- The 250,000 acre Francis Marion National Forest lies near the coast. This coastal plain jewel of South Carolina offers visitors a wealth of experiences. For instance, hikers may encounter endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers: canoeist may drift by sleepy alligators and horseback riders may walk up on a flock of wild turkeys.
The Sewee Visitor Center showcases the unique heritage and natural history of South Carolina's Low-country. Located along the Atlantic Inter coastal Waterway (AIWW), Buck Hall Recreation Area is found on the site of the old Buck Hall Plantation. Nearly 300 yards of sea wall along the AIWW provide visitors with cool breezes and spectacular views of the AIWW and the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. This diverse recreational area provides excellent opportunities for campers, picnickers, boaters, nature viewers, anglers, and crabbers.
The Francis Marion National Forest boasts four wilderness areas. They range in size from 1,800 to 5,000 acres. Visitors will find scenic blackwater swamps highlighted by majestic bald cypress and water tupelo trees, teeming with wildlife from mystical barred owls to curious raccoons and flighty wood ducks. Wambaw Creek Wilderness area features a canoe trail. Wambaw Creek Wilderness Canoe Trail is 9 miles of tidal, blackwater creek. It is one of the most scenic places on the forest.
Recreation - Visitors to the Francis Marion and National Forest find many recreational opportunities. Boating, fishing, hunting, hiking, horseback riding, motorcycle riding, wildlife viewing, camping and picnicking are a few of the most popular activities. Developed campgrounds and dispersed or primitive camping is available. The Francis Marion's rivers, ponds, streams, and the Inter coastal Waterway offer good fishing. Whether you want to hike, ride horses, or use a motorcycle or mountain bike, there are trails for you on the Francis Marion.
Climate - Climate on the Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests varies with elevation and location. The area generally has a temperate climate, with cool winters and warm, humid summers. Thunderstorms are possible throughout the year but most common in the spring and summer. Tropical storms occasionally strike the coast during the hurricane season.
The Francis Marion National Forest lies near the South Carolina coast, north of Charleston. The Forest has District offices in McClellanville and Moncks Corner. The Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests are headquartered in the South Carolina capital city of Columbia.