Take the Challenge and Visit All 47 South Carolina State Parks to Become an Ultimate Outsider

By:Marie McAden


Love the outdoors? Whether you enjoy hiking rugged mountain trails, paddling slow-moving blackwater rivers, exploring a Civil War battlefield or simply taking in a breathtaking view, you can do it all at South Carolina state parks.

Scattered throughout the Palmetto State from the Atlantic coastline to the Blue Ridge Mountains, our 47 state parks offer visitors the opportunity to experience South Carolina’s diverse landscape, rich history and cultural treasures.

At Edisto Beach State Park, you can get an up-close look at the layers of shells that make up a 4,000-year-old midden. Hampton Plantation State Historic Site preserves a colonial-era rice plantation built by slave labor. A visit to Andrew Jackson State Park takes you to the childhood homestead of our seventh president.

Along with historic landmarks, state parks feature some of South Carolina’s most beautiful natural wonders, from the last remaining large Carolina bay on the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain to an enormous 350 million-year-old metamorphic rock to a pristine barrier island with 3,000 acres of salt marsh, a semi-tropical maritime forest, ancient sand dunes and more than four miles of beach.

South Carolina’s 80,000 acres of state park lands also serve as a playground for outdoor fun. You’ll find picturesque settings to fish, swim, boat, kayak, hike, mountain bike, play tennis, golf, volleyball, basketball, croquet and go geocaching, scuba diving, horseback riding, and skeet shooting.

With so much to see and do, you’ll want to experience it all. But it’s no small feat visiting nearly four dozen state parks. And so, the park service honors those dedicated outdoor enthusiasts who complete the ambitious quest with the title of Ultimate Outsider. Along with bragging rights, they are awarded a South Carolina State Parks’ Ultimate Outsider t-shirt.

To take the challenge, you need to purchase an Official Guide to South Carolina State Parks available online or at any state park. The $2 guide features information on each park, including camping and lodging facilities, outdoor activities and a calendar of events.

Stamp your guide book at each park you visit. Once you have collected all 47 stamps, turn it in to a park ranger to receive your Ultimate Outsider t-shirt proudly proclaiming, “I visited all 47 state parks."

Here’s a tip. Before you begin this awesome adventure, buy a South Carolina Statewide Park Passport for $75 and get free and unlimited admission to all the state parks. The hangtag is valid for one year from the date of purchase and can be transferred from one vehicle to another. Passports also can be purchased online or at any of the state park offices.

Ready to begin the trek to become an Ultimate Outsider? Check out the state parks website to purchase your Official Guide to South Carolina State Parks and a South Carolina Statewide Passport.

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