One of the great things about living in the Piedmont (Fort Mill, Rock Hill, South Charlotte) is that there are so many great destinations that are perfect for Fort Mill & Rock HIll Summer Road Trips.
Let’s face it, there are not too many places that are within a few hours of such a diverse and beautiful region. From the beach, to the Sandhills and the Mountains. Young to old there is something on this list for everyone!
Here is Part 2 of my Summer Road Trips from Fort Mill/Rock Hill that WILL NOT disappoint:
(Part 1 of 2) South Carolina boasts 47 State Parks that are your key to unlocking the vast natural wonders South Carolina have.
Many folks that live in the Fort Mill and Rock Hill area are transplants, and have never really explored the varieties of great family recreation and adventure. The South Carolina State Park System is a FANTASTIC place to start.
UpState / Mountains Option
Oconee State Park – If you like the mountains…and even more…you want to simply get away from all that Fort Mill and Rock Hill traffic (can you say Gold Hill Road, Hwy 160, Celanese, or Cherry Road…ugh) and getaway for a relaxing overnight getaway, Oconee State Park in Upstate South Carolina is a hidden treasure you really need to explore.
Oconee State Park is, again, roughly 3 hours away (160 miles) from the Fort Mill / Rock Hill area. The best part of visiting is getting to drive through upstate. When we go, we make our first stop in Greenville…and you will see why.
Warning though…if you’ve never been to downtown Greenville, SC you just might get wrecked and be tempted to move from Fort Mill or Rock Hill! If that does happen…you do know the Real Estate Agent to call right? (just in case www.DavidRCross.com 😉 lol).
If you have time, be sure to at a minimum take a drive through the Clemson campus. Though I am an Ohio State Buckeye fan through and through…Clemson just might be the only other school I would be delighted that our boys attend.
Back to Oconee State Park and its outstanding amenities. If you like to camp…you have to camp here. The camp grounds have all the normal “luxuries” like water and electricity…but they also feature an onsite miniature golf course, ping pong tables, lake with a swimming beach (and a killer high dive), along with canoe rentals and fishing.
Oconee State Park is home to 5 beautiful cabins in case you don’t want to camp and are looking for more “home like” accommodations.
You can spend a day at their country store lounging on their deck in rocking chairs enjoying the frequency of nature as your body begins to slow down, relax, and reconnect with the simple things.
There are 6 wooded nature trails that lead you through the foothills regions (easy enough for small children), and the park itself serves as the Western Trailhead for the 77 mile Foothills Trail.
Finally…and this just might be saving the best for last…2 Features no other parks can touch:
Oconee State Park has a 70 year tradition that is simply like no other tradition in the State. They have the only Square Dancing Barn in the state…yes, I said square dancing.
Every Friday night from Memorial Day to Labor day at 8-10 p.m they open up the barn to families and singles, young and old, and dance the night away to the same LIVE bluegrass music and callers that have been there for multiple generations.
This is simply an experience and memory that you and your kids will have forever etched into your hearts and minds.
Isaqueena Water Falls & Stumphouse Mountain Railroad Tunnel are frankly stunning.
We “stumbled” upon these one day looking for a place to enjoy a watermelon we bought from a road side fresh market. That one discovery has turned into a family tradition.
Oconee county is known as the “golden corner” of Upstate South Carolina because you’ll find 24 stunningly beautiful waterfalls within its borders.
One of those is the Isaqueena Falls carries with it a rich and beautiful story about an Indian Maiden and her triumphant escape. I won’t ruin the story…you’ll be able to read about it when you get there.
There is a pathway down to get a closer look and to feel the cooling splash of the water cascading down the granite and hear the roaring rush of the river carving its way down the slope.
If you are an adventurer, you can access the bottom of the falls and have the kids play in the tide pools or just relax on a rock. We took our boys down when they were as young as 4…but you will need to be careful and watch your step. But, it’s so worth it.
Finally, the Stumphouse Mountain Railroad Tunnel. Back in the day, there was a plan to run a railway from Charleston, SC all the way to Cincinnati, OH.
That was until they ran into a granite mountain in Upstate SC. After many thousands of dollars and countless hours of labor, the organizer realized they could not beat the mountain and abandoned the project.
What’s left is a the Stumphouse Tunnel. Make sure you bring a flashlight…and I promise the kids will think it’s the coolest thing E-V-E-R.
On a side bar, the tunnel is also very famous in that the conditions are nearly perfect to age blue cheese! Yup…blue cheese of all things. The first Clemson University Blue Cheese was cured in Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel in 1941.
Since then, the homemade gourmet item has worked its way into the hearts and stomachs of an ever-growing number of aficionados. You can learn more when you visit.
Well there you have it…two incredible destinations to add to your 2018 Summer Road Trips that anyone would enjoy, and are easy access to those living in the Fort Mill, Rock Hill and Indian Land areas of York County.
If you do indeed visit, please share with me your stories, or better yet, any pictures on my Facebook Page.
It’s always better being apart of somebody else’s story.
Also, if you have any ideas or requests for other places please use the contact page and submit your ideas. We are a diverse community in York and Lancaster Counties and the possibilities are limitless with great ideas for fun things to do.
Thanks again…See you soon!
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