Outdoor

Marie McAden

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Sesqui Park offers perfect setting for family camping

Posted 5/2/2013 8:26:00 PM

You’ve got your wooded campsites, a lake for canoeing and fishing, hiking trails, a six-mile mountain biking loop, two playgrounds and even a dog park for your four-legged crew.

Sesquicentennial State Park in Columbia has all the makings of a great family camping experience. And now they’re doing it one better with free S’mores Nights for registered campers.

The culinary campfire entertainment is being offered from 8 to 9 p.m. May 4 and 25 in the center of the campground’s lower loop. The rangers will build a roaring fire and provide the marshmallows, chocolate, graham crackers and roasting sticks if you don’t have your own.

Sesqui, as it’s affectionately called by locals, is a popular green getaway just a short drive from the Capital City’s downtown. The 1,400-acre park features 84 campsites for tents or RVs, as well as a retreat center with dormitory-style accommodations for up to 30 guests.

The park’s two flat, tree-lined trails — one 3.5 miles, the other 1.9 miles — are enjoyed by hikers, joggers and dog walkers. The shorter of the two — the Sandhills Hiking Trail — was paved last year to make it more accessible for parents pushing strollers.

Mountain bikers have their own single track loop that winds and rolls through a pine forest with a fast and sandy bottom. Because sand drains so well, you can ride this trail shortly after a hard rain when other trails in the area are closed.

The park also offers kayaks, canoes, pedal boats and non-motorized fishing boats for rent. You’re welcome to bring your own boat, but you’ll need to carry it down to the water to launch. There is no boat ramp on the lake.

Fishing also is allowed on the 30-acre lake, so long as you have a S.C. fishing license. Bass and bream are the usual catch.

If you’re traveling with a canine companion, you can let him run off leash in the two-acre fenced-in dog park. There is a $4 fee for a day permit. You’ll need to keep him on a leash no longer than six feet on the trails and other areas of the park.

Want to learn more about Sesquicentennial State Park. Click here or call (803) 788-2706.