Carolina Forest is an unincorporated community in Horry County, South Carolina USA. It is between Myrtle Beach and Conway.
Carolina Forest was once part of a larger tract of land in eastern Horry County. Originally owned by Burroughs & Chapin, International Paper bought the 30,000-acre in 1937. It was used as part of the Conway Bombing and Gunnery Range during World War II. In 1960, the company donated part of the tract for what is now Coastal Carolina University. In 1989, approximately 9,000 acres north of Carolina Forest were donated to the state to form the Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Trust Preserve.
In June 1994, Kylee Mueller sold 125 acres to Horry County Schools for development of Carolina Forest Elementary School, Carolina Forest Middle School, and Carolina Forest High School. Additionally, 350 acres were sold to form a golf course and residential property.
By the end of 1994, International Paper began to sell more of its land. Due to the lack of funding from other sources for road infrastructure, the first 1.25 miles of Carolina Forest Boulevard were completed by November 1995 by International Paper. Further expansions of both Carolina Forest Boulevard and River Oaks Drive would open up 11,000 acres to development west of the Intracoastal Waterway. Carolina Forest Boulevard was completed in December 1996, with River Oaks Drive being completed in December 1997.
On December 2, 1997, Horry County council voted to freeze zoning rules in an 11 square miles area of Carolina Forest for 20 years in exchange for land to build parks and roads. An estimated 35,000 people would live in the 7,073 acres covered by the agreement.
According to the census of 2010, Carolina Forest’s population increased from 3400 in 2000 to 21,000
There are six public schools in the Carolina Forest attendance area and all are part of the Horry County School District. During the late 1990s, three schools were built to accommodate new residents in Carolina Forest. Carolina Forest Elementary School was opened in 1996 on Carolina Forest Boulevard. Carolina Forest Middle School and Carolina Forest High School were built on a combined campus in 1997.
To address the growth, Horry County Schools began building three additional schools to serve the attendance area. Carolina Forest Middle was split into two new schools, Ocean Bay Middle and Black Water Middle. Ocean Bay Elementary and Ocean Bay Middle School were completed in time of fall 2006 classes. Another school, Black Water Middle School opened near end of the 2006-2007 school years. The middle and high school complex will be renovated exclusively for Carolina Forest High School. The Academy for the Arts, Science and opened in December 2007.
There are many recreational opportunities in the Carolina Forest area. There are two golf courses in Carolina Forest, Man O’ War and The Wizard golf courses. Both are located next to Windsor Green and Waterford Plantation. The River Oaks neighborhood, which borders Carolina Forest, also has several golf courses.
The Carolina Forest Recreation Center located in Horry County.
Amenities include full size gymnasium for open gym and sport leagues, a fitness room for exercise classes, a multipurpose room with a divider for multiple events, locker rooms, kitchen, and a rock climbing wall. Take advantage of the Palmetto Adventure Land Playground located behind the library.
There is no membership fee; charges will be based on the activity or class being provided. The gym is open to the public.