Campground
- Walterboro – Colleton County
Colleton State Park
Edisto River Treehouses
- Parris Island – Beaufort County
Parris Island Rv P