Friday, March 5, 2010

Santee State Park, SC. Part I

Table of Contents for This Series

  1. Introduction and route down.
  2. Drive to Park from Columbia
  3. Set-Up and the Lakeview Campground.
  4. A kayak paddle on Lake Marion.
  5. Interview with Park Manager Mr. Nathan Maiwald
  6. More things to see at Santee State Park.

Off on Sunday for Santee State Park. Another of South Carolina’s most popular State Parks. And one I’ve yet to visit.

It’s always nice to re-visit a favorite camping spot here in South Carolina. Like Edisto Beach State Park, Lake Wateree State Park, or the Upstate Keowee-Toxaway State Park. But there’s a special excitement in looking forward to a new campground.

If the new destination is a State Park, there’s no risk that the trip will end up a total disaster. Some South Carolina State Parks are better than others, of course. But none of them – none that I’ve encountered so far, anyway – have made for anything near a camping disaster.

In fact, those Parks that have shown evidence of limited financial resources all have been located in some of the most interesting parts of the State. Which more than compensates. And there’s always – at least in my experience – a good place to park your rig, reliable electricity, water, and a hot shower. There may be exceptions to this, of course. And I’ll surely let you know if and when I encounter any.

RouteMap The route down looks interesting too. And that’s always part of the fun. It seems possible to avoid the homogeneous super-highways that crisscross the state. They are good roads. But they’re all painfully similar. Not anywhere near the natural and social scenery found when traveling the back roads of the State.

The route indicated above is much shorter than I expected. Only about 60 miles. With estimated travel time of less than two hours. Not bad! I should have visited this Park long ago!

SanteeWebsiteClick on the screen capture photo above to visit Santee State Park’s website. It’s beautifully maintained. One of the most comprehensive Park websites I’ve come across. Full of photos, videos, and general information about the Park and its environs. That website is by far the best place on the Web to find information about this Park. Though I hope to give you some first-hand photos and evaluations in the next few posts!

The videos on the official Park site take a moment or two to load. But do have a look. It’s worth it. The Park Video Tour is especially comprehensive and well done. Click on the link to have a look. It’s an interview with Park Manager, Nathan Maiwald. I’ve e-mailed Mr. Maiwald to invite him to an audio interview for CarolinaConsidered next week. Hopefully he will have time.

Maiwald 1 In the meantime, to learn more about Mr. Maiwald and his career with the Park Service, click here. A good biographical page. The more I visit South Carolina’s State Parks, the more I realize the difference the Park management makes in the operation of each Park, and in the experience we visitors have while there.

Santee State Park is located in the eastern part of South Carolina’s Orangeburg County. Another of South Carolina’s counties chuck-full of interesting places to visit. At least one trip to Orangeburg, the County Seat, is a must. But it will have to compete with the Park’s immediate surroundings. And, with Lake Marion. Which looks ideal for kayaking. I’ll certainly have the Advanced Elements Expedition inflatable kayak along in the back seat. Hoping to get in at least one long paddle.

So, tune in soon for more on Santee State Park, Orangeburg County, and Lake Marion.

Click here for the next post in this series.

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