With over 3,000 campsites across the state, many scenic camping opportunities can be found at South Carolina state parks. Want to wake up to the sunrise over the ocean? Hunting Island State Park offers campsites that are within walking distance of the Atlantic Ocean. Or maybe you want to go camping with your horse? Four of our state parks offer equestrian camping facilities. And if camping isn’t quite your thing, South Carolina state parks have you covered with 220 cabins and lodging facilities too!
I stayed in a log cabin by the lake with a cozy fireplace and screened porch at Oconee State Park before going on my first waterfall hike at nearby Oconee Station State Historic Site—check out that episode of “Go For It” here. For this “Go For It” adventure though, I decided to go camping for the first time at Poinsett State Park!
In the High Hills of Santee, where the South Carolina Sandhills of the Midlands region meet the coastal plain region, you’ll find Poinsett State Park. Called the "mountains of the midlands," this mixed ecosystem yields a high degree of biodiversity and some of the most unique natural sightings in the park system, especially along the Palmetto trail, which winds through the Manchester State Forest. Poinsett was one of the 16 state parks built as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps., and structures built by the CCC can still be seen today at the park, including rustic cabins and a coquina bathhouse.
Facilities include five cabins, 26 designated tent campsites and 24 standards sites with water & electric. Forgot something at home? The park store, which is located inside the park office, has you covered with all your camping essentials. I picked up a fire starter before I set up camp! During your stay at Poinsett State Park, take advantage of the many other experiences the park has on offer.
Fishing – Enjoy fishing in the park's 10-acre lake for bass, bream and catfish. A valid South Carolina fishing license is required.
Hiking Trail – Certain trails at Poinsett connect to the Palmetto Trail which goes through Manchester State Forest and Mill Creek County Park.
Paddling – Take advantage of the pedal boat, kayak and canoe rentals, or test your balance by renting a stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) from April to October to explore the Old Levi Mill Lake.
Mountain Biking – Poinsett’s single track trail system is open for biking too. Cyclists are encouraged to take caution and look out for hikers along the path.
Find more information on the activities at Poinsett State Park here.