HIGHLIGHTS: Best known for its stripped bass fishing, Santee State Park is one of the most popular state parks in South Carolina. The park offers 2500 acres of flooded wilderness which includes miles of shoreline on Lake Marion and recreation trails for both hikers and mountain bikers. The lake was created in 1949 when 100,000 acres were flooded to provide electric power for the southeast. This makes Santee State Park a bird watchers paradise with quail, brown thrasher, and Carolina wren among the numerous species of birds that reside here.
The Oak Pinolly Trail is a one-mile hike in the northwestern corner of the park and it is the most easily accessed of the trails at Santee State Park – since it starts very close to the visitor’s center. There is a small exhibit area in the visitor’s center and it showcases some of the wildlife in the park. Day-hikers should check out the display and load up on drinking water before heading out.