Small Stuff

Message From The Director

I recently hiked to the top of Table Rock with a friend, who had never done it before. I told him of the great vistas that awaited him at the top of the Mountain and that it would be worth the hike. As luck would have it, when we made it to the top, the clouds rolled in, blanketed the valley below and hid the view of Caesars Head and the Table Rock Reservoir.

As I was explaining the sites he was missing, my friend quickly reminded me of what I was missing - the clouds were moving in, and suddenly the 3000 foot elevation of Table Rock took on a new look. The overlook looked out over an endless blanket of clouds that gave us the feeling that we were on top of the world.

Just when I didn’t expect it, Mother Nature reminded me that there is always beauty and wonder, sometimes we just miss it while we are looking for the obvious or expected.

The trip down took on new meaning as we saw everything, including photographers setting up along Carrick Creek to capture a revived steam full of activity from the recent rains and families making the trek up the mountain.

Yep, it’s in the small stuff, don’t miss it.

A few days later at the 150 Anniversary Celebration of the Hunting Island Light House, I was on the way to the top of the Light House to see the new exhibits. The exhibits tell the story of the Light Keepers as well as the story of the Light House. At the top a new wayside explains what you are seeing.

I was anxious to get to the top to see the exhibit that connects you to this historic South Carolina icon and the view that makes you feel as if you can see forever. The view didn’t disappoint me, but on the way down I observed the best part of the trip…a mom and dad being taught by their daughter how many steps they had gone and how many more where left and how the Light Keepers brought the oil for the lamp up this very way.

Yep, it’s in the small stuff.

Too often we think we have to have a trip all planned out, that we have to see that perfect sunrise or sunset, or that we have to go to the top of a mountain or the top of a lighthouse to make a memory.

The fact is your state parks are the perfect spot to find special unexpected moments and to share in the small stuff. Here are some ideas.

  • Take a picnic lunch and with some family and friends and enjoy a lunch outside.
  • Explore some of parks that are not as familiar and that are a little off the beaten path.
  • Have you ever walked by the CCC spillway at Barnwell?
  • There’s a new boardwalk at Woods Bay. Take a walk on the boardwalk and have a discussion on just what is a Carolina Bay?
  • Walk the trail at Poinsett, and you will swear that you are in the mountains; find a Ranger and ask him or her how to get to the old mill site below the spillway, (one of my favorite spots).
  • Have you walked the new trail at Musgrove Mill, and sat at Horse Shoe falls or walked down to the old rice fields at Hampton Plantation?

The fall is a great time to explore your state parks and make a memory. The secret? Don’t try too hard, making the time and getting there is the hardest part, once you’re there, the park will take care of the small stuff!

See you in the parks!