Let’s All Hit The Trail

Now that school is out, Olivia and her friends are already planning their summer adventures.


Yesterday, she told me that her friend Cecilia asked her to go on a hike this weekend. With none of us realizing today (June 2) is National Trail Day, they decided to hike on Sunday. Today wouldn’t have worked anyway, graduation celebrations are still happening in our area –way to go Woodland Wolverines and Dorchester Academy Raiders.

They are meeting another friend who is traveling about two hours away from us and she though perhaps they could meet in a central place. We started looking at walking and hiking trails in our area. I suggested the Palmetto Trail.

trail-logo-300x300The Palmetto Trail holds many thoughts and memories for me. When I worked at the Holly Hill Observer and Santee Striper newspapers, I got to write several stories about the trail. I remember when it was started in 1994, but it took a little longer to get nearer to me. I got to write about the Santee and Eutaw Springs passages.

When they were first laying down the trail, you might have thought it couldn’t be done – a 500-mile trail across South Carolina. Check out the Palmetto Challenge to see who’s in the lead now for logging in the most trail miles. There are 26 passages along the trail and “the passages reveal the rich diversity and fascinating history, culture, and geography of the Palmetto State.” according to Palmetto Conservation.

beidler forest 1Another good walking trail near us is the Audubon’s Beidler Forest, right outside Harleyville.  It is the world’s largest virgin cypress-tupelo swamp forest and one of the greatest places to see native birds and wildlife of South Carolina. Our family has walked the nearly two-mile boardwalk, so many time. When you get to the black water of the Four Holes Swamp, it is meszmerizing. Seriously, you can sit and watch the water flow by and find such a peace in yourself, even with four children running around the boardwalk in your eyesight. We haven’t been there since the kids have gotten grown, but it will always be a top pick for connecting with nature for me.

charles town landing

Photo credit: Clio.com

Though it is not a hiking trail, Charles Town Landing offers a lot of walking. For someone like me, it feels like I’m hiking when I walk more than a mile. My neighbor, Judy, invited me to visit go with her to the landing, since she has never been before. She wants to take her grandson, Christoper. I bet he will like the native animals zoo, best. I love the timber wolves; I can stay and watch them all day. I’ll have to include pictures from our trip if we get to go. Fingers crossed — I can’t wait.

As far as Olivia and her friends, who knows where they will end up. When you are in your teens, walking doesn’t make you feel so bad the next day. Where ever she ends up, I want lots of photos from the trip.

For the crafty connection, I’ve found a few sites that might help.

Hiking sign in Yosemite National Park

Calculate your hiking time. Photo: Getty Images

Make your own hiking sticks Photo 1 & Photo 2

For a comprehensive list of South Carolina trails, just visit SC Trails or SC Great Outdoors. That’s a lot of walking if you try to do them all. If you can’t get out for the real thing, visit the sites and help those watching over our precious lands. But, I hope you can visit one day. Until the next post.


Feature photo: Adventure Gears Lab

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