What are the trees in the middle of the lake?
They are Cypress trees which tend to thrive in wet conditions and they have remained there ever since the lake was flooded. All trees weren’t cut down due to the start of WWII so leaving the trees helped speed up the process of the dam completion.
How deep is the lake at Santee State Park?
The North end of Lake Marion, near the park, is on average 12 to 15 feet deep.
What are the holes or caverns in the ground at Santee?
These holes are called Sinkholes. They are created when limestone underground is worn down by running water which eventually gives way to the ground surface above.
What are the squirrels I see that are large and resemble a raccoon?
These are Fox Squirrels, the largest squirrel in North America. We have several throughout the park. You may see them gray in color, gray with black and we even have some that are solid black.
What are the birds flying around that look like eagles on the lake?
They are called Osprey. They are also referred to as sea hawk or fish eagle. Their diet consists of mainly fish and you will see the giant nests they build in the trees throughout the lake.
Did I see an alligator while visiting Santee State Park?
In all likelihood, yes, it was an alligator. Lake Marion is home to 100’s of alligators and they primarily dwell in the shallower swampy sections of the lake and in coves and creeks. From time to time, you may spot them in the big water.
Should we fear the alligators and can we feed them?
Just like with any animal in the wild, you must respect them. Alligators generally are not aggressive and won’t attack unless provoked. Feeding an alligator is provoking it and over time they will lose their fear of people and approach humans seeking more food. So therefore, feeding is prohibited.
What hazards should we be aware of while hiking on trails?
There are a few things to remember. Always take fluids with you, especially if you are walking our 7.5 mile trail. It’s a good idea to use and carry some type of bug spray to help minimize the risks of ticks and other biting insects. If you see any wildlife such as a deer, a snake or even a Red Fox, enjoy it from a distance and let it be.
Does Santee State Park have a swimming area?
The park does not have a designated swimming area nor do we have lifeguards. You can however swim in the lake at your own risk. The park has a couple of locations that our visitors frequent for sunbathing and swimming. Just ask for these locations when you arrive
Does Santee offer any type of boat rentals?
Currently, we do not rent any boats. There are however several locations on the lake and in driving distance that rent anything from canoes and kayaks to small jon boats and pontoons.
Is wi-fi available at the park?
Complimentary wi-fi is available for park guests at the park office/visitor center, the park store/wireless lounge, the Village Round and all 30 cabins. Please check at the park office for password information.
Where is the park’s Ultimate Outsider stamp located?
Our Ultimate Outsider stamp is located just outside the Visitor Center to the left of the door.
Where can I find a list of state park rules and regulations?
You can find the South Carolina State Park rules and regulations, along with campground rules and regulations at this link.
For more general, statewide frequently asked questions, please click here.