Woods Bay State Natural Area

Quick Facts

Woods Bay State Natural Area

South Carolina

(843) 659-4445

Map Directions

Things To Do


Visit the Woods Bay State Natural Area, which takes up 1590 acres of the Florence, Sumter and Clarendon counties to take a peek at one of the last remaining large Carolina Bays on the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Enjoy the 500-foot boardwalk, where you can enjoy the cypress-tupelo swamp. If you prefer getting your feet wet, paddle down the 1-mile canoe trail. Habitats here come in a wide variety, ranging from marsh, to sand hills, to oak-hickory forest to a shrub bog. Over 75 species of mammals, reptiles and amphibians make their homes in this Natural Area, along with 150 species of birds. Visitors can catch a glimpse of alligators from the boardwalk and hear the croaking of many carpenter frogs. Hikers can enjoy a hike on the nature trail that goes around the historic mill pond, where in the mid-19th century, water from the bay powered two wooden mills. Fishing, wildlife viewing, photography and picnicking at the park are also recreational opportunities.

Map of Woods Bay State Natural Area (SC)

Latitude, Longitude: 33.949373, -79.976520



  • Boating

    Private boats are not allowed in the bay, however canoe rentals are available. The canoe trail at Woods Bay is subject to fluctuating water levels. At times the waters are too low for navigation. Please contact the park directly for current trail conditions. The one-mile canoe trail guides visitors through a portion of the bay.

  • Fishing

    Enjoy fishing off the boardwalk into a Carolina Bay. A valid South Carolina fishing license is required.

  • Hiking

    The Mill Pond Nature Trail is an easy 3/4-mile loop. Guests will also have the opportunity to experience life in a Carolina bay along the 500-foot boardwalk.

  • Historic Sites

    No information available at this time.

  • Picnicking

    A picnic shelter may be reserved for a low daily fee. If the shelter is not reserved, guests may use it on a first-come, first-served basis at no charge.

    If the shelter is not reserved, guests may use it on a first-come, first-served basis at no charge.

    Note: Admission fee is not included in shelter price. Rates listed do not include applicable tax and nonrefundable transaction fee.

    To make a picnic shelter reservation, call toll-free 1-866-345-PARK or make it online by clicking on Park Reservation button located at the upper right hand corner of this page.


Open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.



From I-95: Take exit 141 onto Hwy 53/58 Eastbound. Go S. on Hwy 58 toward Shiloh. Turn E. onto Woods Bay Rd. (Hwy 48). Travel approximately 4½ mi the park will be on the right.

From Myrtle Beach & Conway: Take U.S. Hwy 378 West. After Lake City, exit right onto SC Hwy 341 North. Continue on 341 North through Olanta. Drive approximately 2 miles and then turn left onto Norwood Road (SC-S-43-150). At the stop sign turn right onto Woods Bay Road (Hwy 48), the park entrance will be on the left.

Phone Numbers


(843) 659-4445