We have spent a lot of time RVing in South Carolina and think state parks should be as sought-after as the U.S. National Parks. Their beauty is top-notch, and being state parks instead of national parks, they often have fewer crowds. To determine where to visit in South Carolina, keep reading. We have nine of South Carolina’s best state parks right here. Let’s get started!
South Carolina Has Some Amazing State Parks
South Carolina is home to some of the most impressive state parks in the country. From the majestic mountains of South Carolina’s upstate to the stunning beaches of the Lowcountry, there’s a state park for everyone.
Each location has unique geological and cultural attributes that offer many activities and educational opportunities. South Carolina’s state parks feature impressive waterfalls, stunning rivers, white sand beaches, inland lakes, and historical and cultural treasures.
Spend a day, a week, or even a month checking out all there is to see. You won’t be disappointed, and you won’t see the same thing twice.
How Many State Parks Does South Carolina Have?
South Carolina has 47 state parks encompassing over 90,000 acres. Stretching from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean, you’re sure to find the perfect site for your next adventure. So whether you’re looking for a place to hike, bike, paddle, or relax and enjoy the scenery, check out one of South Carolina’s 47 fantastic state parks.
Pro Tip: Camp along the beach while in South Carolina at one of these 10 Most Beautiful Oceanfront Campgrounds in South Carolina.
What Is the Largest State Park in South Carolina?
Caesars Head State Park is the largest state park in South Carolina, with over 7,000 acres. It is also adjoining the Jones Gap Wilderness Area, which adds 13,000 acres.
People know Caesars Head for its namesake, a granite gneiss formation that towers above seemingly everything at 3208 feet in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Other unique features within the park are the narrow crevices of the Devil’s Kitchen hiking area and the Raven Cliff Falls Suspension Bridge. This South Carolina state park also made our list of the top nine state parks.
How Much Does it Cost to Get into South Carolina State Parks?
The cost of visiting South Carolina state parks varies depending on the Passport Program you choose. The All Park Passport, which provides entry into all 47 state parks, costs $99 and is valid for one year from the date of purchase, and you can transfer it from one vehicle to another.
Other passports are available for less, and discounts are available for seniors, military personnel, and more. You can also purchase day passes to any state park. Check with each South Carolina state park for their admission prices.
9 Amazing South Carolina State Parks
Now that you know you can get into South Carolina’s fantastic state parks for less than one hundred dollars, you’ll need to decide which ones to visit. While everyone has something extraordinary to offer, we’re here to tell you about nine of our favorites. The next time you head out your door, ensure it’s to South Carolina and any of the parks listed below.
Hunting Island State Park
Address: 2555 Sea Island Pkwy, Hunting Island
About: Hunting Island is a popular South Carolina state park that attracts over one million visitors annually. The park features five miles of beaches and 5,000 acres of marsh and maritime forest.
Hunting Island is also home to the Hunting Island Lighthouse, dating to 1859. The owners rebuilt it after a fire in 1875. In addition to its beaches and forest, the park also offers over 100 campsites and numerous beach walks.
Why You Should Go: The onsite nature center is one reason to visit because of its educational component. More crucially, you can see an alligator. Visiting Hunting Island is a must because of its wonders; artificial with the historic lighthouse and natural with its marshlands.
Table Rock State Park
Address: 158 Ellison Ln., Pickens
About: Table Rock State Park is an impressive park in the Blue Ridge Mountains, spanning 3000 acres. The many hiking trails allow visitors to experience stunning views from the top of both Pinnacle and Table Rock Mountain. The well-known Foothills Trail is accessible from the Table Rock State Park trails and stretches for an impressive 76 miles.
Many structures are on the National Register of Historic Places and were part of the Civilian Conservation Corps efforts. You can go camping, hiking, or fishing at Pinnacle Lake or Lake Oolenoy. This South Carolina State Park has earned its place in our top parks in the state.
Why You Should Go: It’s time to feel like a kid again with a dip in the all-natural swimming hole at the base of Carrick Creek Falls. Afterward, you’ll enjoy attending the Music on the Mountain bluegrass jam they hold monthly at the Table Rock Lodge.
Caesars Head State Park
Address: 8155 Geer Hwy, Cleveland
About: Sitting in the northwest corner of the state, Caesars Head has spectacular rock formations and sweeping views. As South Carolina’s largest state park, it covers 7,000 acres.
Hiking and backpacking are pretty popular here. However, camping at this park is all primitive and trailside, so bring your backpack if you plan on camping. The most popular hike is the Raven Cliff Falls Trail, leading to a 420-foot waterfall.
Caesars Head is adjacent to the Jones Gap wilderness area, giving you 13,000 more acres to explore. Some of the best routes are along the Jones Gap Trail, where you can trek between swimming holes. Now that’s a hike!
Why You Should Go: While backpacking and hiking to the falls are worth your while, what you must see is the suspension bridge that brings you over the falls. It gives you a birds-eye view of this stunning site.
Huntington Beach State Park
Address: 16148 Ocean Hwy., Murrells Inlet
About: Huntington Beach State Park is a mecca for surf fishing, bird watching, and camping. It is also home to the National Historic Landmark of Atalaya, the winter home of the Huntington family. The beach’s name originates from the Huntington’s and their sprawling estate. Today, this South Carolina state park offers over 150 campsites. It has a three-mile stretch of pristine beach and an annual arts and crafts festival.
Why You Should Go: With diverse wildlife and habitat at Huntington Beach—including alligators—strolling along the iconic causeway is a must when visiting this beach state park.
Pro Tip: Who needs national parks when you have state parks! Check out these 8 State Parks That Are Just as Good as National Parks (or Better).
Edisto Beach State Park
Address: 8377 State Cabin Rd., Edisto Island
About: Edisto Beach is a state park on South Carolina’s southern coast. The park covers 1255 acres and includes 1.5 miles of beach. People know Edisto Beach for its maritime forest, campgrounds, and cabins. It has many historical structures originating with the Civilian Conservation Corps.
The beach also has live oak trees and some of the tallest palmettos in the state. Visitors to Edisto Beach can enjoy camping, fishing, swimming, and picnicking.
Why You Should Go: With wheelchair-accessible hiking and biking chairs, this state park is available to all.
Myrtle Beach State Park
Address: 4401 South Kings Hwy., Myrtle Beach
About: Myrtle Beach is a well-known and popular beach across the state and beyond. However, Myrtle Beach State Park is as beautiful but with fewer crowds. This is where you can experience nature in all its glory. Hiking and fishing from the pier are popular activities. With over 300 campsites, camping is another popular way to enjoy this South Carolina State Park.
Why You Should Go: If you’ve never been to the Myrtle Beach area, this is a must-visit with its bustling boardwalk. However, if you need to get away from it all, it’s also home to the gorgeous and relaxing Sculptured Oak Nature Trail.
Pro Tip: Enjoy some southern charm while spending the night at one of these 7 Best RV Parks and Campgrounds Near Charleston, SC.
Poinsett State Park
Address: 6660 Poinsett Park Rd., Wedgefield
About: Poinsett State Park sits where the sandhills meet the coastal plains. The park offers 25 miles of trails for hiking and biking and a 10-acre lake for swimming, fishing, and canoeing.
Poinsett State Park is also home to numerous plant and animal life, making it an excellent place to explore 1000 acres of biodiversity from the mountains to the Lowcountry. Whether you’re looking for a place to hike, bike, fish, or swim, Poinsett State Park is the perfect destination for your next outdoor adventure.
Why You Should Go: This South Carolina State Park is full of history with buildings from the Civilian Conservation Corps. You can also see coquina stone from the time the Atlantic reached inland.
Paris Mountain State Park
Address: 2401 State Park Rd., Greenville
About: Paris Mountain is an ideal getaway for those living in or near Greenville. It’s full of hiking and biking trails and has many stories to tell within its walls. The mountain is a monadnock, a geological feature rising from flatland.
Paris Mountain is 1700 acres with four lakes and trails totaling 17 miles. There’s plenty of space to play. With RV and tent sites, there are also many places to stay.
Why You Should Go: This South Carolina state park is not only an easy getaway mere minutes from Greenville, but it is also beautiful. When you can combine the ease of access with the beauty of nature, you must visit.
Sesquicentennial State Park
Address: 9564 Two Notch Rd., Columbia
About: Sesquicentennial State Park is outside of Columbia. It offers visitors 1400 acres of land to explore. With 12 miles of hiking and biking trails, the park is perfect for a day of adventure.
For those looking to spend the night, there are primitive and established campsites for tents and RVs. Don’t forget to take advantage of the 30-acre lake! You can rent paddleboats and other crafts, or you can enjoy a picnic by the water’s edge. With so much to offer, Sesquicentennial State Park is an excellent way to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
Why You Should Go: What state park do you know of that comes with a splash pad with 26 sprayers to keep you cool and refreshed in the summer? This South Carolina State Park does!
Explore South Carolina State Parks
From beach parks in the Lowcountry to inland parks with unique geological features, each state park has something special and extraordinary to offer. There’s no shortage of things to do, places to experience, water to swim in, trails to hike on, or lakes for fishing.
When the day’s wonders fade into the evening, you’ll find a campsite that perfectly fits your needs. You’ll rest gently, awaiting the next day’s adventures full of the beauty and history that make up South Carolina’s state parks.
Which South Carolina state park will you visit first? Tell us in the comments!
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