Lee State Park

I visited the park in Fall so the swimming pool wasn’t open, but that didn’t distract from my trip. I took a walk from the picnic parking lot that took me down the boardwalk. From there I toured the ponds, which turned out to be the Artesian Trail, named, I would guess from the two artesian springs located near the pools. These were made when the CCC, drilled down into one of the aquifers, a confined aquifer. Since the water is under pressure, it is pushed upward to the surface allowed the water to flow constantly.

Lee State Park, created in 1935, is one of the Civilian Conservation Corp parks in the state and one of the even fewer parks to boast the structures they built. They made the park to provide recreational opportunities for the people of Lee County. It’s located along the Lynches River. Besides hiking, swimming, and fishing, one can kayak or canoe through the park’s floodplain. There are also equestrian opportunities.

The Lynches River is a state-designated State Scenic River and has been since 1994. One can drive down to the banks of the river via the Loop Road, if it is open when you visit. Among the wildlife one might encounter are marsh rabbits, fox squirrels, gray foxes, beavers and river otters to name a few. Birders will appreciate the great-horned, barred, and screech owl as well as the yellow-billed cuckoo.
On my trip, I only saw a few frogs and a turtle, which means I either didn’t look hard enough or I make too much noise.

Links:
http://www.southcarolinaparks.com/lee/introduction.aspx

Directions:
From I20, take exit 123 and follow the signs.

Nearby:
Carolina Sandhills NWR
Woods Bay S.P.

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Greenwood

Greenwood - Greenwood - mill building

I made my way to Greenwood intrigued by the trails-to-rails path near downtown. Being more familiar with the towns of the lowcountry, I found Greenwood quite different with its wide main street and multi-story buildings.

It was chartered in 1857, but was first a small village that sprouted up around the summer home of John McGehee, Jr. His wife gave their summer home the name ‘Greenwood’ and the name later transferred to the village.
The railroad came through in 1852. To consolidate the commercial area, city leaders moved the ‘downtown’ area to the area around the depot. The wide main street where the railroad line ran through is called the ‘widest Main street in the world’. Now the railroad tracks are gone, but not its heritage. The Railroad Historical Center is located on South Main Street. When I visited they were refurbishing one of the locomotives. The Railroad and Mill Village Heritage Trail is located near the museum.

I toured downtown and its historic structures, starting at the visiting center near the old cinema. I’d hoped to find a pamphlet with a walking tour, but they didn’t have one, which was disappointing because there was one building on Main Street near the courthouse, that I wanted to know more about. Had it been a been a mill building?
The library is nice. I stopped to get directions to the rails-to-trails path. As I drove over, I passed the old Greenwood High school with its Georgian Revival architecture. It’s on South Main Street and you can’t miss seeing it. Built in the 1920’s it is now apartments. What a great way to let it live on.

One place I wanted to visit, but didn’t since I thought it was on US178, was Dr. Benjamin E. Mays Historic Site. Here you can get a feel of how African-American sharecroppers lived and be amazed how one boy came from this background to be become a doctor, president of Morehouse college and a Civil Rights leader. While I did miss this, I did see his birthplace. The house has been moved to the historic site.

How to get there:
Greenwood is located in Greenwood county along US25/US178/US221 and SC34

Links:
http://www.visitgreenwoodsc.com/
http://sctravelold96.com/
http://mayshousemuseum.org/

Nearby:
Ninety-Six NHS
Lake Greenwood S.P.
Park Seed Company Gardens

Highlight: South Carolina State Parks Official Website

Come Out and Play: South Carolina State Parks

http://www.southcarolinaparks.com/

This is your introduction to the state parks. Whether you’re familiar with the parks or a complete stranger to one, this is a great place to learn new or more about where you want to visit.

I like: The park finder with map right on top right. What’s cool is that the pictures correspond with the highlighted park, so if you don’t know where to go, maybe a picture can help decide. If you still can’t decide there are trip planning tools and info on park deals. I also like they have a place on the site for kids to get involved.
The home page is inviting and has everything you need to take you where you want to go.

Once you find your park, it’s easy to find the directions, park maps, area information, things to do, and more.

You can search for a park by activity (click on the Things to Do tab or Camping and Lodging if you want a park where you can camp.