West Ashley Trail

Run At Santee Coastal Reserve

Nestled in the heart of the south, Santee Coastal Reserve boasts a sprawling playground of 24,000 acres, a sanctuary for those who seek adventure in the great outdoors. This reserve is not just a destination; it’s an experience, offering an intimate encounter with nature’s raw beauty. Whether you’re a trail runner, a bird watcher, or simply a lover of the wilderness, Santee Coastal Reserve promises an unforgettable adventure.

Trail Tales

Run Wild, Run Free

For the avid runners, prepare for an exhilarating journey through the reserve’s diverse landscape. With trails extending over 3 miles, each step is an invitation to explore the untamed beauty of the south. Keep your senses alert as the local wildlife, from alligators to wild pigs, adds a thrill to your adventure.

  • The Woodland Loop: A 1.1-mile challenge through hunting and firebreak roads, surrounded by old growth and pine forests. Remember, no facilities here, so pack water and bug spray.
  • The Marshland Loop: Covering approximately 1.9 miles, this loop takes you through the historic Washo Reserve, once a rice plantation. Don’t miss the 800-foot boardwalk for a chance to spot alligators amidst the wetland flora.
  • The Bike/Hike Loop: A 7.2-mile flat and easy trail, perfect for a gentle run on the knees. Starting from the Marshland Loop, this trail offers sandy roads and grass-covered dykes, with a rich variety of animals to spot along the way.

A Birder’s Paradise

Santee Coastal Reserve is a haven for nearly 300 bird species throughout the year. From brown pelicans to Bald Eagles, the reserve is a bustling stage for birdwatching enthusiasts. Capture the moment with a quick snap, adding a memorable piece to your outdoor adventure album.

Essential Information

  • Location: Santee Gun Club Road, McClellanville, South Carolina
  • Parking: Available at two lots, one for each main loop
  • Hours: Varied by season, with special hours in February and the trail closed from November to January
  • Admission: Free

Did You Know?

The Santee Coastal Reserve is not just a haven for wildlife; it’s a living museum of the south’s ecological and historical richness. Once home to thriving rice plantations, the area now serves as a sanctuary for species that have called this land home for centuries. This blend of history and nature makes the reserve a unique spot for explorers and historians alike.

Embark on a journey to the Santee Coastal Reserve, where every trail tells a story, and the wilderness whispers the tales of the south. Whether you’re chasing the thrill of the run, the beauty of nature, or the serenity of birdwatching, this reserve is your gateway to an adventure that you’ll carry with you long after you’ve left its trails.

The Adventure Collective

The Adventure Collective publishes a series of outdoor adventure sports guides to adventures in Asheville, Boone, Brevard, Chattanooga, Charleston and The Great Smoky Mountains.

View stories