Palmetto Trail: Lake Marion Passage

EASY 2 reviews
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Palmetto Trail: Lake Marion Passage is a 33.9 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Santee, South Carolina that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

33.9 miles
603 feet
Point to Point

dogs on leash






mountain biking

nature trips

road biking

scenic driving






wild flowers




over grown

Lake Marion Passage skirts along the high-water mark of the lake’s north side between Santee, South Carolina and Mill Creek County Park. Trail users are rewarded with magnificent vistas of the upper coastal plain and opportunities to spot abundant wildlife and colorful flora, especially in the spring rainy season. Between mile markers 5 and 6, a short side trip down Fort Watson Road leads to the site of ancient Santee Indian burial mounds. During the American Revolution, the British built Fort Watson on the mounds to improve visibility and protect supply lines between Charleston and Camden. Patriots under General Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox, and Lt. Col. Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee captured the fort in 1781. The site is in the Santee National Wildlife Refuge. NOTE: the bridge across Lake Marion is closed to all foot and bike traffic.

8 months ago

I hiked this trail at the beginning of October 2017. BE AWARE THAT THE BRIDGE IS CLOSED TO ALL FOOT AND BIKE TRAFFIC!. Very disappointed that this isn't listed, as it caused us to park in town, walk to the end of the bridge and back, then drive across the lake and park on the side of the road on the north side of the lake. We only hiked the first "12" miles of the trail before turning around- almost the entire trail is on roads, both blacktop and gravel. only about 1/2 mile of this portion, from the bridge to the junction with old river road is in the woods, and this comes out in the back yard of a campground with permanent campers. kind of uncomfortable. Will not hike this trail again, but I do recommend a side trip down to the state park and Fort Watson.

Saturday, July 08, 2017