Exploring the State Parks of South Carolina

When it comes to vacation destinations, South Carolina is famous for the many beachfront recreational areas it possesses. There are also a great number of historically significant sites that call the state home. What many people fail to realize though is that some of the best recreational opportunities and some of the best historical sites are located either in or nearby some of the many state parks of South Carolina. Anyone interested in fishing, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, wildlife viewing, and camping should definitely explore the idea of a camping trip to one South Carolina's many state parks.

A look at some of the state parks of South Carolina:

Myrtle Beach State Park

One of the most popular state parks in all of South Carolina, Myrtle Beach State Park is a must see spot for anyone visiting the area. The park is located nearby other popular vacation destinations in South Carolina, but allows for the traveler to see and enjoy the natural beauty of the shoreline as well as the oceanfront forest in a less tourist way. The park offers not only campground style overnight accommodations, but also cabin and apartment type rentals too. Some of the attractions and activities available in the park include a wide open beach, fishing that is available from both the large fishing pier as well as from the beach, an equestrian trail with beach access, and more.

Huntington Beach State Park

Fishing is also one of the popular activities at Huntington Beach State Park which sits just south of the city of Myrtle Beach. The park allows visitors to enjoy both surf fishing as well as fishing from the jetty. There are a number of wildlife viewing opportunities in the park including loggerhead turtles and alligators, and what is known as some of the best bird watching opportunities on the East Coast. The park is a popular camping destination with many campsites located within easy walking distance of the beach. Boating is also available in Huntington Beach State Park, with a boat ramp that provides direct access to the inlet that the park itself sits on.

Hunting Island State Park

One visit to Hunting Island State Park and it is easy to see why it is the most popular state park in South Carolina. There is a great deal of wildlife viewable in the park including loggerhead turtles, dolphins, pelicans, deer, raccoons, rattlesnakes, and more. The park is home to five miles of beach that visitors are free to explore and enjoy. Camping is a popular activity at the park and those that stay there also have the opportunity to spend time fishing, both from the shoreline as well as from 1,100 foot long fishing pier that extends into Fripp Inlet. One must see attraction in Hunting Island State Park is the Hunting Island Lighthouse which provides a great view of the surrounding landscape and is also the only historic lighthouse in South Carolina that is open to the public. Some of the other activities available there are hiking, mountain biking, boating, and bird watching.

Calhoun Falls State Recreation Area

Sitting right on the shore of the popular fishing destination Lake Russell, Calhoun Falls State Recreation Area is a great destination for anyone looking for an opportunity to spend time in a more undeveloped area of the state of South Carolina. The park offers a number of activities including camping, swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, and more. The park is also located nearby a number of popular equestrian trails.

Sesquicentennial State Park

Anyone visiting the Columbia, South Carolina area and who also has an interest in outdoor recreation would be well served in a trip to nearby Sesquicentennial State Park. The park is popular with locals as well as tourists and is home to a 30-acre lake that provides opportunities for fishing, boating, and swimming. One of the most used features of Sesquicentennial State Park is the trail system that has been developed there. There are trails within the park that are available for both hiking and mountain biking, and there is even a short nature trail available that many people find enjoyable. There is year round camping available in the park and there are campsites available to both tent campers and RV users.

The state park options don't stop with those options those as South Carolina is home to 46 different state parks, recreation areas and historical sites.

Coastal South Carolina State Parks:

South Carolina State Parks With Extensive Equestrian Facilities:

  • Cheraw State Park
  • Croft State Natural Area
  • Poinsett State Park
  • Kings Mountain State Park
  • Lee State Natural Area
  • H. Cooper Black Jr. Memorial Field Trial and Recreation Area

South Carolina State Parks With Extensive Water Recreation Options:

  • Aiken State Natural Area
  • Andrew Jackson State Park
  • Barnwell State Park
  • Cheraw State Park
  • Colleton State Park
  • Baker Creek State Park
  • Calhoun Falls State Recreation Area
  • Chester State Park
  • Croft State Natural Area
  • Devils Fork State Park
  • Dreher Island State Recreation Area
  • Givhans Ferry State Park
  • Hamilton Branch State Recreation Area
  • Edisto Beach State Park
  • Goodale State Park
  • Hickory Knob State Resort Park
  • Huntington Beach State Park
  • Hunting Island State Park
  • Joes Gap State Park
  • Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area
  • Kings Mountain State Park
  • Keowee-Toxaway State Natural Area
  • Lake Greenwood State Recreation Area
  • Lake Hartwell State Recreation Area
  • Lake Wateree State Recreation Area
  • Lee State Natural Area
  • Myrtle Beach State Park
  • Lake Warren State Park
  • Landsford Canal State Park
  • Little Pee Dee State Park
  • Oconee State Park
  • Poinsett State Park
  • Paris Mountain State Park
  • Sadlers Creek State Recreation Area
  • Santee State Park
  • Table Rock State Park
  • Sesquicentennial State Park
  • Woods Bay State Natural Area

A visit to the state of South Carolina isn't complete without experiencing the beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities of the state parks that are spread throughout the area. From the lowland areas, to the upland areas, to the boundless beaches, the state parks of South Carolina offer a chance to see some of the more popular tourist destinations on the East Coast in a way that most travelers miss out on. From historical significance to tranquil beauty, the state parks of South Carolina truly offer something for everyone.