Thursday, July 29, 2010

Croft State Natural Area, South Carolina. Part III Having a Look Around

Click here for the first post in this series.

Croft State Natural Area is a huge place. Over 7,000 acres. The third-largest Park in the System, if memory serves. With mile after mile of hiking and mountain biking trails. Plus 20 miles of horse trails. All through beautiful rolling countryside that reminds me of the woods OverHome. How I remember those woods, anyway. People have lived here for a very long time.

canoes at lakeDuring this visit, the combination of high temperatures and high humidity, plus a few vigorous thunderstorms in the afternoons, kept me pretty much off the trails. Spending more time in the Aliner parked on Site # 31 of the Lakeside loop of the RV campground. Thank heaven for air conditioning! The little 5,000 btu unit keeps the Aliner in the mid-70s even when the outside temperature rises about 100.

Speaking of Croft’s RV campsites, here’s a short video that features three nice pull-through campsites: 28, 30, and 49. All recently renovated.

I did get to drive and walk around a bit, and did get in a couple of early-morning paddles on Lake Craig. More on that in a later post.

tree Last post I mentioned the trees and shrubbery at the Park entrance, and that remarkable oak at Picnic Shelter Number One. Well, this care and attention to trees and shrubbery extends throughout the areas of the Park open to the public. Woody and his crew do a remarkable job here. It’s a delight just to drive or walk around.

palmetto trail map Croft SNA provides an excellent opportunity to get to know the Palmetto Conservation Foundation’s Palmetto Trail. This ambitious project, when completed, will span South Carolina with around 425 miles of hiking and biking trails. Click on the map above for more detail. What a project! The Palmetto Trail would make a good article for CarolinaConsidered.

palmetto trailAbout 300 miles of of this cross-state Trail have been completed and opened to the public, according to the Conservation Foundation’s website.

Croft Palmetto Trail That includes around twelve miles of trail through Croft rated as moderately difficult. I’ve got to come back to walk this trail. What a nice way to enjoy the woods and these gently rolling hills. Here and there along the trail there will be evidence of earlier habitation. Foundations of farmhouses; outlines of now-abandoned fields; and so on. Can’t wait.

I mentioned a post or so ago that Croft State Natural Area is horse-friendly. Now, I’m not a horse person. But this Park seems to me ideal for those who like to travel with their mounts. Here’s a quick video look at some of those facilities.

barnett cemetery There’s plenty to see at Croft State Natural Area right from the window of one’s car, van, or truck. A feature that visitors with limited mobility will appreciate. Take, for example, the Barnett Family Cemetery. It’s just off the road on the right-hand side, about a mile in from the gate.

barnett cemetery Now, this is a genuine family cemetery, so be respectful. Further, it’s a very old cemetery. That includes the graves of Revolutionary War veterans and their wives. Old enough for the engraving on most headstones to be difficult-to-impossible to read. Indeed, as you’ll see in the short video, family descendents have replaced a couple headstones.

Click here for a webpage with more information about this important cemetery.

Croft State Natural Area has plenty more to see. But that’s all we have time for now. Stay tuned. Coming up a report on Lake Tom Moore Craig as the ideal ElderKayaker body of water.

Click here for the next post in this series.

Click here to return to the CarolinaConsidered Project website.

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