Lake Moultrie Passage

Palmetto Trail

Trail Activities: t

  • Hike
  • Mountain Bike


26.70 miles


One Way


Natural, Boardwalk

Difficulty: Moderate

Trail Features: t

  • Parking
  • Trail Head
  • Point of Interest
  • Water Launch
  • Camping
  • Scenic Observation
  • Picnic Area
  • Information Sign
  • Pets
  • No Fee
  • Camping


Starting from either trailhead, this section of the Palmetto Trail is flat, easy hiking or riding mostly on a wide dike system that provides a beautiful view of the lake.

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Scenic and popular Lake Moultrie Passage rings the eastern and northern shores of a 60,000-acre lake, and panoramic views are spectacular. Much of the passage shares Santee-Cooper’s service roads on the lake’s earthen levees, which makes the trail a favorite with mountain bikers. From the Hwy 52 Trailhead (Swamp Fox Passage connector), a short hike through pine forest opens to the Pinopolis East Dike, a perfect place for admiring sunsets. After a walk through Bonneau Beach, the trail continues along the north-shore dike system until it crosses historic Santee Canal. The last few miles pass through a mature hardwood and pine forest that includes fascinating swamp terrain around Bulltown Bay.

NOTICE: The two hand pump wells at the primitive campsites inside the East and North Dikes of Lake Moultrie have been removed, as well as, at the Sandy Beach campsite on the spur trail inside North Dike.

There are currently no wells located at the primitive campsites.  Please be sure to pack in enough water if you plan to camp.

Primitive campsites with hand-operated water pumps are at mile 9 off Dike Road and at mile 18.5 near Crooked Bay. Primitive campsites at mile 0.5 near US Hwy 52 and at Sandy Beach have no water. No restrooms or water are available at the US Hwy 52 trailhead. The former Canal Recreation Area has been closed and decommissioned.


US Hwy 52 Trailhead (eastern)—From Moncks Corner, take US Hwy 52 north. Stay on US 52 about 3.8 miles past the split with US Hwy 17 Alt. Watch for neon yellow hiker highway sign. The trailhead and parking are on the right. Lake Moultrie Passage is across the highway.

Diversion Canal Trailhead (western): From I-26 exit 194, drive east on Jedburg Rd (S-8-16) to US 176. Cross 176 onto Cooper Store Rd. At 3.5 miles bear left and stay on Cooper Store Rd 9 miles to SC 6. Turn left and travel north 16.6 miles past Cross to SC 45. Turn right (east) toward St. Stephen. Travel 3 miles and turn right onto Eadie Lane (first dirt road after cross Diversion Canal). Follow Eadie Lane to the parking area along the canal. On foot or bike, travel back to SC 45, turn left and go 0.7 mile across the pedestrian walkway over the canal to Murphy Bay Rd. Turn left to continue on Eutaw Springs Passage.

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Supervisor-Forestry and Undeveloped Lands, Santee Cooper Land Division | One Riverwood Drive, Moncks Corner, SC, 29461 | (843) 761-8000

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


Download Coordinates
KML file Trail Segments (Paths)
Trail Features (Points of Interest)
Lat: 33.34400126555017
Long: -80.03540891152538