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Private landowners and farmers purchased a large swath of sandy dunes with the hopes of turning the land into farms during the early 1900s. However, due to the sandy soil and poor management of the already-thin topsoil, the efforts were unsuccessful. The state of North Carolina purchased the land from desperate farmers during the height of the Great Depression and set it aside as a National Wildlife Refuge in 1939. The Civilian Conservation Corps, operating under President Roosevelt’s New Deal program, paved several miles of roads and nurtured fragile plants and grasses to restore the original habitat. Thanks to the organization’s efforts, Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge is a thriving dune biodome in South Carolina.
The closest large town is McBee, SC, which was named for a prominent railroad executive, V.E. McBee. He was a driving force for bringing the railroads to rural South Carolina, which helped modernize the state. The charming town of around 800 residents is especially known for its annual festival, the Taste of McBee, which features local cooks and chefs’ best recipes. The event is usually held in March. Search for an RV in Chesterfield County, SC, and get ready to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime RV camping adventure.
South Carolina’s history is long and storied. Small mountain towns played a role in shaping this state and are quite proud of their heritage. Many towns have museums, historical societies, landmarks, and sites that they brag about. In Hartsville, is the Coker Farms National Historic Landmark, which honors the companies, Coker Experimental Farms, and Coker’s Pedigreed Seed Companies. Their work impacted how farmers approach agricultural management and plant breeding to this day.
Most American schoolchildren know that the Revolutionary War largely took place in the New England region. It might surprise some people to learn that skirmishes occurred as far south as South Carolina, and one such battle took place in Camden. The Camden Battlefield and Longleaf Pine Preserve spotlights the historical conflict and honors the men who died on the field in 1780.
For something different, hop into a rental motorhome and head over to Bishopville, and explore the fascinating Button Museum. Several objects and furniture in the museum are liberally covered with buttons, including cars, pianos, and even a funeral casket. The odd-yet-charming museum has turned into a popular roadside attraction.
A wise adventurer chooses to eschew hotels by renting an Airstream. By going RV camping, it becomes that much easier to get closer to nature. Instead of enduring a noisy ice maker down the hall, listen to the sounds of birds in the trees. Instead of the dull drone of a barely-working air conditioner, enjoy the refreshing breeze that wafts through your campsite. RV camping at Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge is prohibited because it is a protected habitat for an endangered bird. However, there are a handful of options nearby.
Sand Hills State Forest RV campground has 64 sites, and of these, 44 have full hookups, and the remainder has just water and sewer hookups. A few sites have a concrete pad to park on, but most are dirt or gravel. All sites are accompanied by a fire ring, lantern post, and picnic tables. Guests can also make use of the restrooms with showers.
RV camp outside McBee, SC, at the Farm Campground. All sites are scattered across rolling green lawns shaded by tall, stately oaks. There are 52 sites, all of which have full hookups. Campers can make use of their other amenities, which include hot showers, laundry, and a community kitchen.
Encompassing over 45,300 acres of dunes, Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge is a unique park in that hikers and adventurers are allowed and even encouraged (within reason) to venture off the trails. The entire park is open to hiking, provided that explorers don’t disturb the nesting birds in spring. Hikers who prefer to stick to the beaten track can opt to hit the trails. Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge has around 20 miles of maintained trails that meander up and over sand dunes, through low valleys, and across flat, marshy regions of the park.
Over 200 species of birds make their home in the Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge, including the endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers. The Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge habitat is especially well suited for this particular bird, and it has one of the largest populations in the United States. And on top of that, migrating birds and waterfowls frequently stop in the park on their long journeys each spring and fall. Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge is indeed an ornithologist and bird photographer's heaven.