Chester State Park
759 State Park DR | Chester, SC 29706 | Phone: 803-385-2680 | chester@scprt.com

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Chester State Park FAQ


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Chester State Park

How close to the the lake are the standard campsites?

The standard campsites are located on a 25-site, teardrop-shaped loop. The bottom of the teardrop is closest to the lake, but the closest site is still over 100 yards away from the water.

Which campsites are the most private?

No one site is any more or less private than the other.  The sites are in a teardrop-shaped loop encircling the comfort station. This campground layout allows everyone similar access to the park facilities.

What are the costs associated with making a reservation and payment requirements when making a reservation?

Camping: There is a $1.94 per night non-refundable reservation cost. Full payment is due at the time of reservation.

Lodging: There is a $1.94 per night non-refundable reservation cost. A 50% deposit is due at the time of reservation. The balance is due upon arrival at the park. The customer may pay in full, if they wish.

Day Use: There is a $1.94 per day non-refundable reservation cost. Full payment is due at the time of reservation for pavilions, picnic shelters, amphitheaters, meeting rooms and community buildings.

What are the rules for renting boats at Chester State Park?

Fishing boats are available for rent from 9am-5pm daily at the park office. Boats may be rented for $10/half day. Lifejackets and paddles are available if you do not have your own. Personal electric trolling motors may be attached to park fishing boats at no additional charge. All boats, personal or park-owned, must be off the lake by sunset.

Are personal boats allowed on the park lake?

Chester State Park has a public boat ramp located next to the rental boathouse. Personal boats are allowed on the lake as long as they are hand, or electric trolling motor powered. Gas engines are not permitted.

Is swimming allowed at the park?

Chester State Park is a park designed and built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930’s. The man-made lake in the park, built by the CCC, was never designed to accommodate swimming. Swimming is not allowed.

May we bring our own firewood into your parks?

Many invasive forest pests like Emerald Ash Borer, Asian Long-horned Beetle, and others can hitch rides on firewood logs. Even if no adult insects are visibly present on the wood, their larvae and pupae may be maturing inside the wood itself. While these beetles don’t tend to move very far from where they are found, they can spread very easily by travelling on firewood logs that campers bring from far away.

SC Forest Health authorities advise firewood should be bought and used locally to prevent spreading pests in the state. "locally" typically means wood that is purchased/harvested as close to where you are planning to burn it as possible. Neighboring states (including NC, VA, parts of TN and GA) have areas under quarantine for pests like Emerald Ash Borer, Thousand Cankers Diseas, Europena Gypsy Moth, etc - it is illegal to move any regulated items (i.e. firewood) from quarantined zones out of these states into SC.

For more information on this issue, visit www.dontmovefirewood.org

How late can we stay in the park if not camping?

The day-use areas of the park, including the picnic shelters and lake access, are available for public use, daily until sunset. The community building may be used after sunset if the building is reserved and park officials are notified of this intended use. An additional hourly rate for after-hours usage will be charged.

What are the fishing rules for Chester State Park?

Standard South Carolina fishing rules, regulations and limits enforced by SC DNR apply. Anyone over the age of 16 is required to have a valid SC fishing license. Artificial bait & live bait (including worms, crickets, & minnows) are allowed.

What do we do with our trash in the day-use area?

Chester State Park is asking all visitors to pack-out what they pack-in. All users of picnic shelters, community buildings, all campers, boaters, and all individual visitors are asked to please pack-out their trash or place it in the centrally-located waste dumpsters on the park.

Are motorized vehicles or bicycles allowed on the trail?

Caney Fork Falls, the only trail at Chester State Park, is a 1.3-mile “there-and-back” hiking trail that starts at the boathouse, wraps around the lake bank, and ends at the spillway. This trail is for foot traffic only.  Motorized vehicles and bikes are not allowed on the trail.

How many tents or RVs are allowed per campsite?

Campers are allowed a maximum of one trailer/RV and one tent, OR two tents per site. No more than
six (6) persons (or one family) may occupy the same site.

What are check in and check out times for camping?

Check in time for camping is 2pm and check out time is 12pm for all parks.  Please contact the park for late arrival instructions.

Where can I find a list of state park rules and regulations?

You can find the South Carolina State Park rules and regulations, along with campground rules and regulations at this link.

How can I provide my comments and feedback on my recent visit to a state park?

Comments and feedback can be submitted via our online survey.  Click here to access and complete the survey.

Does the park service have a comprehensive guide with information on all 47 state parks?

You may purchase our official guide in our online park store, or at any South Carolina State Park.  To access the online, interactive version, please click this link.

General

How do I make a reservation at a state park?

Reservations at state parks may be made up to 13 months in advance. There are three convenient ways to make reservations at South Carolina State Parks:

Call toll free 1-866-345-PARK (7275)
Online at SouthCarolinaParks.com or click here to reserve
At the park of your choice, by calling the park directly

Reservations for group camps or primitive camping must still be made through the state parks.

Camping Reservations: Reservations requested less than one (1) day in advance of check-in must be made directly through the park. For example: If today is Friday and you are making a reservation checking in on today, Friday, you must make the reservation by contacting the park directly. Campsite reservations require payment in full at the time the reservation is made.

Cabin Reservations & Day Use Facilities: Reservations requested LESS THAN three (3) days in advance of check-in must be made directly through the park. For example: If today is Wednesday and you are making a reservation for the upcoming Friday, you must make the reservation by contacting the park directly.

How far in advance may I make a reservation?

Reservations may be made up to 13 months in advance. For example: If you would like to check in on July 4, 2016 you can call or go online to make reservations on June 4, 2015.

What are the costs associated with making a reservation and payment requirements when making a reservation?

Camping: There is a $1.94 per night non-refundable reservation cost. Full payment is due at the time of reservation.

Lodging: There is a $1.94 per night non-refundable reservation cost. A 50% deposit is due at the time of reservation. The balance is due upon arrival at the park. The customer may pay in full, if they wish.

Day Use: There is a $1.94 per day non-refundable reservation cost. Full payment is due at the time of reservation for pavilions, picnic shelters, amphitheaters, meeting rooms and community buildings.

What is the cancellation policy for park reservations?

Penalties assessed to reservation cancellations or changes are based on the amount of notice given in advance of the arrival date.  Transaction fees are not refundable.  Below is more detailed information:

CANCELLATION POLICY:
 
LODGING
CAMPING
DAY-USE
Notice Given
Penalty
Notice Given
Penalty
Notice Given
Penalty
30+ Days
$10 Handling Charge
15+ Days
$10 Handling Charge
15+ Days
No Charge
15-29 Days
1 night charge
4-14 Days
1 night charge
4-14 Days
$10 Handling Charge
0-14 Days
Entire deposit
0-3 Days
Entire deposit
0-3 Days
Entire deposit
 
TRANSFER / CHANGE POLICY *:
 
LODGING
CAMPING
DAY-USE
Notice Given
Penalty
Notice Given
Penalty
Notice Given
Penalty
30+ Days
No Charge
15+ Days
No Charge
15+ Days
No Charge
15-29 Days
$10 Handling Charge
4-14 Days
$10 Handling Charge
4-14 Days
$10 Handling Charge
0-14 Days
Cancellation Required
0-3 Days
Cancellation Required
0-3 Days
Cancellation Required
 
* Changes that result in additional nights reserved will not incur handling charges or penalties, but will be subject to non-refundable transaction fees for the additional nights.
 
EARLY DEPARTURE POLICY: Cancellation Policy applies in conjunction with Policy for Emergency Waivers.

Are pets allowed in state parks?

Pets are allowed in most outdoor areas provided they are kept under physical restraint or on a leash not longer than six feet. Owners will be asked to remove noisy or dangerous pets or pets that threaten or harass wildlife. Pets are not allowed in or around cabins, cabin areas or other lodging facilities.

Which parks offer free wi-fi internet service?

The following parks offer free wifi in some capacity on the park: Caesars Head State Park, Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, Devils Fork State Park, Dreher Island State Park, Edisto Beach State Park, Hickory Knob State Resort Park, Hunting Island State Park,  Lake Greenwood State Park, Myrtle Beach State Park, Oconee State Park, Paris Mountain State Park, Poinsett State Park, Santee State Park, Table Rock State Park and Lake Hartwell State Park.  For more detailed information, please contact the park you are interested in visiting, directly.

May we bring our own firewood into your parks?

Many invasive forest pests like Emerald Ash Borer, Asian Long-horned Beetle, and others can hitch rides on firewood logs. Even if no adult insects are visibly present on the wood, their larvae and pupae may be maturing inside the wood itself. While these beetles don’t tend to move very far from where they are found, they can spread very easily by travelling on firewood logs that campers bring from far away.

SC Forest Health authorities advise firewood should be bought and used locally to prevent spreading pests in the state. "locally" typically means wood that is purchased/harvested as close to where you are planning to burn it as possible. Neighboring states (including NC, VA, parts of TN and GA) have areas under quarantine for pests like Emerald Ash Borer, Thousand Cankers Diseas, Europena Gypsy Moth, etc - it is illegal to move any regulated items (i.e. firewood) from quarantined zones out of these states into SC.

For more information on this issue, visit www.dontmovefirewood.org

What is the discount policy for senior citizens, blind and disabled citizens?

South Carolina residents who are at least 65 years of age, legally blind or 100% disabled, qualify for certain rate reductions. Proof of age or disability is required.  These qualifying residents receive 35% off admission, camping, picnic shelters, golf and fishing pier admission. In order to receive the camping discount, qualifying individuals MUST occupy the site reserved.  Also these qualifying residents may purchase a Palmetto Passport for $37.50 (50% off) for admission to all state parks, or the Inland Passport for $25, for the period of one year.  There are NO rate reductions for lodging, building or meeting facility rentals, leased facilities, resale items or equipment rentals.

Do out-of-state senior citizens, blind or disabled citizens receive any discounts?

The same rate reductions as listed in the question above are extended to out-of-state U.S. residents only at the following parks: Baker Creek, Calhoun Falls, Hamilton Branch, Hickory Knob, Lake Hartwell and Sadlers Creek, EXCEPT for the Palmetto Passport discount.

What are your metal detection guidelines for State Parks and State Park properties?

Click here for a printable version of our guidelines concerning metal detector use on state parks and state park properties.

What are your geocaching guidlelines for state parks and state park properties?

Click here for a printable version of our guidelines concerning geocaching on state parks and state park properties.

How can I get printed information on state park camping and lodging?

For detailed information on all state park camping and lodging facilities, you may download our comprehensive information sheet.  You can also find a printable park map and brochure for each park on our maps and brochures page.

Where can I find information about State Park employment, internships, etc?

Detailed information on employment with the South Carolina State Park Service and other areas within SCPRT may be found by clicking here or  visiting our agency website.

What is the minimum age required to reserve/occupy a campsite?

To reserve and/or occupy a campsite, a member of the party must be least 18 years of age and present at the time of check in. They must also be present on the site with the camping equipment.

Are alcoholic beverages allowed on park property?

It is unlawful for any person to consume or display in public any beverage of alcoholic content, including beer and wine, except where specifically authorized by the Department.

Are golf carts permitted on state parks?

For information regarding the use of a personal golf cart, please contact the individual park that you plan to visit.

What are check in and check out times for cabins and villas?

Check in time for cabins and villas is 4pm and check out time is 10am at all parks except for Hickory Knob.  Please contact the individual parks for late arrival instructions.

How many tents or RVs are allowed per campsite?

Campers are allowed a maximum of one trailer/RV and one tent, OR two tents per site. No more than
six (6) persons (or one family) may occupy the same site.

What are check in and check out times for camping?

Check in time for camping is 2pm and check out time is 12pm for all parks.  Please contact the park for late arrival instructions.

Where can I find a list of state park rules and regulations?

You can find the South Carolina State Park rules and regulations, along with campground rules and regulations at this link.

How can I provide my comments and feedback on my recent visit to a state park?

Comments and feedback can be submitted via our online survey.  Click here to access and complete the survey.

Does the park service have a comprehensive guide with information on all 47 state parks?

You may purchase our official guide in our online park store, or at any South Carolina State Park.  To access the online, interactive version, please click this link.