Planning a South Carolina road trip for the family? After a few hours in the car, everybody is going to need a break to stretch their legs -- particularly kids.
We've scouted out a few parks close to major highways where you can get a little exercise, see some nice scenery and get back in the car rejuvenated (or, if you're traveling with young children, hopefully they'll have worked off a little energy. Maybe they'll even need a nap.)
You'll enjoy the blackwaters of the Little Pee Dee River (named for the Pee Dee Indians who once lived in the area), along with a natural trail, picnic area and Lake Norton. It's located off S.C. 57 on State Park Road, 11 miles southeast of Dillon (exits 190 and 193 off I-95).
The lake is a favorite for anglers, but also popular with bird watchers, swamp lovers and boaters. And it's a beautiful spot for a walk or a picnic lunch.
From I-95, take exit 98 to S.C. 6 toward Elloree. The park is 1 mile west of the town of Santee. From I-26, take exit 136 and travel through St. Matthews on S.C. 6, about 15 miles to Elloree.
Colleton State Park, Walterboro
Near the south end of I-95, take a short detour to Colleton State Park in Walterboro. There is an easy nature trail, a campground and picnic shelters.
If your family likes to paddle (and you have a little extra time to spend), this is the place for you. Colleton State Park provides easy access to the Edisto River, one of the longest (and most beautiful) free-flowing blackwater rivers in the country. It also connects to Givhans Ferry State Park via 21 miles of river, and Colleton lies along the path of the Edisto River Canoe and Kayak Trail.
You'll find the park off I-95 at exit 68., Head east toward Charleston on S.C. 61 for 3 miles. Take S.C. 15 north for half a mile. The park is on the left.
The park has a .7-mile nature trail that provides a leisurely walk. For a more vigorous hike, there's the 16-mile Kings Mountain Hiking Trail, 1.5-mile farm trail and 1.8-mile Ridgeline trail. The Ridgeline trail connects Kings Mountain State Park, Kings Mountain National Military Park and Crowders Mountain State Park in North Carolina.
From I-95 northbound, take exit 2 and turn right onto S.C. 161. The park entrance is on the right.
You'll find a 16,000-acre nature preserve with a nearly 2-mile long boardwalk through the forest. It's a great chance to see some spectacular trees, and chances are you'll spot some wildlife along your journey.
The preserve is off Interstate 26 at exit 187 (if you're heading west) or exit 177 (if you're heading east). Once you get off the highway, follow the Biedler Forest signs.