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May Forest

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May Forest does not offer camping or any overnight accommodations at this time. The park is only open for day-use during limited hours.

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Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Grounds only.

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Free admission.

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Pets are allowed in most outdoor areas provided they are kept under physical restraint or on a leash not longer than six feet.

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No Wifi Available

May Forest State Park


Park Manager

Jay Reese

Park Manager

Welcome!  My name is Jay Reese, and I am the park manager at May Forest State Park.  As a kid growing up camping, fishing, exploring, hiking and learning to play golf in state parks, I was always SO excited to see a park ranger! When I was around 8 or 9 years-old, I received my Junior Forest Ranger hat and badge. I wore them all the time. Now I can proudly say, my Junior Forest Ranger hat and badge has been replaced with a South Carolina State Park hat and badge. My Junior Forest Ranger badge still sits on my desk reminding me of the amazing experiences I had as a kid and the lasting memories I am part of today!

One of my favorite spots at May Forest is sitting on the swing that sits on the bluff overlooking the Charleston Harbor.  If you're a first-time visitor to the park, I would encourage you to take some time to experience the stunning view of the Charleston Harbor. 

**Our Ultimate Outsider stamp is located outside the double doors of the chapel. 

May Forest State Park is located on James Island at the end of Fort Johnson Road. The 23 acres, once owned by the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy, is rich with history dating back to the Archaic Period. The property includes a canopy of live oaks, native plants and exotic vegetation. By far, the stand-out feature of May Forest is the stunning view of the Charleston Harbor, where visitors can see a beautiful perspective of Charleston.  One can point out the famous Battery, the Cooper River Bridge, the Yorktown and all the way to Sullivan’s Island. Visitors can enjoy the serenity of this majestic property, take in the breathtaking scenery, picnic on the bluff, enjoy the screened gazebo or relax in a swing. Guests can also view a wide variety of wildlife, from catching a glimpse of dolphins playing in the harbor, coastal birds, raccoons and squirrels to name only a few.

While May Forest State Park is in a day-use only soft open phase, visitors can enjoy the serene property, and watch the park unfold into a spectacular event venue with overnight accommodations. 


23 acres of serene lowcountry beauty

756 feet of Charleston Harbor shoreline

1 drive into the park with moss-draped trees

1 screened gazebo on the water’s edge

1 quaint chapel with stained glass windows dating back to the 1890s


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