Making A List

Message From The Director

Lists. Seems they are a daily part of our lives. Whether it’s the list for the grocery store, the routine to-do list, the “honey-do” list and the now infamous “bucket list” of the must-do things to do before I ….uh…kick the bucket! There’s the top ten in sports, music, books and the list goes on.

Well one day I slipped up in the office. After a trip to a park, I remarked that I always go to a certain spot on the park as it was in my top five favorite spots in state parks. Oops, maybe I shouldn’t have said that because my colleagues began asking questions.

"So, just what are your top five favorite spots in state parks Phil?" Before I could say a word people started guessing my top five. “I bet the top of Table Rock Mountain is one for sure”, someone said! “The top of Hunting Island lighthouse, has to be on the list”, a voice from the back of the room shouted. “The front porch at Hampton Plantation, the view of the marsh from the new trail at Edisto Beach, the farm at Kings Mountain” …before I knew it the list had grown from one to almost 20, and I had only mentioned one.

Top Five Things to See and Do

That conversation gave me a great idea! Let’s create a list of the places to see and things to do in South Carolinas’s state parks. I’ve asked our Park Managers for a list of five things that a visitor must see or do when they visit their parks. This will help you add to your list of things for you to add to your list of activities and trips that you will want to make this year. Think of the possibilities. Once those are announced over the next few months, we want to hear from you. What are your top five spots in South Carolina's state parks? Your top 10 must see and do things in our state parks. It could be a lot of fun.

Look for more details on how you can participate in selecting lists of things to see and do at your state parks.

Narrowing down the list is the hard part, the more parks you visit the harder it becomes. If you have ever seen a sunrise along the coast at Myrtle Beach, Edisto Beach, Huntington Beach or Hunting Island State Parks, it would have to be on the list. Or seen the sun dancing off the waters of Lake Marion at Santee State Park during the fall when the cypress trees in the middle of the lake turn a rust color. Then, when the sun hits it just right they appear to be on fire as the sunlight and the reflection of the water perform magic.

How about a walk through history on the new trail at Musgrove Mill passing Horseshoe Falls? The fall colors dancing off the lake at Chester State Park and Lake Placid at Paris Mountain. Speaking of lakes, how about the historic spillways at Table Rock, Kings Mountain and Barnwell? A walk through Little Pee Dee in the spring where dogwoods blanket the understory of the tall pines and appear like patches of snow on a new day. From the white waters churning over the rocks along the Middle Saluda River at Jones Gap to the mystique black water stillness of the Edisto at Givhans Ferry -- what a list this could be!

Add to the list the spot that doesn’t have any overwhelming natural or cultural significance but rather a spot where a lifetime memory was made, like around a campfire where laughter can still be heard or that first fishing trip, or the time it rained the entire weekend but it didn’t matter.

Phil's Top Five

So the spot I was talking about in my top five -- the historic spill way and old mill site at Poinsett State Park, just off the trail at the park office. It's a special place for sure. As for the other four -- the list changes every time I visit a park! Stay tuned.

See you in the parks!