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Woods Bay

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Beginning March 25, the office at Woods Bay will be closed due to construction. We apologize for the inconvenience. 

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9 a.m. - 6 p.m., daily


11 a.m. - noon, daily

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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. Owners will be asked to remove noisy or dangerous pets or pets that threaten or harass wildlife.

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No Wifi Available

Woods Bay State Park



Mill Pond Nature Trail 

Length: 0.9 mile loop

Type: Hiking Trail 

Difficulty: Easy 

Description: This easy, 0.9-mile loop trail is well marked and abounds with the beautiful vegetation typical of a Carolina Bay area. As you walk you will be surrounded by many sights and sounds, ranging from the songs of many kinds of birds to the rapping sounds of carpenter frogs during the spring. Some of the birds you may see or hear are wood thrushes, blue and white-eyed vireos, orchard orioles, summer tanagers, and several kinds of warblers including the prothonotary warbler. Animals you may see in and around the pond range from raccoons, river otters, and alligators to various snakes and tiny tree frogs. To delight the fishermen, the Mill Pond is also home for fish such as bream and bass.

Woods Bay Canoe Trail

Length: 1.0 miles

Type: Canoeing Trail

Difficulty: Easy

Description: An easy one-mile paddle through Woods Bay State Park near Sumter is an opportunity to explore one of the last remaining Carolina Bays in the Coastal Plain. Hundreds of years ago, thousands of similar bays speckled the area. But only a few remain untouched by human development and Woods Bay might be the best example. Although they’re not quite swamps in the classic sense, Carolina Bays are considered “elliptical depressions,” because the land is relatively dry even though the terrain appears swampy. Woods Bay, in fact, contains a cypress swamp and an open savanna, while a millpond outside the bay is one of the park’s man-made features. And while there are hiking trails and a boardwalk present, the best way to explore Woods Bay is by canoe. A marked trail is accessible most of the year and will allow patient paddlers a chance to see wildlife such as alligators, herons, egrets, and osprey. Some of the park’s flora includes the bladderwort and the insect-eating pitcher plant.


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