Fall For State Parks Again

Message From The Director

A sure sign that fall has arrived are those cool mornings, pumpkins and the changing colors of the leaves. Even a campfire takes on a different feel in the fall. The crispness of the air accentuates the smoke and aroma that can only mean camping. When the calendar hits October I’m asked if the leaves have started to change yet. The fact is here is South Carolina, our leaf season doesn’t start until the end of October.

The annual changing of leaves from greens to yellows, reds and oranges is one of those strange and unusual acts of nature that remind us of the beauty and awesome power of nature. The science behind the “leaf change” is a fascinating one. As the days get shorter and the temperatures get cooler, the green leaves we've become so familiar with over the year slowly start to change. Leaves appear green because of chlorophyll, the chemical pigment that allows sunlight to be absorbed for the production of sugars and starches. When this happens, other chemical pigments that have been masked by chlorophyll all season, are finally revealed. The result is beautiful colors and opportunities for exploration!

Here in South Carolina our fall colors last longer, and are often more brilliant than other parts of the nation. Start in the mountains around the end of October, and work your way the through the state to see fall colors like you never have before. The mountains are the obvious, but there is nothing like seeing the fall colors alongside a winding river in the midlands or at one of our historic house sites.

Each week on our webpage, we will give you fall color updates to help you plan your fall trip to see the turning of the leaves. Be sure to see LIVE views of fall color from the Table Rock webcam too.

For me fall is the best time of year to explore and discover your state parks. We hope to see you in places like Caesars Head, Table Rock, Jones Gap, Keowee Toxaway, Paris Mountain and Oconee state parks. I also hope you explore and discover some different spots along the way like Oconee Station, just off S.C. Highway 11. Or sit by the lake at Chester State Park, walk the trail at Landsford Canal, paddle the river at Givhans Ferry or Colleton or sit on the porch at the farm at Kings Mountain. Whichever spot you pick there is no better time than now to “Fall for State Parks!"

See you in the parks!