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The two RV Gypsies
Woods Bay State Park
11020 Woods Bay Road
Olanta, SC 29114
(Florence County)
February 24, 2021

South Carolina map shwoing location of Florence Countymap showing location of Olanta SC

Olanta is located in southwestern Florence County, SC. The town has a total area of 1.0 square miles. Olanta has a public library, a branch of the Florence County Library System.

Town of Olanta water tower

On a previous trip through Olanta, SC the two RV Gypsies drove down the road when they saw a sign to Woods Bay State Park, but since they were on a return trip from elsewhere, and they did not have an address, Lee wondered if it was too many more miles down the road, so he turned around.  

On this date, they tried again. When they came to the sign (shown below on the right), Lee turned right even though this time they had an address in the GPS which did not tell him to turn right. But the sign must have been twisted because in reality they should have kept going straight just a very short distance. After driving around in circles, they tried again, and reached the park.

Woods Bay State Park directional sign Woods Bay State Park entry sign

Below: A sign in the parking lot. Plus, there was a box with some books that lists all of the South Carolina State Parks, and other useful information.

information sign in the Parking lot

Woods Bay State Park has free admission and offers a close-up look at one of the last remaining large?Carolina Bays?(an elliptical depression of unknown origin) on the?Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain. No Wi-Fi available in the park.

The 1,590-acre park, located in the?coastal plains region features a wide range of habitats including marsh, sand hills, oak-hickory forest and shrub bog.

The habitats of Woods Bay can be explored by taking the nature trail encircling the mill pond or by walking the length of the 1,150 foot boardwalk, which might provide a view of alligators in the cypress tupelo swamp.

The best way to see the park is by following a canoe trail which takes paddlers past the Carolina Bays, elliptical depressions which appear swampy but remain dry, which the two RV Gypsies did not get to do on this trip.

Mystrious moss sign

Below: After parking their car, the two RV Gypsies made note of the picnic pavilion which can accommodate up to 50 people and is available for rent.

picnic pavilian hiking trail sign

The two RV Gypsies noticed that they were the only car in the parking lot. Just a few days ago, there was a lot of rain in this area,

start of the hiking trail Boardwalk sign

Below: Starting out on the trail, the two RV Gypsies noticed several big birds  flying overhead. It was not easy, but they managed to take a few photos.

big bird in a tree big bird in a tree
big bird in a tree big bird in a tree
bird flying away bird flying away

Below: When the Two RV Gypsies first saw saw that the path was flooded, they almost turned around and went back to the car. But because they could hear running water, they decided to walk on the left edge of the flooded area and continue. At one moment, on the way in, Lee almost slipped into the water. So on the way back, he hung onto branches as he navigated around the high level of water.

flooded hiking trail Lee Duquette trying to maneuver around the flooded hiking trail
Lee Duquette trying to maneuver around the flooded hiking trail Lee Duquette's feet by the mud

Below: The two RV Gypsies reached the area of the running water.  Although the flooded dirt path still continued straight ahead, a right turn took the two RV Gypsies to the Boardwalk.

the water flowing across the hiking trail the water flowing across the hiking trail
the water flowing across the hiking trail Alligator
the water running off the hiking trail the water running off the hiking trai

The two RV Gypsies finally made it to the Boardwalk.

the flooded trail and the Boardwalk
The Boardwalk Karen Duquette on the Boardwalk

There were a few signs along the Boardwalk. No Alligators were seen on this date.

Alligator information sign
Information sign on the Boardwalk

Below: The water level was up quite high, almost to the top of the Boardwalk. Notice the reflection of the trees in the water (they look like upside down trees).

The Boardwalk

Below: These photos were taken near the beginning of the Boardwalk. It was the best view of the dark waters and reflections. The photos, although very nice, do NOT do justice to the amazing view, which the two RV Gypsies enjoyed by just being there.

IMPORTANT: The camera was mostly aimed to show a bit of the area where the trees were above the water level, plus the reflection in the dark, but clear water.

view of the dark waters and reflections view of the dark waters and reflections
view of the dark waters and reflections
view of the dark waters and reflections view of the dark waters and reflections
view of the dark waters and reflections view of the dark waters and reflections
view of the dark waters and reflections view of the dark waters and reflections
view of the dark waters and reflections view of the dark waters and reflections
view of the dark waters and reflections

Then Karen leaned over the side of the Boardwalk, and aimed the camera straight DOWN into the water.

looking straight DOWN into the water. looking straight DOWN into the water.
looking straight DOWN into the water.
looking straight DOWN into the water. looking straight DOWN into the water.

Then the two RV Gypsies reluctantly left this area and continued on the boardwalk. These first few photos are actually green grass completely UNDER the water.

reen grass completely UNDER the water reen grass completely UNDER the water

Below: Peeking through the trees, the two RV Gypsies still admired reflections in the water. They were on this Boardwalk alone most of the time.

But then a group of about 6 teenagers came. They made loud yells as they maneuvered past the flooded area. Once they reached the Boardwalk, they quickly zipped through the area, never really noticing the beauty all around them.

trees and water reflections trees and water reflections
trees and water reflections
trees and water reflections trees and water reflections

Below: Again, Karen leaned over the boardwalk, and aimed the camera straight down into the water.

looking straight down into the water. looking straight down into the water

Then they came to the end of the Boardwalk. It was much shorter than they had expected it to be. But still, worth the trip here.

sign end of the Boardwalk

look below

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