South Carolina Outdoor Adventures

There are a lot of opportunities for South Carolina outdoor adventure. The state packs a lot of habitat into a small area. Here’s where to focus your environmental attention for maximum benefit.


cyclists on the beach in South Carolina's Hunting Island
Take in the view from Hunting Island Light. Photo © Jim Morekis.
  • Kayak the inlet at Hunting Island State Park, where portions of Forrest Gump were filmed, then enjoy the scenic beach, concluding with a view from the top of the lighthouse.
  • Canoe in the ACE Basin, touring the Edisto River—the longest blackwater river in the world—on a guided trip. Head to Charleston and visit the South Carolina Aquarium to learn more about the entire state’s vibrant water-oriented ecosystem.
  • North of Charleston, find the Sewee Visitor Center at the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge and see their family of rare red wolves. Then stop by Hobcaw Barony and take a guided kayak tour of the excellently preserved marsh.


cypress trees in swamp water
Cypress forest in Congaree National Park. Photo © digidreamgrafix/iStock.
  • Visit the well-preserved Carolina Bay at the Woods Bay State Natural Area near Florence, right off I-95. Just outside the state’s capital, Columbia, is the stunning Congaree National Park and its old-growth cypress swamp.
  • Enjoy some white-water rafting on the Broad and Saluda Rivers, which run through Columbia. Spend an afternoon at Columbia’s nationally renowned Riverbanks Zoo and Garden.


aerial view of lake jocassee surrounded by forest
Visit Devil’s Fork State Park to get access to the beautiful Lake Jocassee. Photo © digidreamgrafix/iStock.
  • Head to the Upstate and choose between camping or a cabin at Devil’s Fork State Park, which provides the only public access to beautiful Lake Jocassee at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
  • Hike at Table Rock State Park in the Mountain Bridge Natural Wilderness Area or on the Foothills Trail along the Blue Ridge Escarpment.
  • Take the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway over to the wild and scenic Chattooga River for an equally wild and scenic day of white-water rafting.

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