Containing over 90,000 acres of pristine and well looked after lands, South Carolina’s state park system is a very good one.
Incorporated within a region that stretches from the imperious Blue Ridge Mountains, to the stunning coastline that accommodates the Atlantic ocean, their 47 state parks are truly magical.
Within them, you will find spectacular terrains that feature rampaging blackwater rivers, thunderous waterfalls, gorgeous white sandy beaches, shimmering lakes and craggy mountains that are covered in dense, verdant forest.
For those lucky people who live near the city of Florence, these public recreational spaces provide excellent opportunities to fish, swim, hike, bike, or partake in a range of water based activities like kayaking, SUP and canoeing.
If you are feeling the urge to explore the wonderful geography of your region, then let us provide you with some inspiration.
Below is a selection of 5 state parks near Florence you really should check out – whenever you get the chance.
Map of State Parks Near Florence SC
Below is a map of the state parks in South Carolina covered in this post:
List of State Parks Near Florence
All of the five state parks near Florence showcased below, can be reached within a 2 hour drive of the city. This makes them perfect day trip destinations.
However, to fully appreciate their beauty and overall ambiance, it’s worth staying at them for a few days. Which is why they all offer a range of camping accommodation options to suit all styles and budgets.
1. Poinsett State Park
Location: 6660 Poinsett Park Rd, Wedgefield, SC 29168
The Poinsett State Park is situated about an hour and 10 minutes drive south west of Florence.
Tucked away in the lofty hills of Santee, this area has been called the ‘mountains of the midlands’. It’s a very popular place for hiking and biking, as there are a number of trails that take you all around the park. Some of which connect to the Palmetto Trail. Which will take you on to the impressive Manchester State Forest.
Much of the park is centered around a 10-acre lake which is an excellent spot for a picnic, and also attracts lots of anglers, kayakers, canoeists, paddle boarders and boating enthusiasts.
The campground here provides 24 sites that come with water and electrical hookups. You can also stay at any of the other 26 tent sites that are located near the water.
Around the campground, you will also find a coquina bathhouse. It was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s and offers warm showers and restroom facilities.
2. Sesquicentennial State Park
Location: 9564 Two Notch Rd, Columbia, SC 29223
Often called ‘Sesqui’ by locals, the Sesquicentennial State Park is located about an hour and 15 minutes drive west from Florence.
An ideal place for you to head to if you like trees, overall there are more than 1,400 acres of stately pine trees around the 1,419-acre park. Much of which can be explored through its many hiking and nature trails.
One of the many highlights of the park is a stunning 30-acre lake, which is a haven for those who love to swim, fish, SUP, canoe or kayak. This is also a lovely spot to sit and watch the stars at night too.
Sesquicentennial State Park also accommodates an august aluminium bridge which spans a distance of over 100 feet across the scenic Jackson Creek.
In terms of camping options, there are 84 sites available with electricity. Some of which also come with water too. The campground also has hot showers and toilet facilities, as well as a fire ring and a picnic table.
3. Andrew Jackson State Park
Location: 196 Andrew Jackson Park Rd, Lancaster, SC 29720
Presenting the impressive presidential residence of the USA’s 7th President, Andrew Jackson State Park can be reached via an hour and 35 minute drive northwest of Florence.
A fantastic place to visit if you love American history, it houses a captivating museum which showcases interactive displays about the life of Andrew Jackson. As well as historic memorabilia from the Revolutionary War.
Other highlights in the park include a replica schoolhouse from the 18th-century and an impressive statue of the ‘Boy of the Waxhaws’. There is also a beautiful lake too that provides plenty of fishing and swimming opportunities.
For anyone wanting to stay for a few nights, the park offers 25 campsites that come with water and electrical hookups. You will also find a restroom, complete with hot showers and a couple of picnic shelters too.
4. Lake Wateree State Park
Location: 881 State Park Rd, Winnsboro, SC 29180
Another outstanding destination for those who like recreational water based activities is Lake Wateree State Park.
It will take you about an hour and 30 minutes to drive west from Florence. But once you are there you will be able to take full advantage of a 13,700-acre reservoir that extends for around 21 miles.
As you can imagine, swimming and fishing are very popular activities here. While boating, kayaking, SUP and canoeing are well practiced too.
For those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground, there are ample opportunities to explore the park’s boundaries either via hiking or biking.
You’ll find 100 paved campsites here that are perfect to pitch a tent, or set up your RVs. All of them come with water and electrical hook ups, and about 25 of these are situated down by the water.
Within the campground there is a fantastic playground the kids will love too.
5. Chester State Park
Location: 759 State Park Rd, Chester, SC 29706
For more than 90 years Chester State Park has been one of the most popular state parks in South Carolina to visit.
Situated a 2 hour drive northwest of Florence, it is the furthest state park on this list from the city. However, as it is centered around a picturesque 160-acre lake, it is well worth coming here if you are into fishing and water based recreational activities.
Several trails lead you through enchanting alpine forest landscapes that showcase breathtaking vistas from various lookout points.
Open all throughout the year, the campground here provides several accommodation options, for everything from single tents to 40-foot RVs.