Take a look at everything South Carolina’s coastal parks have to offer
With the perfect outdoor season finally upon us, it’s time to get back in the open air and explore nature. In honor of fresh air, grass, wildlife, and warmth, The Daniel Island News compiled a comprehensive list of state and county parks located along the Carolina coast. Below is the name of each coastal county, how many parks they have, and a little bit of information on the most interesting offerings. The first three parks listed are popular Daniel Island spots that are set for updates and further development.
DANIEL ISLAND PARKS
Waterfront Park: One of Daniel Island’s favorite spots for kids, Waterfront Park (near Children’s Park) will soon undergo some upgrades. The Daniel Island Property Owners’ Association (DIPOA) hopes to make renovations to the public dock for more water sports. That plan is currently in permitting, and Vice President of Community Services for the DIPOA Jane Baker noted that the design for the park improvement is roughly 80 percent complete. An enhanced waterfront trail will have new additions, like better lighting, additional seating, and more play opportunities for children. “We did want to step it [the trail] up,” commented Baker. “[We wanted to] make it a more usable place for residents and visitors, alike.” If the permitting and approval phases go as planned, Baker believes the entire project will be complete by 2019.
Guggenheim Park: As opposed to Waterfront Park, Guggenheim Park is set for construction. All permits have been approved and a ground-breaking is expected to take place at the end of the summer. The project is projected to finish in winter of 2018 or 2019, said Baker. The improvements to Guggenheim Park include new fountains, new seating, new lighting, and new landscaping. “It’s really going to be the new central park for Daniel Island, I think,” added Baker. The park is expected to host regular events and a farmers’ market.
New recreation area: A set of new sports fields planned for the southern side of the island is currently in the early stages of development. The DIPOA is subleasing a little over 50 acres of land to three nonprofit sports program providers: Lowcountry Lacrosse, Daniel Island Soccer Academy and The Battery Foundation. These three recreation organizations will develop soccer and lacrosse fields in the area. “We look forward to those organizations to be up and running probably next fall,” said Baker. The Daniel Island Company will then build a better paved access road to the field area. The recreation area will be available to the public when not in use for sporting events.
Land leased by State Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Department: As previously reported in The Daniel Island News, a 50-acre section of land owned by the State Ports Authority on the southern end of Daniel Island was subleased to the South Carolina Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Department (SCPRT) in 2015. Director of Corporate Communications Dawn Dawson-House said that there are no plans for the immediate future in terms of developing the property for public use. According to Dawson-House, SCPRT is waiting for surrounding development to take place before moving forward.
Charles Towne Landing
: Half historic site, half park, Charles Towne Landing is a favorite local spot for its walking history tour of the area and its animal habitat that features a puma, a black bear, an eagle, and other North American forest creatures.
Address: 1500, Old Towne Road, Charleston, S.C. 29407
Distance from DI: 14.9 miles
Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site:
Like much of South Carolina, Colonial Dorchester is soaked in history. Thanks to the site’s standing structures from pre-Revolutionary times and the ongoing archaeological work done, it’s a perfect opportunity to see colonial America.
Address: 300 State Park Road, Summerville, S.C. 29485
Distance from DI: 23.2 miles
Edisto Beach State Park:
If you’ve ever wanted oceanfront camping, Edisto is your place. Walking and biking tours of the park are also present for your daytime amusement.
Address: 8377 State Cabin Road, Edisto Island, S.C. 29438
Distance from DI: 54.2 miles
Hampton Plantation State Historic Site:
Built on the remains of a colonial rice plantation, Hampton Plantation provides a narrative of the system of enslavement that forced black men and women to labor. One of the popular attractions at the site is the Georgian-style mansion that the plantation owners lived in.
Address: 1950 Rutledge Road, McClellanville, S.C. 29458
Distance from DI: 44.6 miles
Hunting Island State Park:
South Carolina’s most popular attraction. Hunting Island has an accessible lighthouse, five miles of beaches, a saltwater lagoon, 100 campsites, and a wide variety of marine life.
Address: 2555 Sea Island Parkway, Hunting Island, S.C. 29920
Distance from DI: 96 miles
Huntington Beach State Park:
Animal lovers will find a lot to enjoy at Huntington Beach. Bird-watching, surf fishing, and the chance to see loggerhead turtles are common attractions.
Address: 16148 Ocean Highway, Murrells Inlet, S.C. 29576
Distance from DI: 77 miles
Myrtle Beach State Park:
Myrtle Beach is a popular spot for tourists, but its state park is a relatively quiet and green escape from the crowded beach. Its most popular attraction is the walking trail.
Address: 4401 South Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, S.C. 29575
Distance from DI: 89.3 miles
James Island County Park:
Offers trails for biking, a dog park, and saltwater fishing (with a licence). The park also features a variety of activities for families.
Address: 871 Riverland Drive, Charleston, S.C. 29412
Distance from DI: 23.4 miles
Palmetto Islands County Park:
Mount Pleasant’s 943-acre park was meant for group usage. The site offers boardwalks and a “Big Toy” playground.
Address: 444 Needlerush Parkway, Mount Pleasant, S.C. 29464
Distance from DI: 7.6 miles
Wannamaker County Park:
Enjoyable for its wetland scenery, but loved for its 15-acre Whirlin’ Waters water park, this summer spot is a favorite for adults and kids.
Address: 8888 University Boulevard, North Charleston, S.C. 29406
Distance from DI: 17.4 miles
Isle of Palms County Park
: Lifeguards on duty make this an attractive park for parents of young children. Additional features include picnic areas, showers, restrooms, ice cream, drink and snack vending, volleyball courts and more.
Address: 1-14th Ave., Isle of Palms, SC 29451
Distance from DI: 13.8 miles
Johns Island County Park
: Johns Island County Park provides amenities and activities that aren’t seen at many other sites, like a six-target archery range, horse shows, and a 20-mile equestrian trail.
Address: 2662 Mullet Hall Road, Johns Island, S.C. 29455
Distance from DI: 31.7 miles
Folly Beach County Park
: The big draw to this park is right in the name. Sunbathe on the sand, swim in the ocean, picnic on the beach, and more.
Address: 1100 West Ashley Avenue, Folly Beach, S.C. 29438
Distance from DI: 25.7 miles
Laurel Hill County Park:
This park is 745 acres, filled with biking, walking, and running trails. Large open meadows and a small lake are part of the natural, untouched scenery.
Address: 1251 Park West Boulevard, Mount Pleasant, S.C. 29466
Distance from DI: 12.6 miles
Arthur Horne Nature Park: This small preserved wetland is used as a park outside of a residential area. It is noted for its diverse plant and animal life.
Address: 2542 Azalea Drive, Beaufort, SC 29902
Distance from DI: 82.4 miles
Fort Fremont Historical Preserve:
Fremont is another military history site. The fort was built at the end of the 19th century, and fans of niche history will find a lot to love because of the site’s heavy involvement in the Spanish-American War.
Address: 1126 State Rd S-7-45, St Helena Island, S.C. 29920
Distance from DI: 93 miles
Old Santee Canal Park:
Once a Native American trading post and the spot of the first true canal built in America, this 195-acre park is a popular spot for both locals and tourists.
Address: 900 Stony Landing Drive, Moncks Corner, S.C. 29461
Distance from DI: 32.7 miles
: Moncks Corner’s swampy beauty is a well-loved site for its walks around the marsh, boat tours, exotic (and talkative) birds, and its giant captive alligators. Cypress Gardens is also the focus of this week’s center spread. Get all the details on their three-year closure and coming reopening on pages 18 and 19 of this issue.
Address: 3030 Cypress Gardens Road, Moncks Corner, S.C. 29461
Distance from DI: 23.6 miles
Socastee Recreation Park:
This recreation area serves the community with areas dedicated to archery, trails, picnic areas, and a playground. If you’re already in the area, Socastee is a must-see.
Address: 7485 Butler Road, Myrtle Beach, S.C. 29588
Distance from DI: 90.1 miles