1,500 acres of historic land added to the Francis Marion National Forest in SC

Located just north of McClellanville, SC, the 1,450-acre White Oak Atlantic Creosote tract contains an extensive network of dirt roads through some of the most beautiful native longleaf pine woods in the Lowcountry. The property was purchased from White Oak Forestry Corporation — a local corporation that stewards and conserves thousands of acres of significant forest in and around the Santee Delta.

Bordered on three sides by the quarter-million-acre national forest, the property sits across Highway 17 from the 22,000-acre Santee Coastal Reserve and beyond that, the 60,000-acre Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge. White Oak is the largest acquisition by the Charleston County Greenbelt Program.

The 1,450 acres also represent the biggest private holding left in the Francis Marion and the seventh addition to the national forest by Open Space Institute — which has conserved more than 8,100 acres in and around the forest since completing its first project there in 2014.

The roadways and paths in the tract will make the forest more accessible for hiking, birding and hunting, as well as providing natural habitat for a wide variety of local species.

It’s land that was once part of Peachtree Plantation on the Santee River — owned by Declaration signer Thomas Lynch III and celebrated by poet laureate Archibald Rutledge — that will now belong to the public.

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