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South Carolina
Backpacking Guide

Backpacking in South Carolina
Backpacking in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Description - South Carolina provides a number of state and federally administered recreation facilities to entice recreationists of all types. The state can be split into four distinct regions: Upland country, central South Carolina, the Grand Strand and the southern coast. The Upland region encompasses the land in the northwest corner. The Savannah River forms the western border of this region, separating Georgia from this state. Lakes formed by damming the Savannah, Richard B.Russell Lake and J. Strom Thurmond Lake, are popular recreation sites. The Sumter NF occupies 360,000 acres of land in this region.

The central portion of the state lies between Interstates 95, 77 and 20. The region contains portions of several major rivers: the Savannah, Congaree, Catawba and Pee Dee. This area is characterized by slow wide waterways and tobacco and cotton fields. Many of the large plantations that are entrenched in southern history, are located in this region. Natural areas include Carolina National Wildlife Refuge, Manchester Forest, Congaree Swamp Monument and Aiken.

The Grand Strand includes 60 miles of wide, white sand beaches from Myrtle Beach to Charleston. This area attracts more tourists than any other region. Beaches, state parks and the Francis Marion NF provide recreation opportunities in this area. The Pee Dee and Little Pee Dee Rivers join and flow into the Intracoastal waterway immediately south of Myrtle Beach.

From Charleston southward along the coast barrier islands have been formed and create a myriad of waterways. This area is best known for the resorts of Hilton Head Island, but unique cultural and natural resources exist here as well. The Savannah Wildlife Refuge and Hunting Island State Park provide excellent opportunities for visitors to enjoy the diverse flora and fauna of the coastal plain.

Recreation - Recreation in the natural areas include fishing, hiking and camping. Because this state has 200 miles of shoreline most visitors and locals enjoy water-oriented sports. The Lakes & Reservoirs are extremely popular with the natives. Many people come to the region to enjoy the plethora of golf courses in the resort areas as well.

Climate - The state has a mild climate that remains warm throughout the year. Humidity is a major factor in the summer months as the temperatures rise to 95 degrees F. July is the hottest time of the year, during which Columbia has an average temperature of 92 degrees. Which is why most locals hit the hiking trails and do some lake camping. The coastal and mountain towns average slightly lower temperatures. During the winter months temperatures dip into the 40s, but rarely remain there for long. Average January temperatures throughout the state range from 50 to 60 degrees F. Snow rarely falls, and if it does it doesn't remain for long. Most of the precipitation comes to the region during July in summer thundershowers.

Lakes and Reservoirs Wildlife Refuges National Forests and Parks
Dreher Island
Hartwell
J. Strom Thurmond
Keowee-Toxaway
Greenwood
Warren
Wateree
Russell
Santee
ACE Basin
Cape Romain
Pinckney Island
Sandhills
Santee
Savannah
Waccamaw
Charles Pinckney Historic Site
Congaree Swamp Monument
Cowpens Battlefield
Fort Sumter Monument
Francis Marion NF
Ninety Six Historic Site
Sumter NF

State Parks
Aiken
Andrew Jackson
Baker Creek
Barnwell
Caesars Head
Calhoun Falls
Charles Towne Landing
Cheraw
Chester
Colleton
Croft
Devils Fork
Dreher Island
Edisto Beach
Givhans Ferry
Goodale
Hamilton Branch
Hampton Plantation Historic Site
Harbison State Forest
Hickory Knob Resort Park
Hunting Island
Huntington Beach
Jones Gap
Keowee-Toxaway
Kings Mountain
Lake Greenwood
Lake Hartwell
Lake Warren
Lake Wateree
Landsford Canal
Lee
Little Pee Dee
Lynches River
Manchester Forest
Myrtle Beach
Oconee
Oconee Station Historic Site
Old Dorchester Historic Site
Paris Mountain
Poinsett
Redcliffe Historic Site
Rivers Bridge
Rose Hill Plantation Historic Site
Sadlers Creek
Sand Hills Forest
Santee
Sergeant Jasper
Sesquicentennial
Table Rock
Woods Bay

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