Plan Your Visit


Driving directions, trail information, and hours of operation

Contact the Refuge:

2125 Fort Watson Road

Summerton, SC 29148


Directions to Santee NWR:

From I-95 (North or South):
Take Hwy. 15/301 exit on North side of Lake Marion (exit 102).

From I-26 East (Charleston): approximately 1 hour: Take I-26 to I-95. Take I-95 North until you reach exit 102 (Hwy 15/301).

From I-26 West (Columbia):approximately 1 hour: Take I-26 to 301 East (towards Santee). Go approximately 16 miles to Santee, where 301 will turn onto I-95 North. Take I-95 North for approximately 4 miles to exit 102.

 From Hwy. 15/301:

Follow signs to Visitor Center. 

Hours of Operation:


The Visitor Center
until further notice.


  • The Cuddo and Pine Island Units will be closed to the public for deer hunting
    on September 25 - October 9, October 15-17, and November 5-7, 2021.  

  • The Wright's Bluff Trail will be closed to the public until noon for
    deer hunting on October 9-10, 16-17 and 23-24, 2021.





Visitor Center:

8:00 am - 4:00 pm Tuesday - Friday

Refuge trails and grounds are open daily sunrise to sunset, EXCEPT on the Cuddo and Bluff Units, which are open as noted below:

October 1 - February 28 - 7:00 am - 5:00 pm

March 1 - September 30 - 6:00 am - 8:00 pm

Santee Visitor Center (located on the Bluff Unit)

The Visitor Center houses wildlife exhibits such as waterfowl, alligators, and neo-tropical songbirds.

The Visitor Center also includes a beautiful deck overlooking Scott's Lake with a view of the Santee Indian Mound across the water. Mounted binoculars on the deck give visitors a view of birds on the water as well as the Indian mound in the distance.

The Visitor Center has binoculars and backpacks (equipped with field guides, etc) available to loan...FREE!


For Adults:

The Visitor Center has information about the refuge such as species lists, interpretive guides, maps, and hunting/fishing permits. We also have literature and information on other local area attractions, South Carolina Refuges, and wildlife publications. There is also a wildlife observation log that visitors and staff record recent sightings on the refuge.

For Children:

The Visitor Center has a WONDERFUL "Kid's Corner" with crafts, coloring books, and field guides for children. The Wildlife exhibits give children an up-close look at some of the many "wild" residents of Santee National Wildlife Refuge. A touch table allows children (and adults) to see, touch, and feel different objects like turtle shells, feathers, antlers, and various other bio-facts from local wildlife, including a LARGE ALLIGATOR SKULL!


For Families:

The Visitor Center is a great place for families to come to find out about trails on the refuge, things to do, and what has been sighted recently on the refuge. Checking out a "loaner backpack" and going out to hike a trail along Scott's Lake is a great way for families to spend a day on the refuge. Stop by the visitor center and find out more information about these opportunities.