For many people, Anderson South Carolina is in the perfect location. It is centered between Atlanta and Charlotte, approximately 125 miles away from each. That’s close enough to a large city to take advantage of its many amenities, but still far enough away to avoid many of the pitfalls of city living.
People in Anderson get the benefits of a more rural existence, including more room to live and to explore. And since South Carolina is gorgeous country, one would hope that there are some state parks set aside to preserve some of that countryside for public enjoyment.
The government of South Carolina has done just that, and created 40 state parks, in addition to 4 national wildlife refuges, and 3 state forests.
So that raises the question: Which South Carolina state parks are in close proximity to Anderson?
List of State Parks Near Anderson, SC
If you are in Anderson looking for nearby parks you are in luck – here are several just a short drive away:
1. Sadlers Creek State Park
Location: 940 Sadlers Creek Rd, Anderson, SC 29626
Located just 14 miles from the center of town, Sadlers Creek State Park is just a short drive away. Sadlers Creek State Park encompasses 395 acres of land, and extends on a peninsula into Lake Hartwell. The park has thirty-seven camping sites around the lake, giving campers a front-row seat to both wildlife and other visitors taking advantage of a variety of watersport activities.
Anglers will appreciate the variety of fish that live in the lake, including bass, catfish, and trout. The park has a 100-foot pier available that stretches into a deep-water cove, which is perfect for fishermen. And they even have a tackle loaner program, in case you need to borrow a rod and reel.
There are easy biking and hiking trails, which are 6 miles and 1/2 mile respectively. Both give you a chance to see the beautiful area and some of the critters that call it home.
2. Lake Hartwell State Park
Location: 19138 SC-11, Fair Play, SC 29643
The next closest state park to Anderson is Lake Hartwell State Park in Fair Play, which is only 23 miles away. As the name implies, this state park is centered around Lake Hartwell
It provides a variety of recreational opportunities for park visitors, including fishing, boating, and paddling a canoe or kayak. The scenery of the lake is gorgeous, and there are daily opportunities to watch breathtaking sunrises and sunsets on the water.
If you are looking for a calm and relaxing break from your daily grind, Lake Hartwell’s beauty will refresh your soul. Just take an easy hike on the nature trail that borders the lake, or kick back and enjoy a picnic along the shore. Lake Hartwell State Park has the ability to leave you feeling refreshed and restored.
3. Calhoun Falls State Park
Location: 46 Maintenance Shop Rd, Calhoun Falls, SC 29628
The third closest park to Anderson – Calhoun Falls State Park – is found 33 miles away in the town of Calhoun Falls. This is another lakeside park, with 318 acres bordering the sparsely developed 26,650 acre Lake Russell.
This lake has great fishing opportunities, and features bass, walleye, stripers, catfish, and other species. As long as you have a valid SC fishing license you are good to go. They even have a tackle loaner program if you need some equipment for your visit.
There are a bevy of campsites at Calhoun Falls – 86 to be exact – which make it one of the best camping parks in South Carolina. There are also 14 walk-in tenting sites, for those who like it a little rougher.
Calhoun Falls State Park features a moderately difficult 1.75 mile loop trail, called the Cedar Bluff Nature Trail. Its gentle hills and many footbridges will lead you to a number of surprise vistas.
4. Paris Mountain State Park
Location: 2401 State Park Rd, Greenville, SC 29609
Our fourth park is Paris Mountain State Park in Greenville, well under an hour drive from Anderson at 37 miles away. This fantastic park gives you over 1700 acres to explore, and includes 4 lakes – Buckhorn Lake, Lake Placid, North Lake, and Mountain Lake. This variety of nature so close to a city the size of Greenville is truly a gem.
There are fishing opportunities in both Lake Placid and North Lake, with bass, bream and catfish found in both. North Lake requires a 2-mile hike to access it, but since the fish are stocked it is worth the trip. Private boats are not allowed in the park lakes, but they do rent canoes, kayaks, and pedal boats during the boating season.
There are 8 different hiking and mountain biking trails in the park, plus one more that is reserved only for hiking. So if hitting a trail and seeing nature first hand is your thing, then Paris Mountain will not disappoint you.
Birding, swimming, and geocaching are favorite activities in this park. And since it offers both tenting and RV campsites, almost anyone can come and enjoy the fun.
5. Hickory Knob State Park And Resort/h3>
Location: 1591 Resort Dr, McCormick, SC 29835
Hickory Knob State Park And Resort is a bit further down the road, stretching the tape to 56 miles away from Anderson in the town of McCormick. With the word “resort” in the title, one would expect some non-typical amenities at the park. And in that Hickory Knob does not disappoint.
This park features an 18-hole golf course for those who love the idea of swinging their clubs on a championship course. And it has a skeet and archery range for visitors who want to get in a little target practice. And did we mention the buffet restaurant?
Of course, it also features many of the typical activities you’d expect at a state park. Hickory Knob borders the 71,000 acre Strom Thurmond Lake, offering boating, fishing, and other water activities.
Biking and hiking are also available here, with over 12 miles of trails to help you stretch your legs. Birders will love it, as will anyone wanting to take in the beautiful environment.