Columbia -- State parks in South Carolina are offering a unique series of programs this fall that will give the visitor a significant experience at the park.
The programs, which will hub out of Barnwell, Devils Fork, Givhans Ferry, Santee and Table Rock state parks, will be held from early September to November. Options include sunset cruises, lake tours, Civil War lectures, a chocolatiering seminar, mountain lake paddling, and saltwater fishing. Each of the programs comes with at least two nights’ stay at a state park, checking in the night before the program and checking out the morning after.
Barnwell State Park
At Barnwell State Park, a Fossiling Kayak Adventure will be held Sept. 26-28. This program includes a guided kayak trip to productive fossil sites with Charleston Fossil Adventures, LLC. These tours yield a variety of fossilized shark teeth and animal bones as the tour takes participants to gravel bars in the Edisto River. Everyone must have kayaking experience. Kayaks and equipment will be provided. The program is limited to six participants. A Hobby Diving License (click here for application) is required for reporting purposes, but the program will only collect from the shallows and sandbars. Six-month permit recommended. Allow four weeks for processing. Price is $299 for single occupancy and $229 for double.
The program One More Paddle! Will be held at Devils Fork State Park Sept. 26-28. It’s an opportunity to try out the latest paddling equipment including kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and canoes through paddling lessons and demonstrations. The cost is $500 for double occupancy in a two-bedroom villa; $50 for each additional participant.
Saltwater Fishing Expeditions by kayak will be held in the marshes and creeks of Givhans Ferry on Oct. 10-12, 17-19 and 24-26. Fall is an ideal time of year to catch red fish and spotted sea trout. The program will include complimentary rod/reel and tackle, transportation from the park to the boat launch and back, kayaks and guided experience. Participants are responsible for having a 2017 South Carolina saltwater fishing license in their possession during the program. The program is limited to a maximum of four participants. The cost is $225 for single occupancy and $125 for double.
Santee State Park
803-854-2408 or SanteeSP@scprt.com
Weekdays on the Water – Sunset and Wine Cruises will be held at Santee State Park Sept. 12-14, Sept. 19-21 and Sept. 26-28. The program includes an evening cruise with a glass of wine along Lake Marion and two nights’ stay at the park’s rondette cabins. The registration deadline for the programs is one week prior, and the cost is $200 for single occupancy or $150 for double occupancy. There’s also a special rate of $50 for the day of the cruise only.
The Santee Lake and Locks Tour will be held Oct. 16-18. It includes a boat ride around the Cooper River, Lake Moultrie and the Santee Canal in Moncks Corner to view the engineering marvel of the locks and the abundant wildlife. The fee is $250 for single occupancy, $150 for double and $60 for tour only.
The Defending Carolina – Civil War Battlefields Tour will hub out of Santee State Park Nov. 7-9 and again on Feb. 20-22, but includes a tour of Rivers Bridge State Historic Site near Ehrhardt in Bamberg County and of Congaree Creek in Lexington County. Both battlefields have preserved earthworks that help visitors understand what the Union Army faced as it advanced toward Columbia, and how Confederates hoped to stop them. The fee is $225 for single occupancy and $129 for double occupancy.
The Chocolatiering Experience – from Bean to Bar and Beyond will be held Nov. 13-16 at Santee State Park. The program opens with an evening meet and greet featuring an expert chocolatier who will provide instruction on pairing wine with chocolate. For the next several days, sessions will cover an introduction to the chocolate bean and lessons on making chocolate treats from scratch. The program will include all necessary ingredients and preparation supplies. The cost is $450 for a single occupancy and $300 for double.
Table Rock State Park
The Last Stand(Up!) is a paddling program that will be held Oct. 3-5 at Table Rock State Park. The park invites people to test out kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and canoes during the day, and relax at a mountain cabin at night. Paddling lessons and demonstrations will be provided. Cost is $400 for double occupancy in a park cabin, and $50 for each additional participant.
For more information on state parks’ special fall programs, contact Dawn Dawson-House at email@example.com or 803-734-1779.