Are you looking for a fun RV vacation in the South Carolina area? Do you like history as well as nature? Go ahead and pack the family into the rig and head for Andrew Jackson State Park in Lancaster, South Carolina. Located right on the border of North and South Carolina, the park has 360 acres of nature, history, and outdoor activities waiting for you to explore and enjoy. From boating and fishing to hiking and biking, the park has everything you need for a vacation with family or friends.
This is Andrew Jackson’s old stomping grounds, where he grew up and enjoyed his own activities like fishing, swimming, and hiking. The 18-acre lake is packed with all kinds of fish, and there is an island in the middle of the lake that has hiking paths all over it. Just take a boat across the water and follow some of the wooded paths on the island where you’ll see a plethora of wildlife such as deer, raccoons, and rabbits. If you don’t have a boat with you, you can rent one from the park.
If you want to learn more about the history of the area, check out the museum, where you’ll see artifacts from the war as well as from Andrew Jackson and his family. You can also enjoy a living history program, guided tour, or visit the cemetery or historic garden. Since there is so much to see and do, you’ll be glad to know the park has 25 RV campsites with plenty of room for any RVs from 30 to 36 feet long.
In the extreme northcentral section of the state just off US-521, Andrew Jackson State Park is easy to find on Andrew Jackson Park Road. Coming from the north or west, you can get to US-521 from I-485 or I-77. If you are coming from the south, 1-20 or US-601 will get you there. And from the east, I-74 or US-601 are the roads to take. The park is less than 40 miles from Charlotte, NC, which is known for its Levine Museum and NASCAR Hall of Fame. If you want to hit the beach, you’re only 149 miles from the famous Myrtle Beach with its 60-mile string of beaches. And you are less than 200 miles from Charleston, where you can see the French Quarter and Battery districts.
Being right off the highway, you will not have any trouble with narrow or winding roads at all. The park road is a bit curvy, but you should be able to maneuver any size RV or trailer through here without issues. However, it is important to drive slowly and be on the lookout for other parkgoers walking around. This is a family park where kids and dogs are playing, so you need to be alert during your drive.
Once you get to your campsite, it is best to park the rig and take an alternative mode of transportation. If you did not bring a second vehicle or a bicycle, you could rent bikes at the park office. Walking is fun, too, since there is so much to see that you may miss it all if you are in a vehicle.
Just 10 minutes from uptown Charlotte, NC, off of I-77, Charlotte/Fort Mill KOA is close enough to be near the action, but far enough out to enjoy the calm of the woods. Get a dose of adrenaline at the nearby theme park, scour antique shops for the perfect piece, or slow down with some fishing on Lake Wylie. Charlotte/Fort Mill KOA features free Wi-Fi, cable television, mini-golf, a pool, a picnic pavilion, and a full-service lounge. There is an onsite service center for plumbing, A/C, and electrical repairs, too, so you’ll have nothing to worry about during your stay. Rigs up to 60 feet are welcome.
The Andrew Jackson State Park Campground boasts 25 spacious campsites that have both water and electric hookups for your convenience. Five of these sites are paved and can handle RVs or trailers up to 36 feet in length. The other 20 sites are gravel and can only accommodate RVs and trailers up to 30 feet in length. Each of the sites has a picnic table and a campfire ring with a grill to cook on. Nearby, you can find modern restrooms with running water and hot showers.
Several of the sites are right next to the lake, so you can just get up and see the water from your doorstep. There is a trail that circles the entire lake that you can explore with the kids as you look for a good place to spend the day for some fishing and swimming fun. There are two picnic areas here and a playground to keep the kids busy as well. Your furbaby can come along too, but you always have to keep it properly restrained. Reservations are recommended at least six months in advance because the spots fill up fast, especially on holidays and weekends.
Andrew Jackson State Park has a bunch of playing opportunities besides hiking, biking, boating, and fishing. The huge playground near Shelter 2 has monkey bars, swings, two slides, and more. If you want to play horseshoes or volleyball, just ask the staff and they will set it up for you. In fact, they even have board games you can check out and take back to the RV for a game night. Pop some popcorn and enjoy the nice peacefulness of nature as you play checkers or some other game that doesn’t involve Wi-Fi access.
Remember, when your parents used to tell you to “take a hike?” Well, you can do that here with no problem. In fact, the park has two really awesome trails that are both easy and fun to explore, no matter your hiking experience. The Garden of the Waxhaws Trail is 1.3 miles and takes you around the Andrew Jackson State Park Lake. You’ll find some natural staircases, water access all over the place, and tons of shade. The 1.2-mile Crawford Trail is another easy trek that is great for anyone, and you can even bring your pup as long as it is on a leash.
Grab your phone and your pen, some comfortable walking shoes, and a bottle of water. Then head out to find a treasure. Andrew Jackson State Park is involved with the State Park Geocache Challenge. One of the geocaches is a 50-caliber ammunition box that is about 100 feet from the schoolhouse parking lot. There are several other geocaches in the park for you to find. You can even bring a small toy or token to leave in the box as a treasure for someone else to find. Don’t forget to put the box back exactly where you found it.
Get that bike rack hooked up and hit the road. You’re more than welcome to bike all over the park on the streets or the trails as long as you are careful and watch out for hikers. The trails are both just over a mile long with one that loops around the lake and across the causeway with scenic views of the countryside. The other trail is across Old Church Road by the Meeting House, and it takes you through the forest of pines, cedar, and oaks in the undeveloped areas of the park.
Whether you have a kayak, canoe, paddleboard, or a raft, you are welcome to put it in the lake and paddle away. There is a boat dock, but you are only allowed to have small non-motorized boats here. If you don’t have a boat, you can rent one at the park office for a minimal fee. Life jackets are mandatory, and you can get them from the park office as well if you did not bring one.
If you like to fish, go ahead and pack that fishing gear in the rig before heading to Andrew Jackson State Park. The 18-acre lake has a variety of types of fish just waiting for you to toss in your line. You’ll need a South Carolina fishing license for everyone between the ages of 16 and 65. Whether you fish from the bank or a boat, you’re liable to catch something. Try some topwater fishing with a bobber and worm or tie on a sinker and some cut-bait to catch one of the hungry catfish lurking at the bottom.