Little Wambaw Swamp Wilderness


The swamp when water is high
Little Wambaw Swamp when water is high

Little Wambaw Swamp Wilderness is a 5,179-acre river-bottom land of hardwoods and cypress-tupelo sloughs in Francis Marion National Forest. The area was logged once upon a time and today, most access to the wilderness area is via the old railroad tramways. About 60 acres in the southwestern portion of the swamp are thought to be virgin timber but even the second-growth timber is impressively large. The understory, though, is a dense mat of pickerel weed, bladderwort and wild orchid.

The earthen tramways offer high ground for hiking and perhaps camping but there are many slow-moving cross streams in the area and the bridges over those are long gone: be prepared to go wading in waist-deep water. Most folks do their camping at the Buck Hall Recreation Area to the south and access the earthen tramway system from there. Best time to visit is winter and early spring when water and insect levels are at their lowest.