If you are reading this, chances are you consider yourself an outsider, as long as “outsider” means you love the outdoors and if given the choice you would pick to be outside, hands down. If you are an outsider or thinking about becoming an outsider, I’ve got a deal for you. Take it to the next level and become an ultimate outsider! An “Ultimate Outsider” in South Carolina means you have visited and experienced all 47 of our state parks. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, it is more challenging that you would think. There’s the time commitment to visit all 47 and they are literally from the mountains to the sea and everywhere in between. The reward? An awesome t-shirt from SC State Parks and membership into the Ultimate Outsider club! Currently there are over 100 Ultimate Outsiders in SC State Parks. Those aren’t even the best rewards for becoming an Ultimate Outsider. It’s the journey itself. The way you will experience the birthplace of South Carolina, stand where presidents stood, walk along the edge of North America, see trees that were there before Columbus’s voyage to the Americas, visit a rain forest and climb to the top of a mountain or a lighthouse and see the two extremes of the palmetto state’s landscapes, those are the best reward.
I’ve done the trek many times. I have a pretty good excuse to visit all the parks, but I make a point to try to experience something different each trip. One of my favorite things to do is take friends and family to a park for the first time. Recently, I had the opportunity to take some friends to Jones Gap. I explained there was a good possibility we would encounter some rain on our trip, as Jones Gap records an average of 80 to 90 inches of rainfall per year, which technically classifies it as a rainforest. This rainforest classification can be seen in the unique plants, abundance of falling water, and the rocks and gorges that make up this amazing landscape. Just up the road I explained the importance of the last frontier outpost in South Carolina at Oconee Station. We passed by iconic South Carolina landmarks like Table Rock Mountain while following the “blue wall” of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Think about the journey from the mountains to the sea: down the rivers, through the lakes, through the obvious landmarks and parks that first come to mind for your Ultimate Outsider journey. Imagine being atop the lighthouse at Hunting Island and using your imagination to look up the coast and see your adventures ahead. There’s turtle nests on Edisto Beach, the castle at Huntington Beach and the pier at Myrtle Beach. Then, as you start visiting some of these familiar spots, you notice something is happening along the way. You are not only discovering these parks, but making plans to discover other parks that are close by. You will discover something not on your itinerary- memories. Your time with friends and family and the memories you have made are priceless and will last a lifetime.
Now, to really be an Ultimate Outsider it’s more than just getting your book stamped and riding through the park. It’s the activities that create even more memories. What kind of activities can you do in South Carolina State Parks? How about: kayaking, riding horses, riding bikes, hiking, camping, picnicking, walking, campfires, s’mores, shelling, birding, fishing, photography, golfing, laughing, learning, discovering. You’re going to need a few weekends! So how about it? Are you an Ultimate Outsider? Be on the lookout for our new ad campaign and join us on an adventure that you won’t want to miss.
See you in the parks!