Saturday, November 1, 2014

Cuddo Unit of the Santee National Wildlife Refuge near Summerton, S.C.

Cuddo?!?! Cuddo is one of four units of the Santee National Wildlife Refuge near Summerton, S.C.  It was established in 1941 as a sanctuary for the wildlife displaced by the Santee Cooper hydro-electric project that first brought electricity to many rural areas in the midlands of South Carolina. In total. it encompasses approximately 13,000 acres along the shores of beautiful Lake Marion.

The Cuddo Unit of the Santee National Wildlife Refuge includes a 7.5 mile wildlife drive and another 8.5 miles of hiking and bicycling trails that let you explore the fields, woods, and wetlands and observe a wide range of wildlife, e.g. birds, deer, alligators. The Cuddo Unit also includes at least 8 miles of watercourse for canoe or kayak enthusiasts to enjoy.

The refuge is normally open year round from dawn until dusk. However, visitor access to portions of the refuge are seasonally restricted to provide migratory bird sanctuary areas for wintering ducks and geese. For example, the waters of Cantey Bay Savannah Branch, and Black Bottom are restricted from the beginning of November through the end of February. Visitors should stop at the main office of the wildlife refuge check the schedule.

Both hunting and fishing are permitted in the area, subject to state, federal, and refuge regulations. Permits are available at no cost from the main office or the Santee National Wildlife Refuge web site. Enjoy your visit to the Cuddo Unit of the wildlife refuge and make sure you explore other sites around nearby Historic Summerton, S.C.

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