Description - South Carolina provides a number of state and federally administered recreation facilities to entice recreationists of all types. The state can be split into four distinct regions: Upland country, ideal for camping and hiking. central Carolina, the Grand Strand and the southern coast. The Upland region encompasses the land in the northwest corner. The Savannah River forms the western border of this region, separating Georgia from South Carolina. Lakes formed by damming the Savannah, Richard B. Russell Lake and J. Strom Thurmond Lake, are popular activities sites. The Sumter National Forest occupies 360,000 acres of land in this region.
The central part lies between Interstates 95, 77 and 20. The region contains portions of several major rivers: the Savannah, Congaree, Catawba and Pee Dee. This area is characterized by slow wide waterways and tobacco and cotton fields. Many of the large plantations that are so intricate in southern history, are located in this region. Natural areas include Carolina Wildlife Refuge, Manchester Forest, Congaree Swamp National Monument and Aiken Park.
The Waccamaw includes portions of the Great Pee Dee, Little Pee Dee and Waccamaw Rivers. Habitats range from black water forested wetlands to tidal forested and emergent wetlands, which were once the mainstay of the Georgetown rice culture. Large concentrations of wintering waterfowl, wading birds and neo-tropical migratory songbirds utilize the refuge area. The area is the northernmost nesting area for swallow tailed kites.
The Grand Strand includes 60 miles of wide, white sand beaches from Myrtle Beach to Charleston. This area attracts more tourists than any other region. Beaches, state parks and the Marion National Forest provide recreation opportunities in this area. The Pee Dee and Little Pee Dee Rivers join and flow into the Intracoastal waterway immediately south of Myrtle Beach, perfectly situated for fishing.
From Charleston southward along the coast barrier islands have been formed and create a myriad of waterways. This area is best known for the resorts of Hilton Head Island, but unique cultural and natural resources exist here as well. The Savannah National Wildlife Refuge and Hunting Island Park provide excellent opportunities for visitors to enjoy the diverse flora and fauna of the coastal plain.
Recreation - Recreation in the natural areas include fishing, mountain biking and backpacking. Because there are 200 miles of shoreline most visitors and locals enjoy water-oriented sports. Many people come to the region to enjoy the plethora of golf courses in the resort areas.
The 250,000 acre Francis Marion NF lies near the coast. This coastal plain jewel of the area offers visitors a wealth of experiences. For instance, hikers may encounter endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers: canoeist may drift by sleepy alligators and horseback riders may walk up on a flock of wild turkeys. At Lick Fork Lake in Sumter NF there is a 10-site campground and a designated picnic area with a bath house. The day area was designed to accommodate the fishing enthusiast with a pedestrian bridge and boat ramp for non-motorized boats. The day use area and a fishing pier are handicapped accessible. The lake is managed to enhance catfish, bream, and bass populations. Five access points of the Horn Creek Trail originate at this site. Although primarily used by mountain bikes, hikers are welcome.
Climate - The state has a mild climate that remains warm throughout the year. Humidity is a major factor in the summer months as the temperatures rise to 95 degrees F. July is the hottest time of the year, during which Columbia has an average temperature of 92 degrees. The coastal and mountain towns average slightly lower temperatures. During the winter months temperatures dip into the 40s, but rarely remain there for long. Average January temperatures throughout range from 50 to 60 degrees F. Snow rarely falls, and if it does it doesn't remain for long. Most of the precipitation comes to the region during July in summer thundershowers.
Set on the eastern seaboard, South Carolina enjoys, proximity with North Carolina to the north and Georgia to the south. Location is everything, or so they say, and this state has to take advantage of it's envious position. With over a hundred miles of immaculate , white sand beaches and half way to New York and Florida natives don't take their state for granted