Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Poinsett State Park, South Carolina. Part III. The Overlook Shelter and Picnic Area.

Click here for the first post in this series.

All quiet here at the Poinsett State Park campground last night. Only five or six of the other campsites were occupied.

Which was a surprise. Of course, State Park campgrounds are rarely as busy during the week as they are on weekends. But Poinsett is only 35 miles from Columbia. With good highways from beginning to end. So the trip from the center of town takes well under an hour.

Oh well, this is my first visit too. After living in Columbia for nearly 25 years! It certainly won’t be the last. If RV or tent camping isn’t your style, try one of the fully furnished cabins. More on them in a moment.

overlook shelter 1 This morning after a light breakfast and work on the computer, I drove out to take a few photos. First stop was the Overlook Shelter you see here. Another example of the CCC’s work in the 1930s.

overlook view This shelter is positioned on one of the highest points in the Park. Overlooking some beautiful scenery below. Here’s the view from one of the picnic shelters.

Yes, yes. Our Upstate mountains offer much more dramatic scenery. But we’re in the Sandhills here! Myrtle Beach is just down the road a piece, as we’d say OverHome. So, overlook scenery like this is quite a surprise.

Click on that photo for a closer look. You may be able to see the Park lake peeping through. The view must have been more dramatic when the CCC positioned and built this shelter. Park management has plans to thin out some of the trees that have grown up to block the view since construction of the shelter in the 1930s.

overlook view 2 Can you imagine it? One person with a megaphone standing under the shelter. Another down the steep decline. Climbing potentially obstructionist tree after tree to shake their tops back and forth. All the while listening for instructions from the colleague under the shelter. Oh my. I know which role I’d prefer! Poinsett could sell tickets to view that operation.

overlook tree 1Imagine the effort that went into planning this Overlook Shelter and its surrounding landscape. Too bad I didn’t take a video shot of the whole area. dead tree Trees planted in the 1930s have matured into the shapes we see today. Trees mature in the 1930s have died, leaving dramatic trunks as refuge for birds and the insects the feed upon.

overlook fountain Here and there more examples of CCC use of the coquina stone they used to build and decorate this Park. This really is a beautiful spot. No wonder so many couples decide to have weddings here. It’s the perfect location.

overlook picnic Too many guests for the smaller Overlook Shelter? Well, then use the nearby picnic shelter. Just a short walk away, with plenty more parking.

overlook picnic inside It too is a traditional CCC structure with coquina fireplaces at both ends, cooking grills, and tables. Lots of potential for dramatic wedding-type celebrations.

I’m beginning to sound like a tour promoter here. But it’s hard not to when faced with Poinsett’s natural and social scenery. Come and have a look for yourself!

That’s all for now. But stay tuned. We’ll visit the Poinsett cabins in the next post.

Click here for the next post in this series.

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