Colonial Dorchester preserves and interprets the archaeological site of a village founded in 1697. For nearly one hundred years, Dorchester prospered as an inland trade center where several generations of South Carolinians, free and enslaved, lived and worked in the homes and shops that lined the town’s streets. Discover Carolina field trip participants will examine historical documents and take part in hands-on programming that incorporates not only the standing ruins of the town but also the rich archaeological record just below the surface.
Online Field Trips Start Here:
Please call or email the park at least six weeks in advance of your desired field trip date to check availability and make a program reservation.
Chaperones and teachers are admitted free. The required ratio is one chaperone for every ten students.
Colonial Dorchester SHS is located at 300 State Park Road; Summerville, SC 29485
From I-26: Take exit 199A. Travel 3 miles on Hwy 17 through downtown Summerville to Hwy 165. Turn left onto Hwy 165/E. Carolina Ave. Stay in right lane, travel .5 miles and veer right to continue on Hwy 165/Bacons Bridge Road. Travel 2.5 miles to Hwy 642/Dorchester Road. Turn left at intersection of Bacons Bridge Road and Dorchester Road. Travel 2 miles and the park entrance will be on the right.
The historic site offers bathroom facilities and outdoor picnic areas. It does not have covered picnic shelters. Colonial Dorchester is part of the Project Green program, which is designed to introduce people to be stewards of the sites they visit by following the "pack it in, pack it out" philosophy. Therefore, all trash brought into park by the visiting groups should leave with the visiting groups.
The field trip will take place entirely outside regardless of the weather conditions. There are no paved surfaces in the park and walking surfaces can be uneven. We recommend participants wear closed-toe shoes and dress for the weather.
Fire ants, wasps, mosquitoes and bees are a part of the ecosystem at the park. While the park manages these as best they can, teachers should be aware of their presence and bring a first-aid kit with them during their field trip.
While a single water fountain is available on the grounds, we recommend all students bring bottled water on warmer days.