Chester State Park opens three upscale picnic areas just in time for summertime gatherings

July 27, 2023

Chester, S.C. – Pack a cooler and head to Chester State Park to enjoy a brand-new lakeside picnic experience thanks to a grant from the Lutz Foundation.

The Foundation’s $40,000 grant supported the construction of three new picnic areas, each consisting of two 6-foot-long picnic tables, a charcoal grill, a shelter canopy, and two glider benches. The new picnic areas offer beautiful views of the park’s serene lake and close proximity to the playground.

“The local community is a substantial part of our visitor base at Chester State Park, so it’s exciting to open a new picnic experience to create more opportunities for family and friends to gather,” said park manager, Zach Setzer. “Over the years, the Lutz Foundation has funded enhancements to every aspect of our visitor experience, and we’re so grateful for all of the ways they’ve helped us expand our offerings. These beautiful new picnic areas will be the setting of happy memories for so many visitors for many years to come.”

These upscale picnic pads are a valuable addition to the park’s existing day-use rental options, which include four standard picnic pads and three covered shelters. All picnic areas are available first-come-first-served if they are not reserved. The daily reservation rates range from $20-35 for the picnic pads and $30-49 for the larger shelters, with rates reaching the higher end of the price range on weekends and holidays. For indoor gatherings, you can reserve the park’s renovated Lakeview Hall, which offers a ballroom with room for 75 people and a catering kitchen.

“Our State Parks were created to provide public access to our state’s most beautiful places, so adding more facilities that encourage people to enjoy time together in the great outdoors is good for the park, and good for the community,” said SCPRT director, Duane Parrish. “We are thankful for the Lutz Foundation’s continued partnership and support. People travel from all over the state and all over the country to visit our parks, and the Chester community recognizes the park as a valuable asset to the local area.”

The Lutz Foundation is a community-based organization founded in memory of Clarence Herbert Lutz and Anna Elizabeth Lutz in 1995. The local nonprofit has dedicated almost 30 years to improving education, health, welfare, and community programs in Chester County and neighboring areas through grants that total over $6,000,000 since its establishment.

This is the ninth grant Chester State Park has received from the nonprofit. Lutz Foundation has funded the park’s two camper cabins, renovations to Lakeview Hall, 27 holes of disc golf, a 472-foot boardwalk, campground upgrades, and more.

Chester State Park opened in the 1930s and is one of the original 16 South Carolina State Parks built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. From hiking on trails, playing a round of disc golf, or fishing on the pier, there is something for everyone in this park conveniently located between Columbia and Charlotte. Sneak away from the city for a serene, tranquil setting in the Piedmont Region of South Carolina.


Need more information?   Sam Queen
Director of Corporate Communications
SC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism
1205 Pendleton Street, Columbia, SC 29201
| 803-734-1779
For travel, tourism and leisure news, visit