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Santee State Park

Matthew Palmer, foreground, of Hilton Head, and his father, Larry Palmer of North Myrtle Beach, get in some fishing on the pier at Santee State Park last year. They said they were in the Lake Marion area to camp and relax.

A 2,500-acre recreational oasis filled with opportunities for everything from kayaking, boating and canoeing to camping, hiking and birding is what the Santee State Park is to Orangeburg County.

Nestled along the shores of Lake Marion, South Carolina's largest lake, the state park is located at 251 State Park Road in Santee and is equipped with 30 rondette cabins, 10 of which are built directly over the water.

Individuals can also enjoy one of the park's 158 camp sites, or perhaps its fishing pier and more than 10 miles of hiking and biking trails. Pileated woodpeckers, white-tail deer, alligators and osprey are among the wildlife that can be spotted along the way. 

A tennis court, three playgrounds, picnic shelters, guided boat tours of the lake, and a community building complete with a large, screened-in grilling facility are also available at the park, along with a fully-stocked retail store to purchase snacks and souvenirs.

The park has no shortage of special sites to see.

From a viewfinder at the top of the fishing pier, individuals can catch a glimpse of the cypress trees located in the center of Lake Marion. The park also includes a sinkhole, a unique geological feature formed by a limestone system extending from North Carolina to Florida. 

In 2019, state parks in South Carolina, including Santee State park, will offer programming that combines art, culture, heritage and ranger-guided recreational excursions to some of the state's most beautiful and significant settings. For example, "Watercolor Painting with Amelia" will be held at Santee State Park April 14-16.

The park is open every day of the year. The park office hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and the office can be contacted by phone at 803-854-2408. For more information about the park, individuals are encouraged to visit online at https://southcarolinaparks.com/.

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Staff Writer

Dionne Gleaton has been a staff writer with The T&D for 20 years. She has been an education reporter, regional reporter and currently writes features with an emphasis on health.

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