Cheraw State Park

Chesterfield - Cheraw SP - 14 bridge over Lake Juniper Dam

Cheraw State Park is located just outside of the town of Cheraw off US52. However way you get there, it’s a pleasant drive. I took US1 through McBee. I wanted to see the peach tree blossoms. I was either too late or too early, but no matter I got to visit other sites and had just a good a time on my trip to the park as I did in the park.
The park is know more the large championship, 18-hole golf course. While not a golfer myself, I admired the greens and trees. You have to pass the course to get to the Lake Juniper, a 300 acre lake created by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) back in the 1930’s. They built a number of structures in the park as well, but not the boardwalk that curves around a section of the lake. From it you can explore the cypress wetlands that line the lake. Or explore it by renting a kayak or canoe. Being along, I opted not to go out on the lake. I’m not much of a water person anyway, preferring to look at it instead of being on it. or via a boardwalk that runs along the lake.
I saw a nice camping area on my walk. There are cabins to rent as well. Visit the web site for more information on that. Other activities include fishing, swimming, and biking, hiking, and horse riding on their extensive trail system. One bike trail is nine miles long.
The walking trails include the Turkey Oak Trail, a 4.5-mile loops, with a shorter 1.9 mile loop, and the Boardwalk Trail. Besides running along the lake it crosses the dam spillway. Walk with care and you can spot turtles sunning themselves.

How to Get There:
As said there are several ways to get there. One can use US1 from Columbia. If you are traveling via I95, take exit 164 and take US52 toward Darlington and on toward Cheraw.


What’s Close by:
Sand Hills State Forest is right next to the park as is H. Cooper Black Jr. Recreation Area, a place more equestrians.
Carolina Sandhills NWR. This is a must see.


Greenville – Downtown

Greenville - Greenville - Main St ice rink

I’ve been fortunate to have been able to visit Greenville several years in a row. I attended a conference there and always tried to squeeze in time to sightsee on the last day before heading on home. I had an opportunity to visit downtown further on the day I picked up my sister at the airport. It was cold that day and overcast, but still a good visit.
The city of Greenville sits in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The downtown area several unique features such as a waterfall and a pedestrian bridge, the Liberty Bridge. Both times when I visited in took in the Reedy River Greenway. I’ll go more indepth on that in a later post as it deserves to be highlighted. The second time I visited, I searched for the Mice on Main, small mice statues hidden in plain view. Definitely a game for the kids, but fun for adults too.
Long ago the Cherokee hunted this area. It was once a forbidden place for white settlers. One married a Cherokee woman and got 100,000 acres. On this land he established a plantation on the Reedy River in what’s now downtown Greenville.
Another settler started a village, one he called Pleasantburg. One of its new citizens, Vardry McBee, is considered to be the father of Greenville. Later in life he donated land on which churches, schools, and more were built upon. He and other local leaders funded a railroad, the Greenville and Columbia Railroad.
Greenville continues to be a bustling place with its revitalized downtown. There is the Falls Park on the Reedy and there are numerous pieces of art along Main Street honoring Greenville’s history. Many old building have been renovated and their character maintained while utilized in different ways. I enjoyed all the statues, besides those of the mice. Look for all the works of art and architecture. Some of the buildings like the Markley Carriage Factory Paint Shop and the Huguenot Mill are listed in the National Register of Historic Buildings.

How to get there:
Greenville is on I85 and I526


What’s Close By:
Plenty including several state parks.

Planning My Trips: That’s the Way I Roll

I would like to say I am spontaneous with my road trips, that I roll and go wherever my fancy takes me. The truth is I approach each one like a general planning an attack. Research goes into each trip.

What is there to see along the way? Which is the best way to get there? How can I get the most bang out the route? All this takes a bit of digging in my files and the Internet, but since I enjoy that, it’s part of the fun.

1. I decide on a place to visit. My inspiration comes from the time of the year, a picture I’ve seen, or just because I haven’t been there, so why not visit. My last trip was to Winnsboro. I wanted to take pictures of the famous town clock, longest continuous working clock in the United States. I also wanted to drive US21 and take in the fall colors. There’s a stretch that’s arrow straight. When you top a rise you can see the road dip and rise for miles.
2. Now that I know where I want to go I check out what’s there to see in the area. I used’s picture project and spotted the old school at Lando. The National Register of Historic places listed Great Fall’s Historic District so I thought to go there and check out the architecture. From a past trip I knew of a tree in Chester that, in fall, looks like the sun fell in pieces under it, bright yellow leaves all over the yard.
3. I got the list of places to see, now it’s time to map my route. Some of the places will be moved to another trip due to time or being too far off the route. I use my SC gazetteer and Google maps to chart the path. The atlas doesn’t tell me the street names I need to look for. From Columbia, I’ll go north on I77 then head over to US21, etc. I put the route on paper, typing it on the computer.
4. It’s off on the trip. Weather is good, there’s fuel in the car. As I drive I watch for potential picture taking opportunities and where I can safely stop to take the pictures. A car hugging my rear bumper can put a damper on leisure driving. If I miss a road, no problem, I wait for a place to turn and head back. If I take the wrong road there might be something of interest down it. See a sign with a stop worthy item, I take it. You never know what you find.