Family days out in South Carolina's State Parks involve admiring seahorses and osprey, rainbow-filled waterfalls, and subtropical islands. Here are some of the best parks for family days out:
Santee State Park has not one but three children's playgrounds. Search for several hidden geocaches with your family, go birdwatching on nature trails inhabited by Blue Heron and Osprey, or swim in the lake. Grab an ice cream from the Park Store after a game of tennis, or follow the 8 mi. biking trail.
A 5,000 acre semitropical island, Hunting Island is 15 mi. from Beaufort, and is the most visited park in the state of South Carolina. The island is home to a picturesque 19th c. lighthouse and several beaches, which provide a sunny setting for water sports of all kinds. Come to the Nature Center to learn about native alligators, rattlesnakes, seahorses, and other exciting creatures. Wander the Marsh Boardwalk, or loll in a hammock.
Children are delight in running through the rainbows produced by the mist emanating from the waterfalls at Caesars Head State Park. Spectacular views will stun your whole family at Caesars Head Overlook, where hawks and other raptors soar overhead. Amble along the riverside Jones Gap Trail and cool off with a refreshing dip. Or clamber up the Raven Cliff Falls Trail to marvel at the state's highest waterfall.
Hiking paths bring you to rare wild flowers and waterfalls, rocky mountains, and crystal clear lakes. Here are some of the state's best hikes:
Hike to the summit of Table Rock Mountain for spectacular views over the state. Less strenuous hiking can be found on the Lakeside Trail, which takes you past the park's intriguing Civilian Conservation Corps history. Cool off by dipping your feet in one of the sparkling mountain streams.
Search for the rare Oconee Bell flower as you hike the eponymous trail. On the lake tour of Lake Jocassee, you'll see stunning waterfalls and beautiful forests. Or hike Bear Cove Trail to learn about the history of the valley before the lake was formed. Before you leave, make your way to Jumping Off Rock for incredible views of the Jocassee Gorges.
Arrive in spring to see the laurel blossoming, and hike the Palmetto Connector Trail to Oconee Station. There, you will be entranced by the Station Cove Falls and an enthralling heritage site. Oconee has six hiking and nature trails, including the Old Waterwheel and Lake trails, which loop within the park's boundaries. Hidden Falls and Tamassee Knob Trails are not circular, but well worth adventuring along to catch sight of their numerous fascinating features.
Surf fishing, geocaching, golfing, and water sports are among the outdoor adventures that await in these South Carolina State Parks:
You'll find the best surf fishing in the state of South Carolina at Myrtle Beach State Park. Cloaked in forests, the park is a serene hideaway from the busy beach, with its variety of water sports. Stately trees enclose nature trails and pretty glades, which give way to ocean views. Come geocaching, swimming, and bike or horseback ride through the park's trail system.
Come kayak at the sublime Edisto Beach State Park. Full of Native American heritage, the park, situated on Edisto Island is surrounded by beautiful ocean waters. A sustainably built Nature Center showcases exhibits on the natural beauty of the island, while interpretative trails wind through palmetto trees and oaks garlanded in Spanish moss. Look out for deer, osprey, and alligators.
Golfing fans can tee off at this emerald gem of a park, which has been voted one of the best places in the country for golfing. Paddle in Lake Juniper and explore cypress swamps, looking out for the red cockaded woodpecker as you go. Fishing, hiking, and biking from boardwalk trails make for soothing summer days in the great outdoors, immersed in a unique ecosystem.