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Santee State Park – Santee, South Carolina


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Santee State Park on Lake Marion is a 2,500-acre park founded in 1942. It was established on land in Santee donated by Orangeburg County for public use. While the Palmetto State’s largest lake is the park’s most alluring feature, other park amenities include three nature trails, birding opportunities, tennis courts, and a seven-and-a-half-mile-long biking trail. However, most people come to the park for its prime views and easy access to Lake Marion.

Santee State Park Boardwalk

Jim Dollar of Indian Land, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

While there is no designated swimming area at Santee State Park, swimming is allowed at your own risk. Two boat ramps offer access to the lake, and a fishing pier, seen above, allows for a day of wetting a hook without leaving dry land. The Village Round is a community building available for group gatherings such as reunions, meetings, and retreats. The facility boasts a large screened-in portion for grilling.

Santee State Park

Jim Dollar of Indian Land, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Below is a view of a small, unnamed lake within the park. It abuts a picnic area and campground but was closed several years ago due to a high population of alligators who call the lake home. The park provides both camp sites and cabins for overnight visitors. Camp sites are available for both primitive and RV camping with water and electrical hookup. Several of the campsites are lakefront.

Santee State Park Lake

Jim Dollar of Indian Land, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

For those desiring more modern amenities, 30 cabins offer comfortable overnight accommodations; ten of the cabins are actually situated on the lake itself, resting on a pier. These cabins, pictured below, are sometimes referred to as “roundhouses” for their round appearances.

Santee Park Cabins

Jim Dollar of Indian Land, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Other natural features include the prevalence of cypress trees (Taxodium distichum) growing from the lake itself. The lake was a project of President Roosevelt’s New Deal, and much of the park’s surrounding land is cypress swamp. When land was being cleared for the lake in the early 1940s, the federal employees working on the project were called to serve in World War II. As a result, the lake was filled despite the remaining trees and stumps. Subsequently, wildlife viewing opportunities abound from both the lake and the park.

Samtee Park Sinkhole Pond

Jim Dollar of Indian Land, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Another natural characteristic of the park is the presence of limestone sinkholes, or places where limestone has given way to time and erosion. Ecological communities form within these sinkholes, some of which are now ponds, as seen above, and others that are simply depressions. The sinkholes provide habitat to a variety of flora and fauna, depending on factors such as their depth and the presence or absence of water. The sinkholes within Santee State Park have been designated a Heritage Trust Site by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Fishing at Santee State Park

Jim Dollar of Indian Land, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent


Santee State Park Info


Address: 251 State Park Road, Santee, SC 29142
GPS Coordinates: 33.521035,-80.501210


Santee State Park Map




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The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Santee State Park, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!


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The South Carolina Picture Project is a volunteer project which earns no profit. We work hard to ensure its accuracy, but if you see a mistake, please know that it is not intentional and that we are more than happy to update our information if it is incorrect. That said, our goal is to create something positive for our state, so please make your comments constructive if you would like them to be published. Thank you!








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