Maritime Forest Of St. Philips Island

Maritime Forest Of St. Philips Island

I have no idea how to describe this barrier island. Most of the 4,600+ acres are untouched. It’s the forest here, almost tropical jungle, that owns the island.

Maritime Forest Of St. Philips Island
Maritime Forest Of St. Philips Island

St. Philips is only accessible by boat, is owned by the SC Dept. Of Natural Resources, and off limits except by prearranged landings. A local eco-tour group is working on bringing people out.

We were lucky enough to be on board a first day test run and given free range of the forest and beaches. Bring bug spray, water, and food.

Maritime Forest Of St. Philips Island
Maritime Forest Of St. Philips Island

The SC Park Rangers had a truck and trailer so we started at the far end. Several of us walked along the forest trails rather than stick with the rangers. For me a much better method. Besides none of us, rangers included, knew what to expect of the trip anyway. We lost no one to it was a success.

Maritime Forest Of St. Philips Island
Maritime Forest Of St. Philips Island

The island is made up of small peaks and valleys. Each valley being a pond or fresh water swamp. The general island surface is dusty and has kept the contours of the ocean bottom that covered it a gazillion years ago.

Maritime Forest Of St. Philips Island
Maritime Forest Of St. Philips Island

As a barrier island off the coast it is subject to storms and of course hurricanes. However St, Philips is unique in that all the major hurricanes slip up the coast and miss it. As such it is a science laboratory. The huge Loblolly Pines live alongside the old Live Oaks, palmetto covers the ground.

Maritime Forest Of St. Philips Island
Maritime Forest Of St. Philips Island

Much of the wildlife has not interacted with people and ignored us if given space.

Maritime Forest Of St. Philips Island
Maritime Forest Of St. Philips Island
Maritime Forest Of St. Philips Island
Maritime Forest Of St. Philips Island

The next time I go the shore areas will be explored a little more. I had never been in a barrier island forest which even though the photographs would be limited had to be my first stop.

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