FAQs

Search Entire FAQ

Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site FAQ


Back to the FAQ Main Page

If you have a problem or question not answered in our FAQs, please contact us.

Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site

What are the hours of operation for the park?

The park is open daily from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. during daylight savings time and 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. the remainder of the year.  It is closed on Christmas Day.

Are campsites available at the park?

Camping is not available at Colonial Dorchester.  Camping is available at Givhans Ferry State Park or numerous other parks in the state park system.

Are weddings or other special events allowed at the park?

Special events are permitted at the park.  Applications and guidelines, which specify use restrictions, may be obtained from the Park Manager.  Please contact the park for more information.

Is fishing allowed at the park?

Yes, fishing is allowed at Colonial Dorchester. To protect the natural and historical resources, fishing should be limited to the area behind the fort or the area behind the restrooms. A South Carolina freshwater fishing license is required.

Is grilling permitted on the park?

We do not allow grills on site.  If you are interested in a picnic, you will have to bring pre-cooked food items. If you are interested in grilling at a park near Summerville, we recommend contacting Givhans Ferry State Park.

Are there any bike trails at Colonial Dorchester?

Due to the sensitive nature of this unique archaeology site, we do not have biking trails. However, we do have a few short walking paths throughout the park. The paths lead you on a walking tour throughout the historic colonial town remains.

Are visitors allowed to participate in archaeology digs?

The Process of Discovery program is offered at various time throughout the year (weather permitting). During this program the public can come out and observe archaeologists as they piece together the history of the town. These programs may include sifting through dirt, cleaning previously found artifacts or interpreting artifacts found throughout the site. Due to the scientific complexity of archaeology, we recommend calling to verify the level of experience that the archaeologist will be presenting. Detailed dates and time can be found on the programs & events page.

Are metal detectors allowed at Colonial Dorchester?

Metal detectors are not allowed at this historic site.  Click here for a printable version of our guidelines concerning metal detector use on state parks and state park properties throughout South Carolina.

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.

Is there river access for boating at the park?

There is no river access for boating at Colonial Dorchester.

Are pets allowed at Colonial Dorchester?

Pets are allowed, but must be on a leash or other physical restraint at all times. Owners will be asked to remove noisy or dangerous pets or pets that threaten or harass wildlife.

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.