Description - South Carolina provides a number of state and federally administered recreation facilities to entice recreationists of all types. The mountain biker is welcomed to most of these places. Richard B.Russell Lake and J. Strom Thurmond Lake, are popular recreation sites. The Sumter NF occupies 360,000 acres of land in this region and provides the Buncombe trail as it winds through forested hill and valley terrain. Points of interest include old cemeteries, wagon roads, and plantation sites. Opportunities also exist to view various wildlife species and abundant plant life.
The region contains portions of several major rivers in the state: the Savannah, Congaree, Catawba andPee Dee. This area is characterized by slow wide waterways and tobacco and cotton fields. Many of the large plantations in South Carolina, so abundant in southern history, are located in this region. Natural areas include Carolina National Wildlife Refuge, Manchester Forest, Congaree Swamp Monument and Aiken. Firetower Road in Paris Mountain Park is located north of Greenville, this trail is an old road bed in Paris Mountain State Park. The road has a challenging climb as it rises over 400 ft. in elevation from trailhead to the top. The road is surrounded by old stands of poplar, maple, oak and pine. Also available at the Park is a picnic area, hiking trails, and a natural mountain lake.
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 of the state. Beaches, state parks and the Francis Marion NF 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.
Located in the Harbison State Forest, in Richland county, the Harbison loop is just minutes from downtown Columbia. The forest is 2200 acres and serves many locals as well as visitors from outside the Greater Columbia area. The Harbison Loop is well marked and offers a challenging single track ride, with some short double track stretches. There is a creek crossing opportunity and also views of the neighboring Broad River.
Recreation - Recreation in the natural areas of South Carolina include fishing, hiking and camping. Because this state has 200 miles of shoreline most visitors and locals enjoy water-oriented sports. South Carolina Lakes & Reservoirs are extremely popular with the natives. Ever tried to backpack from a mountain bike? Horn Creek in Sumter National Forest is primarily used by mountain bikes, but hikers are welcome. This is a 5.7-mile loop trail and winds through the rolling piedmont hills of oak, hickory, and pine and would make an excellent trip for those wanting a challenge.
Climate - South Carolina 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. The State Parks make a great get away for those needing respite in the form of water. During the winter months temperatures dip into the 40s, but rarely remain there for long. Average January temperatures throughout the state 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.