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Posts Tagged ‘Hiking’

Enjoy the Rivers of Columbia on Three Rivers Greenway Trail: West Columbia Riverwalk, Cayce Riverwalk, Saluda Riverwalk

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Are you looking for a great way to enjoy the beautiful rivers at a riverwalk? Columbia, SC has several riverwalk options on the Three Rivers Greenway Trail and the Saluda Riverwalk? No matter what time of year, the riverwalks within the Three Rivers Greenway Trail provide a fantastic place to exercise, take a leisurely stroll with your family, enjoy a picnic, fish, learn how to bike ride, and so much more. Below we’ve got all you need to know about the West Columbia Riverwalk, Cayce Riverwalk, and newly developed Saluda Riverwalk! 



Paved path at West Columbia Riverwalk

Be sure to also check out our list of 50+ totally FREE things to do!

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Sesquicentennial State Park: Gorgeous Splash Pad and $5 Kayak Rentals in Columbia, SC

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Have you visited Columbia, SC’s Sesquicentennial State Park? So close to downtown Columbia, this large park feels like a wooded retreat far away. Enjoy the outdoors, picnics, hiking, rent a kayak or pedal boat, and even a splash pad at Sesquicentennial State Park!

Sesqui State Park is a great place for a seriously budget-friendly day of adventure with your family!

Sesqui State Park
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The 2023 SC7 Expedition: Hike Through South Carolina

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The SC7 Expedition is once again exploring the state from the mountains to the sea this July! The name South Carolina 7 represents seven natural wonders in our state, including National Geographic-recognized ecological areas and historical sites such as the Jocassee Gorges, Sassafras Mountain, and the Chattooga River.

Kidding Around covered this epic month-long event in 2021; you can find everything about that year’s route in our article See South Carolina’s Top 30 Beautiful Natural Spots! This year the team is following a similar path across the state, with a few new locations – including several in Oconee, Spartanburg, and the surrounding vicinity!

The SC7 expedition across South Carolina
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Aiken State Park: An Outdoor Paradise for Camping, Hiking, and Water Activities

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Are you seeking an idyllic destination to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of South Carolina? Look no further than Aiken State Park! Nestled along the South Fork of the Edisto River, this picturesque park offers a serene getaway for anyone seeking an outdoor retreat.

This park, with historical roots tied to the Civilian Conservation Corps, is a haven for camping, hiking, fishing, and water activities. With both rustic and modern campsites, Aiken State Park is the perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking an unforgettable adventure.

Things to Do at Aiken State Park

Camping at Aiken State Park

Aiken State Park boasts 25 campsites, providing visitors with a comfortable and scenic place to spend the night. Whether you prefer tent camping or RV camping, the park has sites that will accommodate your stay & preference. Aiken State Park offers electrical hookups at campsites for added convenience. 

Immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance of the park, surrounded by towering hardwood forests and spring-fed lakes. Set up your campsite, sit around a crackling fire, and relish the sounds of nature as you unwind under the starry night sky.

Picnic space at Aiken State Park

Hiking Trails

For those who crave adventure and exploration, Aiken State Park offers a network of hiking trails that consist of the nature jungle trail and spurs, which wind through the natural landscape. These trails take you on a journey through dense forests, providing glimpses of the abundant wildlife that calls the park home.

There are places to rest on the trails and the park is full of picnic tables. Whether you are an avid hiker or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll, the trails at Aiken State Park cater to all skill levels and interests.

Kids at Aiken State Park

Bring the Kids: Aiken State Park

When we visited, one of the trails was slightly flooded, which can happen in this ecosystem. However, our 10-month-old absolutely loved exploring the water as we walked the trail. So, while encountering unforeseen circumstances is unavoidable while engaging with the natural world, being prepared and receptive to new experiences can pave the way for exciting opportunities.

Aiken State Park picnic green space with playground

In addition to hiking, kids will also enjoy a playground, a children’s pond, fishing, and more. In fact, Aiken State Park participates in the Fishing Tackle Loaner Program, which means you can borrow everything you need for a day of fishing right at the park.

Water Activities

The park is also a paradise for water enthusiasts, with its four lakes available for fishing and an access point to the Edisto River. Canoeing and kayaking are popular activities, allowing visitors to paddle along the 1.7-mile South Fork Edisto River Trail for canoes and kayaks. Canoes are available to rent and are conveniently located at the access point. The serene waters offer a tranquil setting for exploring and connecting with nature.

A Journey into History

Aiken State Park has a rich history that dates back to the Great Depression era. The park was developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a New Deal program aimed at providing employment during the economic downturn.

The CCC played a vital role in creating recreational areas across the country, including Aiken State Park. Today, visitors can witness the enduring legacy of the CCC through the park’s well-preserved infrastructure and natural beauty.

Of particular historical significance is the African American Detachment, a group of African American CCC workers who built and developed this park. Their contributions are commemorated, and their stories are an integral part of the park’s heritage.

Hiking trail at Aiken State Park

Visit Aiken State Park

Aiken State Park stands as a remarkable destination that seamlessly blends nature, history, and recreational activities. With its captivating landscapes, lakes, and trails, the park offers a retreat for outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure and tranquility.

As you explore the hardwood forests, fish in the lakes, or paddle along the scenic river, you’ll find yourself immersed in the beauty of South Carolina’s natural wonders.

Admission: $3 adults; $1.50 SC seniors; $1 children age 6-15; age 5 & younger free

Aiken State Park
1145 State Park Road, Windsor
Open daily 9 am to sunset.

Have you and your family visited Aiken State Park? What are some of your favorite things to do there?

South Carolina State Parks

Love it? There’s more where that came from.

Here’s our guide to all 47 South Carolina State Parks!

Explore Revolutionary War History With a Hike Through the Blackstock Battlefield in Enoree, SC

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Have you checked out Blackstock Battlefield in Enoree, SC? One of the benefits of living in South Carolina is the chance to bring history to life by visiting the hundreds of historical sites across the state. We’ve visited Musgrove Mill State Historic Site many times, as it covers all the bases for my kids: Revolutionary War battlefield to explore, Tyger River trail to hike, and Horseshoe Falls to cool down in. But did you know Musgrove Mill manages a second battlefield?

Located only 7 miles to the north, Blackstock Battlefield preserves the site of the Revolutionary War battle where the infamous British Lt. Col. Tarleton was foiled in his attempt to defeat Patriot Brig. Gen. Sumter in 1780. We recently received a tour of Blackstock Battlefield during the South Carolina 7 Wonders Expedition, and wanted to share with you more on this little-known historic site just 40 minutes from Spartanburg!

Revolutionary War Action

Some months after the Battle at Kings Mountain, Sumter had gathered troops in preparation to attack the British post at Ninety Six. The British summoned Tarleton from his pursuit of the “Swamp Fox” Marion down near the coast to intercept Sumter, and the British Lt. Col. managed to secretly cross the Broad with his feared Dragoons before a defector informed Sumter he was being pursued. Sumter chose to make a stand at Blackstock’s Plantation on the Tyger river as Tarleton raced towards his position with his cavalry and mounted infantry.

Historical Map of Blacksotck Battlefield
Historical Map of Blackstock Battlefiled

When the British caught up with Sumter, they were at a disadvantage; they had gotten ahead of their infantry and artillery in hopes of catching Sumter unawares, and instead were themselves caught in the open under heavy fire from the high ground. After suffering heavy losses and regrouping, Tarleton retreated to join his infantry and artillery – but without half of his men, who had been lost in the battle. Sumter was badly wounded, and was evacuated overnight. Tarleton pursued the Patriots for two more days, and although he claimed a victory for dispersing Sumter’s militia, it was a costly defeat for the British in that they lost numerous officers, horses, and equipment. The Battle of Blackstock’s was a precursor to the action later at Cowpens. 

Blackstock Battlefield view

On Your Visit to Blackstock Battlefield

Directions: From Exit 44 on I-26, go east on SC Hwy 49 about 5.5 miles to the Blackstock’s Historical Marker. Turn left onto Blackstock’s Road, then go about 1.2 miles and turn right onto Monument Road. Continue until the pavement ends, and park in the parking area before the gate. 

For the best vantage point of the battlefield, continue up the gravel road to Monument Hill. Standing with your back to the monument, Blackstock’s Ford of the Tyger River is down the hill to the right. The open meadow was much larger when the Blackstock family lived there, and the British would have come charging up the hill to meet the forces lined up along the top. On the far end of the meadow was where the house and barn were located. 

Take a Hike

The parking area is also the trailhead for the Blackstock Battlefield Passage of the Palmetto Trail. This 1.6-mile loop descends to the Tyger River, and then follows the river for about ½ mile before climbing up to the battlefield. Skirting the edge of the open field, the trail re-enters the woods and returns to the parking area. 

The SC Park Service asks that you remain on signed roads & trails while visiting the battlefield. Going off-trail can be hazardous, especially to children, as there are many deep holes from when the area was logged and the stumps were buried. On our visit, we also saw fire ants, bees, and snakes. Highlights of our hike included seeing an eastern box turtle, taking in the view from Monument Hill, and experiencing another piece of the Revolutionary War puzzle that we have been piecing together during our southeastern travels.

Blackstock Battlefield Monument and fencing

Things to do near Blackstock Battlefield

After hiking the Palmetto Trail Passage, my kiddos were more than happy to make the 15-minute drive to Horseshoe Falls, a small waterfall on a tributary of the Enoree River that is located in Musgrove Mill State Historic Site off Battlefield Trail. Just across the Enoree is the main portion of the State Park, including a Visitor Center and British Camp Trail. A little farther to the east is another State Historic Site, Rose Hill.

Just to the southeast is the Enoree Ranger District of Sumter National Forest. In addition to camping, cycling, OHV, fishing, horseback riding, and hunting, the Enoree is home to the Enoree Passage of the Palmetto Trail, with 36 continuous miles of trail linking Newberry, Laurens, and Union counties.

If you are headed north, towards Spartanburg, on your way home, you will pass near Glenn Springs, a small community with a lot of history, as well as by Croft State Park.

Blackstock Battlefield Passage of the Palmetto Trail
Blackstock Battlefield is open 9 am – 6 pm daily.

Musgrove Mill State Historic Site
Admission to Musgrove Mill is $3 adults; $1.50 SC seniors; $1 children age 6-15; age 5 & younger free.
Musgrove Mill is open 9 am to 6 pm daily.

Adventure is Waiting at Congaree National Park

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Are you planning a trip to Congaree National Park in Hopkins, SC? Whether you want to kayak, canoe or hike through the old-growth forest, Congaree National Park is a fabulous adventure. With unique hiking trails for all skill levels, plus so many natural features and animals to observe, there’s something for everyone at Congaree National Park.

This article includes:
Kayak or Canoe Congaree National Park
Congaree National Park Visitors Center
Congaree’s Old-Growth Forest
The Boardwalk Loop Trail at Congaree National Park
Things to Know Before You Go to Congaree National Park
Places to Stay Near Congaree National Park

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