Discover South Carolina

An Online Community Dedicated to Discovering South Carolina

Congaree National Park

Once known as a national monument, Congaree National Park is South Carolina’s only national park. Located in lower Richland County, Congaree National Park takes visitors through the largest remnant of old-growth floodplain forest remaining on the continent.

This park offers many features for visitors. Located off of Old Bluff Road on National Park Road, Congaree National Park offers camping, canoeing, and hiking. One great thing about the park is that it is free. If you go, you’ll find a lobby filled with information about the park. Park Rangers are available to answer all of your questions as well.

On Saturdays and Sundays, the park offers free guided canoe trips. You have to sign up quickly for these trips, though, since they fill up fast. There are several hiking trails throughout the park. Hikers can choose from self-guided boardwalk tours or get off the boardwalk and get into the swampland. If you decide to hike, make sure to bring some bug spray. Mosquitoes can be fierce in the summer.

All in all, Congaree National Park is a treasure for South Carolina. According to the park office, people from over 100 countries have visited the park and signed its guestbook. So, take a picnic lunch and head down Bluff Road to visit Congaree National Park

Visit:

Congaree National Park

Lexington County Peach Festival

Lexington County will be celebrating freedom and peaches on the Fourth of July in Gilbert. This past spring South Carolina’s peach crop experienced a major set-back with a late cold snap. Many of South Carolina’s peaches did not make it through the spring cold snap. But, in Gilbert Lexington County residents will be going on as planned by celebrating freedom and peaches.

Make a visit out to Gilbert to support our local farmers. Visit these web sites for more information:

Lexington County Peach Festival

Certified SC Grown 

Historic Brattonsville

Brattonsville is located in lower York County near the town of McConnells. According to their website Historic Brattonsville is,

“a 775-acre historic site that includes a Revolutionary War battlefield. Each July a two-day event commemorating the Battle of Huck’s Defeat (a revolutionary war skirmish) is recreated near its original battlefield site. The site features more than 30 historic structures, which may be toured and are also used during living history programs where costumed-interpreters relive the past by demonstrating a variety of programs.”

Brattonsville is well worth a visit. You can visit several of its historic buildings and even their gift shop. They conduct several programs throughout the year for the entire family.

This historic site was used during the making of the Patriot. Visit their website for more information and also take a look at our picture gallery for pictures of Historic Brattonsville.

Historic Brattonsville

Charleston Area Beaches

The Post and Courier is running a special story on Charleston’s beaches. This is a really great interactive story on the beaches surrounding the Charleston area. The beaches range from Hunting Island in Beaufort County to Bull’s Island in northern Charleston County. To view this story visit:

The Post and Courier

King’s Mountain – The Turn of the Tide

South Carolina was a significant state during the Revolution, in that more battles were fought here than in any other state in the union. One of the most important, if not the single most important, battle during the Revolution was fought at King’s Mountain. Here British commander Patrick Ferguson camped out to snuff out the Americans. Ferguson personally picked this mountain because he thought that the Americans would not be able to defeat him here.

Originally, the forest surrounding King’s Mountain was filled with towering trees with hardly any underbrush. This made it easy for the British to  spot American troops. But the adverse was true as well. The Americans, coming from Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina hid behind trees and slowly inched their way up to the British stronghold. The Americans were repelled several times, but their fortitude proved stronger than that of the British and they commanded the mountain in only an hour of fighting.

Ferguson was killed at this battle along with a good number of his British troops. The Americans won the battle and sent couriers to Washington to inform him of their success. This significantly turned the tide of the war in the states. This battle prompted Cornwallis to start his trip into North Carolina towards Yorktown.

After the defeat of the British at King’s Mountain, the Americans won the day again at Cowpens. Afterwards, the Americans headed north to the Dan River before forcing the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.

The National Park Service has constructed a very nice walking trail up King’s Mountain. It’s about 1.5 miles around the mountain. To learn more about this battle and park visit:

King’s Mountain National Battlefield 

Cowpens National Battlefield

Located in Cherokee County, Cowpens National Battlefield gives visitors a chance to experience one of the most famous Revolutionary War battlefields in South Carolina. Visitors can take a guided tour around the battlefield. Dotted throughout the trail are several historic signs mentioning where British and American forces fought. The park also has a driving trail that circles the battlefield and a hiking trail that follows an old American Indian trail to the battlefield.

Cowpens was a small pasture where Revolutionary War hero Daniel Morgan led his troops to stand against the British. Morgan’s troops faced down one of the most feared British commanders, Banastre Tarleton. Tarleton’s forces attempted to overtake the small band of American troops but were repelled several times and mowed down by the resistance of the militiamen. When the fighting was done, the Americans stood triumphant.

The National Park Service is currently trying to restore the battlefield to the way it was viewed during the Revolution. This is a beautiful park filled with history.  To learn more about the park visit:

Cowpens National Battlefield 

The Chattooga River

Hiking in South Carolina can be a truly great experience. There are several moderate to difficult hikes that experienced hikers can enjoy. For the unexperienced or if you just want to go on a day hike, South Carolina also has several great trails.

A moderate to difficult hiking trail is the Chattooga River Trail. Located on the Georgia-South Carolina border, the Chattooga River Trail follows the beautiful Chattooga River. Just recently a friend and I traveled down the trail starting in North Carolina at Bull Pen Road. The following information is about our hike.

When hiking, it is important to remember the following items to ensure a safe hiking experience. Make sure to check in with the Ranger Station if hiking in a State or National managed area. If you are not hiking in one of these areas, make sure to inform someone with your plans. Always stay on the trail. Leaving any trail may disorient you and cause you to get lost. Pack it in, pack it out. Let’s keep South Carolina’s wild places wild and untouched. With that said:

Friday

From Columbia my friend and I took separate cars so that we could hike without assistance. We traveled up I-26 and then onto I-385. We took a shortcut through Pelzer to I-85 and then went into Clemson. From Clemson we traveled up Hwy. 28 to Walhalla. We followed Hwy. 28 to the Chattooga River where we parked the first car. After the first car was parked, we traveled back down Hwy. 28 to Hwy 107 towards the North Carolina border. Once we crossed into North Carolina we took a left onto Bull Pen Road and parked at the trailhead.

After parked we started on the trail. It is approximately 3 miles from Bull Pen Road to the Chattooga River. We traveled the 3 miles down the trail to the river and searched for a camp site. Since we did not use tents it was a little easier to find a camp site. There are not many flat places to pitch a tent along the river. We had ENO hammocks which are easy to tie to a tree. Once we found a camp site we started a small fire for warmth and settled down for the night.

One of the places that I had hoped to see on the trail was Ellicott Rock. According to what I have read about the area a surveyor named Ellicott surveyed the boarders of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The three states come together at Ellicott Rock.

From the pictures I thought that the rock would be much bigger. But the rock wasn’t small either. We made a fire and ate, then we crawled into our hammocks and slept through a cold night. In the morning we started the fire again. I climbed out to Ellicott Rock and took some pictures. It was a nice, cool, beautiful morning.

Saturday
This morning we started off fresh. We saw Spoon Auger Falls and took a much needed rest after climbing a mountain just to see it. Then we hiked back down to Burrells Ford campground. Just past the campground was our stopping point for the day. We had decided to take it slow, only trying to hike about 5 miles a day. It was about 1:30 when we reached our second camp site.

We went ahead and set up camp and started collecting firewood. I took a short nap while Patrick decided to go wading in the river. We were about 50-75 feet off of the river at a shallow spot. After my nap we started a fire and just chitchatted until supper. While collecting firewood I almost grabbed a copperhead. I snapped a picture of it.

That night we sat up and talked about our spouses and my boys and then we started feeling homesick. So, we decided that on Sunday we would try to complete the rest of the trail and get back home a little early. Our original plan was to head back home on Monday. So, we’d be leaving a day early.

Sunday
The longest day. We started at a good speed. This would indeed be the hardest day of hiking and not just because of the distance that we’d be covering. The trail left the river and headed into the forest which was incredibly humid away from the river. Also we were climbing up a mountain. Once we were finally on top of the mountain everything else was pretty good.

About halfway through the day the trail finally started heading back towards the river. Once it did, I needed to take a rest and collect some more water for my water bottles. I decided also to take a short nap to regain my strength for the last part of the trail. After I woke up, we ate a small lunch and started back on the trail.

The trail came and went from the river, but we were determined to make it out and get back home as soon as possible so we kept trucking. Finally we came out on Hwy 28, but there were two parking lots on the hwy and I parked at the wrong one. So once we got out, we still had to hike about 2-3 miles down the hwy until we got to my car.

After we got to the car we sat for a while and rested. After our rest we traveled down to Clemson to get a little bite to eat before heading back home. Patrick had a few blisters and my shoulders hurt for a while, but other than that everything was great.

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