Francis Marion National Forest

After we left my sister’s house (thanks Marti and Bill for letting us use your drive for a couple of weeks – we had a blast with you), we headed off to the Francis Marion National Forest north of Charleston, SC.  This forest area is most pine stands and wildlife-filled  swamps shaded by towering bald cypress trees.  Lots of OTR and hiking trails including a portion of the 315 mile Palmetto Trail. Dispersed camping is available with a permit issued by the office.  We wanted to do this, however with the first of the year holiday, we couldn’t get to the park office.

We spent two nights dry camping at Honey Hill rec area.  It is a small loop with several places to pull back in under pines and live oaks.  There is a small slough that could serve as a water source (filter first), miles of forest service roads to walk, and it did have a clean vault toilet. We met John, a guy from Pennsylvania, on a 90-day “adventure” to car camp down to Florida then San Francisco then home.  Heck, we’ve been on the road for five months and haven’t even covered 1,500 miles.  In fact, we calculated that when we’ve moved to a new site/location, we’ve averaged 87 miles.  After we figured this out, we had a long discussion that we won’t get to Alaska this summer unless we pick up the pace:)

Since cold weather was coming, we decided to head to the Buck Hall campground for another couple of nights so we could have electricity to run the heater.  I am really such a cold weather weenie after 18 years on the Texas coast that if the temps are going to be any colder than 40, I think I have to have heat.  The Buck Hall campground is small – only 14 sites – and right on the inter coastal waterway.  The spacious sites are $20 a night and very open – not much shade or privacy but the sunrise over the intercoastal marsh was spectacular.  We are amazed at the tidal change – 8 ft change four times a day – so different than our Texas Coast 2 – 4 ft change.

We did venture out to McClellanville, a small town near the campground.  It is a beautiful setting with large live oaks, churches, shrimp boats, and neat old houses. Also stumbled onto Hampton Plantation State Historic site.  We hiked the trails and read all the interpretive stations and didn’t take the house tour by a park ranger.

Next we will be heading to Florida to catch some warm days and sunshine.

 

Buck Hall primitive site

Honey Hill primitive site

Glenn climbing a TALL fire observation tower

Glenn climbing a TALL fire observation tower

Hampton Plantation SC State Historic site

Hampton Plantation SC State Historic site

Very interesting McClenndenville church

Very interesting McClenndenville church

Camellia's in bloom at plantation

Camellia’s in bloom at plantation

Sunrise over Intercoastal Waterway

Sunrise over Intercoastal Waterway

 

 

 

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4 Responses to Francis Marion National Forest

  1. Wayne Scott says:

    Sounds like a great place for the ‘bucket list’. 8′ four times a day… Never knew, If we had stuck with boating and ever realized the great loop dream, that would have been an interesting dynamic to contend with.

  2. Mark says:

    Also wanted to climb one of those large towers! Changed my mind every time I got to the first step.
    Wish we could follow you to Florida. Travel safe.

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