Marie McAden



Swimming is back in style at state parks

Posted 7/2/2013 10:18:00 AM

Suit up, summer visitors! Swimming is back in five state parks. 

Poinsett, Aiken, Lee, Barnwell and Cheraw have opened up their lakes to swimming just in time for the dog days of summer.

It’s been about a decade since most state parks closed their lakes to that favorite summer pastime. Only Oconee, Paris Mountain and Table Rock — all Upstate destinations — have maintained swimming
areas supervised by lifeguards.

Wanting to share the joy of cooling off in an old fashioned swimming hole with visitors to the central part of the state, the S.C. Parks Department decided to test the waters last summer and open Lake Juniper to swimming in Cheraw State Park. The experiment proved so successful, it has been expanded to four additional parks, all featuring lakes as the centerpiece of their recreational amenities.

No lifeguards will be posted, but the swimming areas — marked off by buoys and ropes — are shallow enough to allow adults to wade in the water.

Admission is free at four of the state parks — Poinsett, Lee, Cheraw and Barnwell. At Aiken, it’s just $2 for adults. Ages 15 and younger are free.

Want directions and details about any of the parks now offering swimming? Visit www.southcarolinaparks.com.