This is the upper end of Lake Marion a few miles above the I-95 bridge on the north side of the lake. This is the area which encompasses the Santee National Wildlife Refuge.
There is abundant wildlife, including gators, ospreys, bald eagles, heron, ducks and geese in winter, and countless other birds, turtles, etc. There is a lot of sheltered waters with trails through cypress trees draped in Spanish moss and acres of lily pads...truly scenic area.
There are numerous sloughs to explore, as well as Jack's Creek Hatchery.
If you are interested in geocaching, there are a number of water caches in this area. They are ideal for paddlers.
At Carolina King Marina, they have boat rentals...including pontoon boats, john boats, and kayaks. They also have various size cabins for rent if you want to spend the night. The marina store has basics...ice, soft drinks, snacks, fishing essentials, etc.
There is a $5.00 parking/boat launch fee.
Exit I-95 at the 108 Exit. Go into Summerton. At the traffic light (intersection of US Hwy 301 and US Hwy 15), take Larry King Highway toward Rimini. Go 1.5 miles and turn left onto Liberty Hill Rd. Go 2-3 miles to second paved road on right which is the River Road. If you get to Liberty Hill Church, turn around because you JUST MISSED the River Road turn. Follow River Road 3 miles to Belser Road. Turn right. That road dead ends at the Carolina King Retreat and Marina. I grew up in Summerton, and that is the best place to put in for paddling in that area. They also have kayaks for rent, if you need one.
There are maps available, but detail is not very good.
- Trip Duration: Day Trip
- Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water