Crackerneck Wildlife Management Area and Ecological Reserve

Property Location

Jackson, SC 29831

Latitude: 33.286  Longitude:-81.781
Acreage: 10600
County: Aiken
Game Zone: 3

Property Type: WMA Specific

Hours of Operation

Consult the Rules & Regulations and/or the Crackerneck WMA brochure/map for open dates and times.

Activities / Facilities

Biking Canoes Driving Equestrian Fishing Hiking Hunting Important Bird Area Nature Viewing

Property Owner Information

This property is not owned by South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, but is part of the leased lands management program.

Property Description

Photograph of Crackerneck WMA

The 10,600-acre Crackerneck Wildlife Management Area and Ecological Reserve is owned by the U. S Department of Energy and managed for them by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). The area is open only during designated dates and times and public access is tightly controlled. The area offers diverse recreational opportunities for hunting, fishing and non-consumptive uses.

The 10,600 acres that comprise Crackerneck contain a diverse mixture of habitats. A 3,000-acre road-less section of the Savannah River swamp is noteworthy. Characterized by old-growth timber, this area is bounded on the west by 5 miles of the Savannah River, on the south by pristine Upper Three Runs Creek and by the multiple-braided channels of Island Creek on the east. Private land forms the north boundary. Drier portions of this unit are characterized by swamp chestnut, cherry-bark, over-cup, willow and water oaks. The wetter portions of the swamp are primarily bald cypress and water tupelo. This area contains ox-bow lakes, sloughs and beaver ponds.

The uplands contain about 7,500 acres with about 60 percent being pine timber. These pine stands range in age from new regeneration areas to open, park-like 70-year old blocks. Suitably aged pine stands are prescribed burned on a 3-year rotation to promote legumes and grasses favorable to quail and other grassland birds.

Bottomland hardwoods compose the remainder of the upper section. Tree species include sweetgum and a variety of oaks. These hardwoods follow stream corridors or occur in large blocks characterized by a switch-cane understory.

Other features in the uplands are a 60-acre dove field, numerous openings planted for wildlife, 30 miles of firebreaks, an 22-acre fish pond, numerous Carolina bays and wetland depressions, old home sites and abandoned cemetaries. The upper section contains a well maintained 50-mile road network that enhances accessibility.

Visitor Registration:
All individuals utilizing Crackerneck are required to sign in at the check station prior to entering the property and sign out before leaving. In addition to entering through the check station gate, individuals are also allowed to access Crackerneck from the Savannah River. These individuals must register before entering the river and return to sign out before leaving. Anyone not following this procedure will be considered trespassing. SCDNR personnel will be present at all times to assist with registration, answer questions, provide maps, etc.

Safety-Buffer Zone:
A 100-yard area west of SC 125 and a large section south of the town of Jackson have been established as safety buffer zones and excluded from the hunt area. The buffer zone is marked at 100-foot intervals with "Safety Zone, No Shooting" and "U.S. Government Property, No Trespassing" signs. It is illegal to shoot into or trespass within these zones. No access is allowed from SC 125 or Brown Road. The only access is at the check station gate on Bent Rim Road, or by the Savannah River.

Data Collection:
All harvested game and fish must be checked in with SCDNR personnel at the main gate for data collection purposes prior to removal from the property.

Prohibited Activities:
Camping, dirt bikes, and all other uses not previously specified are prohibited on Crackerneck. ATV's are not prohibited, but are confined to the designated road system and no off-road use is permitted.

Emergency Evacuation Procedures:
In the event of an emergency, Security personnel will use patrol cars/helicopters to travel the internal Crackerneck road system sounding hi-lo sirens. Upon hearing these sirens, all individuals inside the gate should immediately return to the check station for further evacuation instructions. Individuals who have entered by the Savannah River should not return to the Crackerneck sign-in station. Instead, after exiting the river individuals should telephone the Savannah River Operations Center at 803-725-1911 and inform the call taker that you have evacuated Crackerneck by Savannah River access. Explain you have evacuated as directed by hi-lo sirens of security vehicles. Tune to any of the following radio or television stations for emergency instructions: WBBQ FM 104.3, WKXC FM 99.5, WDOG FM 93.5, WBBQ AM 1340, WBRO AM 1310, WJBF TV Ch 6, WRDW TV Ch 12, WAGT TV Ch 26.

Ecological and forest research projects are being conducted on Crackerneck. Please DO NOT DISTURB. Signs designate these areas as "SREL RESEARCH AREAS" and/or "SRI" or "US FOREST SERVICE-SAVANNAH RIVER RESEARCH AREA." These areas may contain rain gauges, nets, poles, "drift" fences constructed of aluminum flashing, traps of various kinds, duck nest boxes and other equipment. Trees may be marked in various ways such as with flagging, metal bands or tags. All reptiles and amphibians are protected. Please DO NOT capture, harass, remove, or kill any of these animals.