South Carolina is home to a wide variety of habitat types, including hemlock-blanketed mountains, rolling sandhills,Alligator at Huntington Beach State Park flooded cypress forests, and sunny palmetto-lined beaches. This naturally lends to a wide variety of wildlife species. You can even see black bears and dolphins in the same day, as it only takes a few hours to drive between the mountains and the coast.

The South Carolina State Parks offer numerous opportunities to get outside and experience the state’s wildlife, including its rare and endangered species.

The Animal Forest at Charles Towne Landing

One experience that puts you up close and personal with some unique South Carolina wildlife is the Animal Forest at Charles Towne Landing.  This natural habitat zoo is home to animals who roamed the Charleston area back in 1670 when the colony was founded.  Check out the Animal Forest on your next trip to the Charleston area.

Birding in Parks

One of the favorite past times of many park visitors is birdwatching, and our parks have some of the best places for viewing a wide variety of birds.  Huntington Beach State Park is known as one of the best birding sites on the East Coast.  Every season offers new and interesting birds at the park.  The annual Hawkwatch at Caesars Head State Park is also a unique birding experience.  Check out each park for birding information or vist our birding page for more details.

Unique & Endangered Species

Many of our parks are home to rare and endangered species.  Loggerhead sea turtles nest on our state park beaches every summer.  The red-cockaded woodpecker is protected and makes its home at Cheraw State Park and Hampton Plantation.  Unique fox squirrels can be spotted at parks like Santee State Park.  Our state park lands and forests are teeming with wildlife.  View the unique features page of each park to see what animals call each park home.