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The Swamp Fox Trail is one of South Carolina Lowcountry's oldest trails and offers a long, flat, one-way journey through the swampy wetlands and coastal pine forests of Francis Marion National Forest. The total length of the trail is 42 miles, but only the eastern 27 miles are designated as a National Recreation Trail.
A portion of the lengthy hiking and mountain biking trail follows the path of an old railroad grade, for about fifteen miles in Charleston County and just across the county line into Berkeley County. However, the rough surface and variable grades along the trail make this not your typical rail-trail experience, so be prepared for a hike and be sure to pack water, as there is only one available source along the 42-mile route.
When Revolutionary War General Francis Marion sought refuge from British troops in the state's Lowcountry swamps, he earned the nickname "Swamp Fox." His guerilla tactics and legendary reputation eventually led Boy Scout leaders to name this trail after Marion when it was originally built in 1968.
A diverse array of wildlife such as deer, wild turkey, furbearers, songbirds and waterfowl is abundant along the trail. Be aware that after heavy rains the grassy savanna around Dog Swamp and Turkey Creek may have standing water.
At its northwest trailhead, the Swamp Fox Passage connects to the Lake Moultrie Passage, which is the next section of the Palmetto Trail. From its southeastern terminus, you can continue on the Palmetto Trail to the coast via the Awendaw Passage (Palmetto Trail).
To the eastern trailhead: From Charleston, follow US 17 north to Steed Creek Road (Charleston County S-1032) in Awendaw. Look for the trailhead parking area just beyond Steed Creek Road.
To the western trailhead: From Charleston, drive northeast to Mt. Pleasant and turn left onto SR 41. At Huger, bear left onto SR 402, drive 3 miles and turn right onto Copperhead Road. Drive 2 miles and turn right onto Witherbee Road. The district office and parking area are 0.5 mile on the right.
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