Francis Marion National Forest - I'On Swamp - Member Hike

Hike Name: Francis Marion National Forest - I'On Swamp
Country: United States
State: South Carolina
Nearby Town: Charleston
Rating: 3 stars
Directions: From Charleston, take U.S. 17 north to I'On Swamp Road (Forest Road 228) and turn left onto it. Drive two miles to the trailhead which is on the left.
Total Hike Distance: 2.00 miles
Hike Difficulty: Easy
Permit Required: No
Hike Type: Roundtrip, Loop Hike
Hike Starts/Ends: Forest Road 228
Trails Used: I'On Swamp Interpretive Trail
Backcountry Campsites: No
Backcountry Water Sources: None
Management: U.S. Forest Service
Contact Information: Sewee Visitor And Environmental Ed Center
5821 U.S. Highway 17 North
Awendaw, SC 29429
Best Season: Winter
Users: Hikers, Dogs
Road Conditions: Primary Paved Roads, Secondary Paved Roads, Maintained Gravel or Dirt Roads
Hike Summary: In the 1700's, I'On Swamp was a rice plantation with a system of canals used for irrigation. Today, it is a coastal wetland that houses countless species of birds and amphibians. On this hike, you will loop through a lowcountry swamp along the old irrigation routes that served the rice fields. Here are a few other notes on this trip:

- the hike is flat and easy to hike, and it is located right across from the Environmental Education Center which has maps and trail information
- it is very swampy and shaded, with tons of birds thanks to bird boxes that are scattered throughout the forest
- I think the Forest Service lets rain water collect here and damns up some creeks to keep it flooded during the dry months.
- you feel a million miles from the coast (which ironically is only a few miles away)
- I had an alligator scare the crap out of me here - in one of the canals that was used to transport people and rice from the fields (back in the day - anyway)
- The place is teeming with wildlife - birds and squirrels everywhere, gators, turtles, etc.
- I would not want to hike this place in humid weather - bug city - take some insect repellent when it's over 60 degrees
- No camping here



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2 replies on “Francis Marion National Forest - I'On Swamp - Member Hike”

Just a correction on the facility use – backpacking and overnight camping are permitted in the Francis Marion National Forest, where I’on Swamp is located. There’s a nice spot about a mile south of the trail head off I’on Swamp Rd with a fire ring and open space to camp out.

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