South Carolina National Parks

The Palmetto State is home to some incredible natural beauty and unique American history. Come #FindYourPark in South Carolina.

South Carolina National Parks

Charles Pinckney National Historic Site

Charles Pinckney NHS Charleston SC

Charles Pinckney National Historic Site tells the story of Snee Farm and what remains of the 715-acre indigo and rice plantation that once operated here. It also recalls Mr. Pinckney's most famous accomplishments as one of America's Founding Fathers and authors of the Constitution of the United States. Mr. Pinckney is responsible for adding more than 25 clauses to the final draft of the Constitution.

Charles Pinckney NHS is not far from Charleston, SC, and visitors can enjoy walking the grounds and nature trails of the 28-acre park, picnicking in the beautiful setting, and exploring exhibits and displays. Ranger led walks and programs are also available.

Be sure to read our blog post on other things to do in and around Charleston, SC.

Charles Pinckney NHS Charleston SC

Congaree National Park

Congaree National Park South Carolina

Congaree National Park is South Carolina's only National Park and is the largest old growth, bottomland hardwood forest in the southeastern United States. This marshy forest can be explored by foot, but is also popular to explore by canoe or kayak. Marked water trails will help you find your way along Cedar Creek and other areas of the park.

Congaree has over 25 miles of hiking trails and several miles of boardwalk to help you get around. Other activities include camping, fishing, and Ranger programs throughout the year. Popular hikes include the Big Tree Hike, where you'll see some of the largest species in the park or a night hike where you might find some glow-in-the-dark fungi. For our visit, we took a half-day guided canoe trip and highly recommend it!

Be sure to read our blog post for more information about visiting Congaree National Park.

Congaree National Park South Carolina

Cowpens National Battlefield

The Battle of Cowpens was a battle during the American Revolution and is seen as a critical turning point in the war in the South, setting up other major victories for the Patriots, such as Yorktown. Visitors to the park can learn about this important battle, walk the battlefield trail, or take the auto loop to see more.

Stop by the Visitor Center to watch a short film about the battlefield, browse the artifacts in the museum, and find out more about Ranger talks and programs. Cowpens National Battlefield is located about an hour's drive west of Charlotte, SC.

Fort Sumter National Monument

Fort Sumter Things to do inFort Sumter National Monument Charleston Charleston

Fort Sumter is best known as the battle that started the American Civil War. Located in Charleston Bay, Fort Sumter National Monument can be reached by boat, and the Monument tells the story of how Fort Sumter became a pivotal player in American history.

Be sure to book your passage in advance to guarantee a spot on one of the ferries. Nearby Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island is also part of the park. In the city of Charleston in Liberty Square, the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center has museum exhibits, a bookstore, and is where you'll meet for your departure to Fort Sumter.

Fort Sumter National Monument Charleston

Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor

McLeod Plantation Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor

The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor stretches along the eastern seaboard from Wilmington, North Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida, and celebrates the culture of African descendants brought from West Africa amid the slave trade to work the fields along the Atlantic Coast. Rice, indigo, and Sea Island Cotton plantations relied on slave labor of the Gullah Geechee to become rich and to produce crops for export. Since many of these plantations existed in barrier islands or were otherwise isolated from the mainland, the Gullah Geechee people retained much of their cultural identity and today their traditions, arts and crafts, and ways of life are still uniquely African.

The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor was designated by Congress in 2006. Like other heritage corridors, the National Park Service works in conjunction with local, city, and state governments to protect and preserve the Gullah Geechee heritage. Visit the official Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor website here for more information.

Read more about visiting Charleston, SC and some of the sites in the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor here.

Kings Mountain National Military Park

The battle of Kings Mountain during the American Revolution and was  fought on October 7, 1780 in Blacksburg, SC. It's unique in that it was fought amongst Americans - no British soldiers were involved. While some believed that America should stand with Great Britain, others obviously believed in independence. Many agree, including Thomas Jefferson, that this battle turned the tide in the war and propelled America towards independence.

In addition to learning about the history of the park, there are several hiking trails to explore. Kings Mountain National Military Park was established on March 3, 1931 by Congress and is the terminus of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail.

Ninety Six National Historic Site

Ninety Six was established in the 1700's as a base for trading and also an early European settlement. It has a long history of quarrels with Cherokees fighting to keep their lands, early settlement, and strategic significance during the American Revolution. Today, the park is part of the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution Parks Group that includes Cowpens National Battlefield, Kings Mountain National Military Park, and the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail. Together, these parks help tell the story of the American Revolution's Southern campaign. Ninety Six was established in 1976 and encompasses a little over 1,000 acres.

Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail - NC, SC, TN,

The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail marks the route taken through North and South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia during the American Revolutionary War that American patriot soldiers utilized during the Kings Mountain campaign of 1780. It stretches for 330 miles and includes both an auto route and 87 miles of walking paths and trails.

Throughout the year, the Overmountain Victory Trail Association organizes events and activities celebrating the pivotal victory at Kings Mountain.

Reconstruction Era National Historical Park

As the Civil War ended, America was a country that found itself with a host of new problems to solve - how to integrate thousands of former slaves into society and the workforce, how to admit Confederate states back into the Union, and how best to navigate the tumultuous times ahead. Reconstruction Era National Historical Park helps visitors understand and discuss the most important questions of the time, such as what is freedom and what exactly does it mean? What sort of government will we have and how will its citizens participate in it? Who can actually be a citizen? Discover answers to some of these questions and more while exploring the park.

Reconstruction Era National Historical Park was originally established in 2017 by President Obama and then re-designated in 2019 by Congress. The park is still being developed, but visitors can enjoy the Visitor Center as well as some guided tours and programs.

South Carolina National Heritage Corridor

McLeod Plantation - Charleston SC

The South Carolina National Heritage Corridor consists of several significant sites throughout South Carolina that promote and preserve the natural and historic resources of the state. The Corridor currently includes the following sites: McLeod Plantation Historic Site, Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Middleton Place Plantation, Drayton Hall Plantation, SC State Botanical Gardens, Audubon's Beidler Forest Sanctuary, Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, Fort Sumter National Monument, Jocassee Gorges Wilderness Area, and the Edisto River.

For more information about about the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor, see their official website here.