Lutz Foundation grant will fund new hike-in campsites at Chester State Park

February 9, 2024

Chester, S.C. – Five hike-in campsites will open later this year at Chester State Park thanks to a $40,000 grant from the Lutz Foundation.

For campers looking to get closer to nature, hike-in, or trailside camping, is a great option. As the name suggests, campers park in a designated area and then walk along a trail with their tent and camping gear to access their campsites. Each of the new hike-in sites at Chester State Park will be near the park’s lake and will be equipped with a campfire ring, lantern holder, picnic table, and hammock posts, and will have convenient access to a vault-style restroom.

“Hike-in camping offers a totally different experience from tent camping on our campgrounds,” said Park Manager, Zach Setzer. “The sites give campers a quieter, more rustic experience under the stars, without being too far off the beaten path. Our hike-in sites will be built along an old logging road, so the hiking trail to access them will be approachable for all levels of backpackers and hikers.”

Chester currently offers 25 packed gravel sites on their campground, all with water and 50-amp electrical hookups. Two double camper cabins are also available to reserve for those looking for a getaway that requires less gear. The new hike-in sites are expected to be available to reserve on the South Carolina State Parks website by late summer 2024.

The C. Herbert and Anna E. Lutz Foundation is a Chester, South Carolina, family foundation that has awarded more than $8 million since it was established in the 1990s to support education, community, health, and welfare. Their support of Chester State Park has been transformative, funding the park’s new upscale picnic pads, camper cabins, a playground, a disc golf course, and more. These improvements, along with many others made possible through the Lutz Foundation’s support, have helped raise the park’s profile in the community and statewide.

Chester State Park has been a local favorite for camping, outdoor recreation, disc golf, family gatherings, picnicking, fishing, and more since it opened in the 1930s. The park has earned its reputation as a hidden gem and serene escape conveniently located between Columbia and Charlotte.


Need more information?   Sam Queen
Director of Corporate Communications
SC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism
1205 Pendleton Street, Columbia, SC 29201
| 803-734-1779
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