For thousands of years prior to European colonization, the rich natural resources of South Carolina were used by native Indian tribes. At least 29 distinct groups of Native Americans lived within what is now the state of South Carolina when the first English colony was established in 1670.
From the coast to the mountains, South Carolina's state parks protect some of the most important and interesting Native American sites in the state, and almost all state parks contain remnants of the lives and culture of these native people.
Walk the Spanish Mount Trail at Edisto Beach State Park that leads to the Spanish Mount Shell Midden Site. The site dates to approximately 3,000 to 4,000 years ago and features a 12-foot high circle of shells that may have been a Native American ceremonial site or a midden (trash heap).
The birthplace of South Carolina, Charles Towne Landing, is the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Carolinas where Native Americans, English, Africans and Barbadians came together to create the first successful English colony in Carolina in 1670.
Visit Oconee Station State Historic Site in the Blue Ridge foothills to explore what life was like for the settlers and American Indians on the American frontier. The park is the site of the annual Native American Day featuring demonstrations such as pottery making, bow making and flint knapping that help visitors learn about the culture of Native Americans before European colonization.