7 South Carolina State Parks You Will Want to See

South Carolina has 47 state parks and seven of them are less than 100 miles from Beaufort County—an easy drive for a day trip! Whether you like going to the beach or learning about the rich history of our state, you will love checking out these state parks. Don’t forget to pack your picnic basket!

1. Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, Charleston

Settlers landed here in 1697 and established what would become the birthplace of the Carolina colony. At this historic site you can take a tour of a 17th century replica sailing ship; see bison, bears and otters at the Animal Forest zoo; and enjoy the 80 acres of gardens.

Photo credit: Donna Brooks

Photo credit: Donna Brooks

2. Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site, Summerville

Founded in 1697, Dorchester was a trading town situated on the Ashley River and was later abandoned at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. Today you can see the remains of the bell tower of St. George’s Anglican Church, a tabby fort, and shipping wharves, which are visible at low tide. You can also take a cemetery walking tour and check out the interpretive trail.

3. Colleton State Park, Walterboro

Colleton State Park offers access to the Edisto River, one of the longest free-flowing blackwater rivers in the country. Bring your kayak or canoe and paddle down to Givhans Ferry State Park, a 23-mile trip. You can also rent a canoe or kayak at nearby private outfitters: Edisto River Adventures and Caroline Heritage Outfitters. The park also features a short hiking trail, picnicking and fishing.

4. Edisto Beach State Park, Edisto Island

One of four oceanfront state parks in South Carolina, Edisto Beach State Park is a great place for hiking and biking. The park also includes an environmental education center as well as overnight accommodations in cabins and campsites.

5. Givhans Ferry State Park, Ridgeville

This state park is the end point of the 23-mile canoe/kayak trip down the Edisto River from Colleton State Park. The park also offers fishing, picnicking and hiking, and you can opt to stay overnight in the cabins or campsites.

6. Hunting Island State Park, Hunting Island

This beautiful park near Beaufort offers miles of beaches, trails, and a historic lighthouse (you don’t want to miss the view from the top!). You can also stay overnight in a cabin or at the campsites.

7. Lake Warren State Park, Hampton

Rent a fishing boat and enjoy a day in the sun out on this 200-acre lake. The park also has a two-acre fishing pond, two nature trails, a playground and picnic facilities. It’s also a great place for birdwatching!

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