47 in 7
Earlier this month, two moms, four kids, and two dogs set off on the trip of a lifetime with a plan to visit all 47 South Carolina State Parks in seven days.
Angela Murphy and Danielle Barajas met while attending college at Coastal Carolina University, where they both ran cross country and track and field. During this time, they ran frequently in Myrtle Beach State Park and at Huntington Beach State Park. Now living in Columbia and Myrtle Beach, respectively, they still hold a love for nature and the outdoors.
They decided to plan this trip as a challenge and thought it would be fun to visit all the parks and document their journey on social media via their Instagram @sc47in7. Angela says they started working on becoming Ultimate Outsiders in 2020. She said “while camping at Table Rock State Park in mid-2020 another camper told us about the ultimate outsider book and stamps, and we jumped on it. Prior to doing this 1-week trip we had visited well over half of the parks in South Carolina.”
The group said they did not put a lot of time into the planning process. “We knew we would start in Columbia where I live, and we knew we wanted to spend our final night in Myrtle Beach – the first SC state park we both visited and where we spent a lot of time running during our college days; that park is near and dear to us. So, we just looked at the state park locations and mapped out what seemed like a reasonable route,” Angela said. With the help of Sarah in our Central Office, the group also planned overnight stays at Chester, Table Rock, and Calhoun Falls. To carry out the challenge, the group traveled from 7:15 a.m. each morning and were at their overnight spot by 5 p.m. Angela says that everyone had tasks to keep everything running smoothly. “For example, the younger kids were in charge of hooking up water and electric and the older kids kept the inside of the RV organized and clean. We had all our food with us so that we were not wasting time at grocery store or fast-food stops; we wanted to spend all our time at the parks or driving to them,” she said.
The group set off on July 10 and their first stop was Lake Wateree State Park. The purpose of their trip was to instill a love of the outdoors in their kids. “In this era of technology there are so many distractions for kids. It was so amazing to see all the beauty of SC state parks in one week. Some parks we spent more time at than others depending on whether we had seen them before. We saw beautiful wildlife – deer, armadillo, snakes, skunks, owls, alligators and geese to name a few. We walked on trails and swam in the rivers, lakes and oceans. Danielle and I ran on the trails in the mornings or evenings. We saw the beautiful mountains in the upstate (no time to climb them on this trip). The kids rode their bikes in the evenings. We cooked out and had fires. It also was lovely to drive on all the SC backroads and see the lovely countryside. We met so many great Rangers and park staff along the way,” Angela said. The group ended their journey and became Ultimate Outsiders at Sesquicentennial State Park on July 16, 2022.
Everyone asks “What is your favorite park?” We have to agree that it is impossible to pick a favorite. “Every single park is unique in what it has to offer. There is not a single park that we would not go back to. We absolutely love the upstate parks for the mountains but also love the beach parks for the oceans – and everything in between. The historic sites have so much to offer as well,” they said. The group looks forward to kayaking the Edisto River between Colleton and Givhans Ferry, hiking the Foothills Trail between Oconee and Table Rock, and taking part in the Ultimate Outsider Scavenger Hunt.
Whether it takes you seven days or seven years, we look forward to seeing you in each of our South Carolina State Parks! You can learn more about how to become an Ultimate Outsider by clicking here!