Landsford Canal State Park

Chester - Landsford Canal SP - 22 Canal trail

The first I visited was in the fall, the day before Thanksgiving. I took my mother and we didn’t go far, her being on a walker, but we both enjoyed it and I vowed to return. My return trip coincided with the blooming of the Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies bloom in spring. Not knowing exactly what they looked like, it was a real treat to see all those white flowers on top of the green stalks sitting in bunches in the river. There’s a special viewing area for the flowers, a deck where one can lean against the rail and take them in visually. Bring binoculars to get a close look and a long telephoto lens for good photos.

There are two entrances to the park, but I prefer Entrance Area #1. It’s closer to the viewing area and a nice beginning to the Canal Trail. There’s a museum and a log house. The museum is open by appointment only so call if you wish to see it. At the log cabin you can rest awhile and relax after the walk.

There are four trails. I combined the Canal trail (1.25 mile one way) with the Lily Viewing Area path (.75 mile) and the Nature trail (.5 mile). The Eagle Point trail is a quarter of a mile hike one way and begins at the end of the museum. Come to think of it, I walked that one too that day.

Before you head out, take the trail map. It explains nicely what is what and about the canal.

Landsford Canal park stretches along the Catawba River. With this area located on the fall line, a series of canals was built so that boats could bypass the rough waters. This canal was the furthest upstream. The canal stayed open from around 1820 to 1835. The ruins of the canal remain along with a few other structures.

How to Get There:

From I77, take exit 65 and head east on SC9. Turn left on SC223 and take another left onto US21. In Landsford go right on Canal Road/Rd330 and left on RD327. There will be signs to the park.


What’s Close By:

Great Falls




Edisto Island – Scenic Highway 174

Charleston - US174 - Dawho River Bridge 02

Eons ago, when I first went to Edisto Island with my parents, it felt as if SC174 was the longest road in the world. I used to imagine we’d entered another dimension and were doomed to nothingness. What can I say, I was a bored teen back then and the ride from Columbia was already too long. This was before cell phones, DVD players, and all the other diversions kids have today.

The last time I went, I enjoyed the trip and the scenery, excited to visit the sightseeables, and being able to knock off items from my SC must visit wish list. Several of these didn’t exist when I visited in the seventies such as Botany Bay Plantation and the Serpenterium.

The official start of the scenic portion of SC174 is the McKinley Washington Bridge over Dawhoo Creek It continues on to Edisto Beach State Park, a distance of about fourteen miles. This stretch of road became a national scenic byway in 2009. There’s an app for the The Edisto Scenic Highway 174. It can be used at any point on the road. I didn’t use the app on my trip. If you want to download it, go to iTunes and visit the app store.

Charleston - US174 - Trinity Episcopal Church 01

As you drive along you’ll pass scenery typical of a South Carolina barrier islands. There are marshes, woods, agricultural, and rural buildings that include several historic churches like the 1830 Presbyterian Church, the Zion Reformed Episcopal Church, and the Trinity Episcopal Church (ca 1876). The three sit a short distance aways from each other for easy viewing.

Charleston - SC174 - Mystery Tree 03

The Mystery Tree sits in the marshes opposite the road leading to Botany Bay Plantation. (Be sure to visit). The decorations change I’m told. When I visited in February there were valentine hearts on it.

How to Get There:

SC174 if off US17. From Charleston, take US17 south toward Beaufort. When you get to SC174 turn south. There should be signs for Edisto Beach State Park


What’s Close By:

There’s enough to see along SC174 to last awhile, but if you’re in the area a few days, there’s the ACE Basin which spreads across several counties (Beaufort, Charleston, and Colleton mostly),



Day Trips in South Carolina Workshop

If by any chance you are in Columbia, SC on Wednesday, 11 May 2016 and are interested, come by Sandhills Library for my Day Trips in South Carolina workshop. It’ll be held from seven to eight pm. I’ll have photographs from my trips, but the main goal is to help people find places to visit. I’ll offer resources and where to go and get more resources. I hope others will share their favorite places too.