Little Pee Dee State Park is anything but little. Located in Dillon, South Carolina, this 835-acre park boasts plenty of room to explore the day away. The park got its name from the Little Pee Dee River, which runs throughout the entire state of South Carolina and makes up the southeastern border of the park. In addition to the lake and the swampy river ecosystem, Little Pee Dee State Park is full of vegetation and wildlife that are native to the sandhill region. It also contains an area of the Carolina Bay, an ancient geologic depression left by the old Atlantic coastline.
One of 47 state parks in South Carolina, Little Pee Dee State Park, is the perfect place to try a variety of outdoor recreation. With such a diverse rural landscape, the park has something to offer every kind of RV adventurer from fishing, hiking, boating, and camping to just sitting back and relaxing while observing the flora and fauna. Lake Norton is stocked with a variety of species, inviting amateur and avid anglers alike to try their luck at catching dinner. Canoers and kayakers love paddling around the mirror-still lake, soaking up the South Carolina sunshine and listening to the birds singing in the trees. Close encounters with dangerous wildlife likely won't be an issue. However, visitors would be wise to bring some sunscreen and insect repellant in their motorhome.
Visitors can easily navigate their way to the park by following paved state highways and local roads. The drive to the park takes visitors through some of South Carolina's scenic countryside, so they will want to be sure to take their time and enjoy the ride. Inside the park, the roads are gravel but wide enough to accommodate RV campers traveling through the park. Practice caution when traveling through this heavily wooded area as fallen tree branches can become road hazards, especially after a summer rainstorm. Also, keep a sharp eye out for wildlife and other park visitors who may be traveling through the park on foot.
A gravel parking area is available near the park's entrance. No parking or entrance fees apply at Little Pee Dee State Park, so day-use visitors can simply park and walk down to the lake. RV campers will find level, gravel pads where they can park their rig.
The campground at Little Pee De State Park has a total of 50 campsites spread across two loops. Thirty-two sites are suitable for RV camping with both water and electrical hookups. The remaining 18 campsites are designated for tent camping only and include water hookups. Restrooms, hot showers, a dump station, and picnic shelter can be found close by. If you'd like to dine underneath the stars, you can use the firepit/grill and picnic table provided at your site.
Pets are allowed in the campground but must be kept on a leash at all times. A few of the campsites are ADA-accessible, and all of the campsites are available by reservation only. South Carolina State Park policy requires campers to reserve their site within at least 24 hours of arrival, and walk-ins are not available.
The park has one cabin with lakeside views that is available for campers who are seeking a few of the comforts of home. The cabin can accommodate up to four people and is furnished, although visitors will need to bring their own linens. It includes basic kitchen appliances, air conditioning, and has electrical outlets. Be aware that there is no water within the cabin, but there is a water spigot located at the cabin site. Guests who are staying at the cabin are also permitted to use any of the campground amenities. Additional features include a hammock, picnic table, fire ring, and grill.
In addition to the standard individual sites, a primitive group campsite is available by reservation only. Groups or organizations looking to reserve this site must contact the park directly. This site is designed for primitive camping so amenities are limited. Vault toilets are available for campers to use.
The Bay Heritage Preserve includes a 300-acre area that is located on the northern edge of the park and houses a unique geological feature: a Carolina bay. Scientists are still unsure what causes these shallow, lake-like depressions found all over the Atlantic Coast. Little Pee Dee State Park's Carolina bay is thought to be a sand rim leftover from the ancient coastline, its origins tracing back millions of years ago when modern North Carolina was mostly underwater.
Birdwatching enthusiasts will feel right at home at Little Pee Dee State Park, where a variety of bird species call the park home. Ducks, geese, and osprey are commonly spotted inside of the park, while woodpeckers and warblers are fairly infrequent visitors. The Carolina Bird Club offers a full list of the possible species that visitors might spot at Little Pee Dee State Park. Areas by the lakeshore and the viewing area along the Beaver Pond Trail are optimal locations for birdwatching opportunities.
Little Pee Dee State Park is a premier spot for a picnic. Spread a blanket on the grass and snack on sandwiches while watching the sun go down over the calm waters of Lake Norton. If it's too hot to sit in direct sunshine, park visitors can head over to one of the park's two picnic shelters to chow down in the shade. The shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis and can accommodate up to 75 guests.
The best time to go hiking in Little Pee Dee State Park is early in the morning or late in the afternoon when summer temperatures have dipped below scorching. Guests can hike or bike along the scenic Beaver Pond Nature Trail. Just under three-quarters of a mile long, the Beaver Pond Nature Trail makes for a scenic stroll among the park's dense forest cover. Visitors can catch their breath at the trail's namesake pond, where a viewing platform provides a comfortable location to see the native wildlife.
The placid Lake Norton is a prime spot for kayakers and canoers to launch out and explore. The park offers boat rentals as well as kayaks and canoes, and each rental includes life jackets and paddles. Private boats are welcome on the lake. However, visitors who choose to bring their own boats with them should be aware that gas-powered motors are prohibited. The park's boat ramp offers guests easy access to the water, and at 54 acres wide, Lake Norton has plenty of space for all types of boats to explore.
Fishing is the main attraction at Little Pee Dee State Park. Both Lake Norton and Little Pee Dee River welcome anglers who have a current South Carolina fishing license to catch some catfish, bass, or bream. The park also has a 75-foot pier from which visitors can fish in the lake. For those who prefer to cast their line from a boat rather than the shoreline, rental boats are available at the park office.