Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails in Francis Marion National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

I biked this portion of trail and it was great, really beautiful. Easy “mountain“ bike ride that you could do with kids. It’s nice this time of year because there are no mosquitoes.

I am hiking the Palmetto Trail in legs and this was my first leg. Started on November 11, 2019. The bugs were not an issue because of the cold weather. However, there are ticks everywhere. Make sure your significant other one check you well when you get home. This was and easy 7.1 miles and was beautiful. Unfortunately, there is a crossover on HWY 17 but the pint up to that encapsulated what the coastal plains of South Carolina is all about. Trail is well maintained and super easy to follow, even for a beginner like me!

hiking
bugs
fee
20 days ago

Dog friendly. Decent trail conditions. Bring bug spray.

Nice relaxing trail and informative marks along the way. Claim mound was neat but the bridge along the ring is broken and marked off. Nats are bad still where you park.

If you’re prone to mosquitos, I’d skip this until winter.

Unique trail near Charleston. We took 2 dogs and only made it about halfway. You’ll cross a bridge over some deep water and into untamed weeds/grass. We opted out as that’s prime gator/snake territory. Probably wouldn’t have ventured that far without dogs either. On the way back we took a different route out to the road. Almost stepped on a ~5’ snake, black in color. It scurried off real quick, but I don’t think it was venomous. Lots of mosquitos. Signs for gators, but didn’t see any. Recommend holding dogs on very short leash in some sections.

hiking
bridge out
bugs
muddy
over grown
1 month ago

Still a lot of mosquitos but very enjoyable

Spent a number of weekends over the course of summer section hiking this part (46 mi) of the Palmetto Trail with friends. Throughout the course of the trail, you cross a number of very diverse habitats, ranging from open pine forests dominated by grasses and canes, bottomlands covered in cypress and ferns, creek and swamp crossings on bridges, to oak hardwood forests. As this is the lowcountry/coastal plain, you don't really get the vistas as you would from hikes upstate. However, there is excellent diversity in plant and animals species (including some very rare stuff)! Outside of the beginning of summer, the trail was often hot, muggy, buggy, and wet. High grasses were encountered on trail in many excursions, and ticks were a constant problem. Chiggers too. Besides the negatives, its secluded, quiet, and often the trail is all to yourself. On trail campsites were in excellent shape, but water is lacking. Highly recommend. Be sure to check the palmetto trail conservation website for printable maps. There are a ton of options to park if you only want to do a section at a time.

horseback riding
bugs
1 month ago

done it 3 times on horseback. Many bridges can be challenging for horses not used them.

Apparently alligators are common on this swampy trail.

hiking
bridge out
bugs
3 months ago

Went August 6 & tons of bugs. No form of bug control was sufficient to deter the mosquitos.

hiking
bugs
over grown
3 months ago

Visited trail 7/29/19. Trail was mostly nice except for the back section along a dike. It was extremely overgrown. We made it about 1/3 of the way through it before seeing a large unidentified snake in the weeds so we backed out. It's so thick that you cannot see what you're walking through. Bring plenty of bug spray, mosquitoes were pretty thick also.

It's a great trail that I've hiked and mountain biked several times. Bugs can be brutal so be prepared and if there has been a lot of rain then some sections will be completely under water.

Gentle walk through the woods. Not strenuous but a nice way to get out and enjoy nature in the charleston area.

hiking
no shade
over grown
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Trail began closer to the main road- I went up the road to the parking lot and then found it. Tried going northeast to start but about a mile and a half in the trail got very swampy so I turned back and went 2ish miles in the other direction. Was pleasant- flat and easy hiking, but very buggy.

hiking
bugs
4 months ago

Short, but packed with wildlife (including bugs) when we did it in late June. Definitely a swamp! Closed toed shoes are nice to have but not mandatory. Saw snakes and a cute little gator

running
5 months ago

Excellent flat trail. I performed 12 miles (6 *2).

I think it was a beautiful trail just wrong time of year!

hiking
bugs
6 months ago

I have walked this great trail many times-Now that it is the end of May the deer flies are out in full force!! I made it 20 ft before running back to my car. The ranger says it will be like this for next couple/few months. Wear your bee keeper outfit if you want to go for this trail walk during the next few months!

Really enjoyed this as a switch back trail. Just regular hike with a few muddy spots but nice trek. Will definitely be back.

Bridge is still out. Short walk with some nice views.

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