Outdoor

Marie McAden

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Chester State Park is pretty as a picture

Posted 1/5/2014 1:09:00 PM

Picture a picnic by a pretty Piedmont lake — red-checkered blanket spread out on the grass, sun beaming down from a cloudless sky, a gentle breeze blowing through the trees.

This Norman Rockwell image is brought to you by Chester State Park, an undiscovered outdoor refuge tucked away from the usual tourist hot spots. And that’s what makes it such a find. It’s simply lovely.

There aren’t a lot of recreational trappings here. A couple of playgrounds, a short nature trail, a disc golf course, a rustic boat house and the 160-acre lake. But what it lacks in flashy amenities, it more than makes up in ambiance.

It’s the perfect getaway if you really want to get away. Sweet and serene, it offers a beautiful setting to do nothing but enjoy the peace and quiet.

OK. That’s not entirely true. You can fish for bass, crappie, bream or catfish from a dock or rent a non-motorized boat to paddle around the 160-acre lake. The new disc golf course — the first in the state park system — offers nine holes for beginners and 18 holes for more advanced players.

But it’s all about relaxing.

Even the nature trail is an easy walk through the woods. It winds along the top of the lake from the boathouse to the spillway for a stress-free 1.3 miles.

The park also features 25 campsites for RVs or tents, an archery range, three picnic shelters and a rental community building.

Despite its rural setting, Chester State Park is conveniently located just 15 minutes from Interstate 77, about halfway between Charlotte and Columbia. Check it out the next time you’re traveling through the area and ready for a little R&R.

For more information on Chester State Park, click here or call (803) 385-2680.