South Carolina State Outdoors

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State Parks
Camping and Hiking
Hunting and Fishing
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South Carolina State Parks

Hunting Island State Park
This popular park near historic Beaufort is a large secluded barrier island with semi-tropical beauty and an abundance of wildlife. A variety of flora and fauna may be seen throughout the park. The historic 19th-century Hunting Island lighthouse provides an excellent view of the coastline and is the only lighthouse in South Carolina open to the public. The island got its name because it was once used for hunting deer, raccoon and other small game and waterfowl. In the 1930's the park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Today the park is a popular beach destination. Activities: Lighthouse, Park Store, Beach Shop, Trails, Boardwalk, fishing pier, Fishing, boating, and picnicking. For information call: (843)838-2011


Myrtle Beach State Park
Located in the heart of the Grand Strand, Myrtle Beach State Park is one of the most popular public beaches along the South Carolina coast. This 312-acre oceanfront park is one of the last natural areas remaining along the northern South Carolina coast. Myrtle Beach State Park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's and has the distinction of being the first state park open to the public in South Carolina. Activities: Park Store, Gift Shop, Nature center, Nature Trail, fishing, picnicking and shelters, playground equipment and pool swimming, For information call: (843)238-5325


Table Rock State Park
Table Rock Mountain provides an impressive backdrop for an upcountry retreat. The most challenging hiking trails in the state park system, a Nature Center and year-round programs are among the many attractions awaiting each park visitor. The restaurant offers diners a panoramic view of nearby Table Rock and Pinnacle mountains. Built in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps, many of the structures on the park today display the CCC's unique rustic style of architecture and stonework. The entire park, including the mountain, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Activities: Restaurant, Park Store, Nature Center, Nature/History programs, Nature/hiking trails, canoe rentals, fishing, boating, picnic shelters, playground equipment, carpet golf and swimming and pedal boat rentals. For information call: (864)878-9813


Rivers Bridge State Park
In the waning days of the Civil War, General William T. Sherman's Union troops clashed with Confederate soldiers at a place called Rivers Bridge on the Salkehatchie River. Although vastly outnumbered, the southerners held the crossing for two days before being forced out of their breastworks. The battle of Rivers Bridge (February 2 -3, 1865) was the only major resistance encountered by Sherman's army on its historic march through the state. The breastworks that guarded this crossing remains today as a stark, silent monument to the battle. Rivers Bridge is the only state park in South Carolina that commemorates the Civil War. Periodic educational programs and encampments are held to depict the battle and interpret military life during the Civil War. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Activities: Nature trail, camping, fishing, boating, picnic shelters, playground equipment and meeting building. For information call: (803)267-3675


Colleton State Park
Only five minutes from I-95, this 35-acre park is a popular stop-over for interstate travelers. Campers, fishermen and canoeists all enjoy the peaceful and relaxing waters of the Edisto River, with its diversity of wildlife. Colleton State Park is on a portion of the river that has been designated as an official canoe and kayak trail which carries paddlers into a rare, natural world of wildlife and scenic beauty. The park was originally built in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Activities: camping, nature trail, canoe trail, fishing and picnic shelters. For information call: (843) 538-8206


Camping and Hiking in South Carolina

Palmetto Trail
When completed, this recreational trail will link the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. Several passages are open in Santee Cooper Country. The High Hills of Santee Passage joins Mill Creek Park to Poinsett State Park, an 8-mile trek in Sumter county. The Lake Moultrie Passage is 26 miles long and begins at the U.S. Forest Service's Canal Recreation Area on U.S. 52 and ends adjacent to S.C. 45 at the Diversion Canal near Santee Cooper's Cross Generating Station. The 42-mile Swamp Fox Passage stretches from off U.S. 17 near Awendaw to the Witherbee District Office of the U.S. Forest Center, off S.C. 402 north of Huger. For information call: (803)771-0870


Sumter National Forest
Wildlife and greenspace, recreation areas, hiking and biking trails, and tranquil solitude are always close at hand in this 118,529-acre woodland. For information call: (803)561-4000


Kings Mountain National Military Park and Kings Mountain State Park
In 1780, a flood of rough-shod mountain pioneers dashed south from Tennessee, gathered force along the way, engulfed the overconfident Tory force on this craggy promontory and turned the tide of the American Revolution. A film and marked battlefield trail tell the story. Adjoining is Kings Mountain State Park, offering camping, swimming, fishing, boat rentals, nature and hiking trails, and a frontier homestead called the "Living History Farm". For information call: (864)936-7921


Foothills Trail
Several points, some by boat, access this 85-mile woodland hiking trail, which winds over the ridges on the North Carolina-South Carolina line form the Mountain Bridge to Oconee State Park. "Foothills" is a modest misnomer; this is rugged, steep, mountain country. A true wilderness experience. Primitive campsites are located along the trail. For information call: (864)836-6115


Hunting and Fishing in South Carolina

Santee State Park
Located in the heart of Santee-Cooper Country with convenient access from two interstate highways, this 2,496-acre park offers land and pier-based cabins, as well as two lakefront camping areas. A sportsman's paradise, this park is known for its catfish, largemouth and striped bass fishing, and is the site of numerous fishing tournaments. A full-service restaurant and the Village Round meeting building make the park popular for group functions. For information call: (803) 854-2408


Calhoun Falls State Park
Calhoun Falls State Park is located on Lake Russell, one of South Carolina's most popular fishing lakes. Coves with excellent fishing habitats provide an abundance of bass, bluegill, crappie, catfish and more. With its 26,650 acres of water recreation, Lake Russell is also ideal for sailing, water skiing and power boating. For information call: (864)447-8267


Givhans Ferry State Park
This area was originally a ferry crossing in the 18th and 19th centuries, then later developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's. Today visitors enjoy camping, staying in a cabin on a high bluff overlooking the Edisto and great fishing among the Spanish moss-draped oaks. Canoeists enjoy paddling to this 988-acre park from Colleton State Park. A stretch of the Edisto River in this area has been designated the Edisto River Canoe and Kayak Trail, a blackwater river course which carries paddlers into a fascinating world of wildlife and scenic beauty. For information call: (843)873-0692


Cheraw State Park
South Carolina's first state park property and originally built in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps, Cheraw State Park, is located in the sandhills region. The park's 360-acre lake offers fishing and various recreational opportunities in a beautiful setting. Towering cypress trees at the upper end of the lake are among the park's best kept secrets. Cabins and lakefront campsites are available for overnight guests. Two group camps are popular with church, school and civic groups. A championship 18-hole golf course with a full-service pro shop is the park's newest addition. Designed by Tom Jackson, the course is laid out among rolling sandhills, pines and mixed hardwoods with Lake Juniper serving as a backdrop for several holes. For information call: (800)868-9630


Landsford Canal State Park
Landsford Canal, the best preserved of numerous 19th-century South Carolina river canals, has remnants of all its major structural features. It is the uppermost of four canals constructed on the Catawba Wateree river system during the period 1820-1835. Boats used the canals to bypass the rapids while carrying goods to and from the coast. The 460-acre park includes the remnants of 1820 canal-culverts, stone bridges, locks, historic mill site and a lockkeeper's house which contains interpretive exhibits about the canal system in South Carolina. The rocky shoals on the Catawba River are home to one of the world's largest populations of rocky shoals spider lilies. The spider lily can best be seen in full bloom in May. The shoals also provide excellent fishing opportunities for largemouth bass and bream. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For information call: (803)789-5800


Other South Carolina Outdoor activities

South Carolina also offers the following outdoor activities:
  • Biking
  • Boating
  • Canoeing
  • Climbing
  • Golfing
  • Horseback Riding
  • Water Skiing