Description - South Carolina is renown for it's diversity in it's State Parks. With over 50 areas to choose from, between the coast and the inland areas, there is something for everyone. Let's take a look at some of the more popular ones and focus on their highlights. |
In the southeastern corner, you'll find some excellent recreational opportunities in the form of Huntington Beach which offers the best preserved beach on the Grand Strand. The diverse natural environment of the South Carolina coast can be observed at the freshwater lagoon, saltmarsh, nature trail, and along the oceanfront. The park is one of the finest birdwatching sites on the east coast. Huntington Beach is also the site of the historic castle "Atalaya".
Just up the coast is a place called Edisto Beach. Its 1,255 acres include 1 1/2 miles of sandy beaches, a dense live oak forest and some of the tallest palmetto trees in the state. Visitors can observe life in the marsh and comb the beach for seashells and fossils while enjoying a stay in a cabin or at the beach-front campground.
Further inland is Lake Warren with picnic facilities, a 200-acre lake and a community building. This 422-acre park has large tracts of wetlands and woodlands that support a wide range of plant species and wildlife habitats. The park's flat terrain features a flood plain forest with a variety of large trees, including four species of pines.
Towards the center of the state near the town of Columbia are some forested areas that will take your breath away. Sesquicentennial 1,419-acre park, situated in the middle of the sandhills region, features a beautiful 30-acre lake surrounded by nature trails and picnic areas. The park's proximity to downtown Columbia and three major interstate highways attracts both local residents and travelers for hiking and fishing.
Dreher Island is just 30 miles northwest of Columbia, the capital. The area consists of three islands linked to the mainland by a causeway and two bridges. Its 348-acres and 12 miles of shoreline make it an ideal place for water recreation and family outings. In the same area is Lake Wateree provides a habitat for many species of wildlife, with an abundance of whitetail deer, gray squirrels, raccoons, opossums and wild turkey. Bird species include egrets, blue heron, mallards and wood ducks. A large oak tree in the picnic area dates back over 100 years.
The nothwestern portion is where the lions share of parks are, and for good reason. With the beauty of the forest and the abundance of lakes here there's no reason to go anywhere else. Backpacking is a popular sport here.Oconeeis a popular mountain park that sits on a plateau in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. The park's mountain lakes provide opportunities for swimming and fishing. Visitors can enjoy the year-round solitude of rustic cabins and spacious picnic areas near the western terminus of the Foothills Hiking Trail. North of there is Jones Gap. Trailside camping in one of South Carolina's most pristine wilderness areas in the Upcountry can be enjoyed at this 3,346-acre park. Located in the 10,000-acre Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, this park encompasses the Middle Saluda River, designated the state's first scenic river. In addition, the park is an access point to the Foothills Hiking Trail. More than 400 species of flora including rare and endangered plants and state record trees, are also found here. While mountain biking is not available in the wilderness areas there are plenty of other places that welcome bikers. On the upside, Backpackers will find a virtual heaven with the availability of wildlife here.