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“Santee N.W. Refuge and Fort Watson”

Santee National Wildlife Refuge
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Santee N.W. Refuge and Fort Watson”
Reviewed June 20, 2013

Visit Fort Watson and enjoy the view from the top; and hear all the historic markers in the area & get directions to them with the new Clarendon County Tour App. This app will, automatically, read the markers as you approach them or you can select a silent text mode. Even if you are not in the area, you can always move around the map and select markers or select then from the site index list. You can also see the Historic churches and cemeteries and restaurants throughout Clarendon County. Tour right on your smartphone. You'll love it.

Visited June 2013
3 Thank George S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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36 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Marietta, Ga
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Good hiking, canoe trails and birding. Otherwise, not a lot to offer.”
Reviewed June 4, 2013

There are two main sections to this refuge. The first is off exit 102. The signs clearly show how to get to this area of the refuge. The visitor's center, which is very nice and is staffed by knowledgeable and friendly people, is at this location, as is the Native American mound, upon which the fort was built. Unfortunately, this is just a flat-topped mound that wasn't even worth the climb to the top, much less the drive. The story of the fort is interesting, but I could just have read it. If you plan on hiking or birding, this would be a nice place to do it. The second area, Cuddo, is off exit 108 heading away from Sommerton. You can, also, get there from exit A 102, and the visitor's center at the Indian Mound and Fort Watson site has clear directions from there to the Cuddo area. The Cuddo area has a large driving loop, hiking and biking trails, and canoe trails. There are no bathroom facilities here except the great outdoors. We had a 3 month old infant with us and could only participate in the driving trail. If you do this, go in the morning during the summer. We were there at 3:00, it was really hot, and there were no alligators to be seen. The bike trails we saw were dirt roads that needed to be mowed. Overall, I can see where this would be a great resource for people to hike, bike, canoe(with their own boats), and bird, but it didn't offer much for us.

Visited June 2013
2 Thank sue820
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, South Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Watson's Chase left the Fort without its cannon”
Reviewed April 8, 2013

This is an amazing site. Thank goodness it is still left to explore the early days of colonial America. Over a 1000 years ago the Santee Indians built this mound. The British took full advantage of its height to make it part of a string of forts from Charleston to Fort Motte, Camden and Ninety-Six. Fort Watson overlooked the Santee River. After Sumter was rebuff with the fort's cannons, Watson took the cannons to chase after Gen. Marion in March 1781. Marion ended up chasing Watson to Georgetown eventually returning with Lt. Col. Light Horse Harry Lee in April 1781 to take the fort using Maham's log tower. The height of this fort made it impossible to assault from below. Col. Maham designed the tower and sent sharpshooters to the top. The British had to surrender! Had Watson left just one cannon, the British could have blasted Maham's Tower! The South Carolina Daughters of the American Revolution marked this site with a granite marker. You must go see it. You will learn more about Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox. Don't forget about the Swamp Fox Murals in Summerton and Manning!!!!

Visited March 2013
2 Thank catlee54171
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
300 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 280 helpful votes
“Always stop here”
Reviewed March 9, 2013

This is not a large park, but it's a great stop-off for us while we are on our way home (North Carolina). It's a quiet little refuge away from the hustle and bustle of I-95, yet it is within a couple of minutes from it. Highly recommend that you walk the circular hiking trail that takes about 25 minutes to complete. You can see trees dripping with Spanish moss and the live oaks standing in water.

Visited August 2012
1 Thank karoleigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
77 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2013

We spend several hours exploring some of this amazing place. We first stopped at the visitor center in one of four areas this National Wildlife Refuge protects. A happy older couple greeted us outside and inside, and gave us directions to the different locations. There were the remains of a fort and an Indian mound with a tall staircase that offered a great view of Lake Marion. The best part of the NWR was the wildlife drive, where we took our time to view many birds and several large alligators. This was one of the most scenic NWR drives, along with Merritt Island and Lower Suwannee NWRs in Florida.

Visited February 2013
3 Thank Matthew S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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