Lake Marion Passage

Palmetto Trail

Trail Activities: t

  • Hike
  • Mountain Bike


35.90 miles




Natural, Boardwalk

Difficulty: Moderate

Trail Features: t

  • Camping
  • Trail Head
  • Restrooms
  • Parking
  • Point of Interest
  • Visitor Center
  • Water Launch
  • No Pets
  • No Fee
  • Camping


Lake Marion Passage skirts along the high-water mark of the lake’s north side between Santee, SC, and Mill Creek County Park. Trail users are rewarded with magnificent vistas of the upper coastal plain and opportunities to spot abundant wildlife and colorful flora, especially in the spring rainy season.

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You can start your hike/ride from Santee or Mill Creek County Park (High Hills Passage connector) and do the full 35.9 miles, or shorten it by starting at one of the alternate points, such as Pack’s Landing in Rimini (see the map). Depending on which way you hike/ride, the trail is blazed yellow or orange. The span between Mill Creek County Park and Sparkleberry Landing is blazed orange and the remainder is yellow. For most of your hike/ride you will follow the shoreline of Lake Marion and enjoy some beautiful vistas, and at Santee you will cross the lake on an old highway bridge. Since the trail is so close to the lake, be aware that some sections may be flooded during the wet season. You may encounter a variety of wildlife, so be aware of snakes and possibly some large alligators.

NOTICE: Hikers please be aware that the Lake Marion Passage is soggy in areas and the water is rising due to heavy rains in the Upstate.

NOTICE: The 301 bridge will be closed indefinitely beginning August 1, 2017. For more information and updates, please see the SCDOT website at

Lake Marion before mile marker 22, the Elliot Millpond road, is washed out so please proceed through there at your own risk or  take the road detour (take a right on McKnight Drayton Rd. and follow that to Emerald Drive and take a left and go to Governor Richardson Rd. and take a left.  Follow that around back to Old River Rd. and take a right then a left to go down Pack’s Landing Rd. to Pack’s Landing. 

The off road areas through Hickory Top WMA and the area between Pack’s Landing and Sparkleberry Landing are very low and wet especially after a heavy rain. Please wear appropriate shoes.

Please Note: mile 22-24 has been rerouted to go Old River Rd to Pack’s Landing Rd.  Once you get to Pack’s Landing parking area cross the parking area to the far lake side and proceed down the boardwalk to continue on the trail to Sparkberry Landing. 

Notice: The area between mile 31 and 32 was clear cut, but you should be able to follow  the orange tape through the area to get back on track.

Camping: Camping is allowed at various boat landings along the trail. Arbuckle’s Landing is a commercial campground just off Scotts Lake Road on the north side the I-95 bridge, (803) 478-5269. Jacks Creek Marina offers commercial tent camping sites overlooking the lake, (803) 478-2793. Mill Creek County Park in Sumter County has tent and RV camping, (803) 436-2248.

Trail users are advised to wear bright, visible colors during hunting seasons from mid-August to January. Some trail sections may flood during the rainy season.



Santee Town Hall Complex Trailhead: From Charleston or Columbia, take I-95 north to exit 98, turn left on SC Hwy 6 toward Santee. Turn left at Bass Drive (traffic light, US Hwy 15) and continue south one mile. Turn left at Brooks Blvd (Santee Fire Station on left). Continue to park at Santee Town Hall.

Pack’s Landing (map section 3): From Columbia or Sumter on US Hwy 378, turn south onto SC 261 and travel 12.5 miles, through Wedgefield, to Camp Mac Boykin Road (S-43-51). Take right fork drive 7.2 miles to Rimini. Turn right (west) onto Pack’s Landing Road (S-43-51) and drive 1.1 miles to parking on right.

Mill Creek County Park: From Columbia or Sumter on US Hwy 378, turn south onto SC 261 and travel 12.5 miles, through Wedgefield, to Camp Mac Boykin Road (S-43-51). Take right fork toward Rimini, drive 3 miles, and turn right on Millford Plantation Road (S-43-808). Travel 0.8 mile to Mill Creek County Park.

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Palmetto Conservation Foundation | 722 King Street, Columbia, SC 29205 | (803) 771-0870 | Email

Manchester State Forest | 7640 Headquarters Road, Wedgefield, SC 29168 | (803) 494-8196

Mill Creek County Park | 7975 Millford Plantation Road, Pinewood, SC 29125 | (803) 436-2248

Santee Cooper Land Division | One Riverwood Drive, Moncks Corner, SC 29461 | (843) 761-8000

Santee National Wildlife Refuge | 2125 Fort Watson Road, Summerton, SC 29148 | (803) 478-2217

Download Coordinates
KML file Trail Segments (Paths)
Trail Features (Points of Interest)
Lat: 33.60489158535584
Long: -80.48045654492189