Sesquicentennial State Park | Outdoorsy

Sesquicentennial State Park
Guide

Introduction

Sesquicentennial State Park, nicknamed Sesqui State Park, provides lush greenery in the middle of South Carolina’s Sandhills region. The park stretches over 1,400 acres of naturally wooded terrain tucked away in a busy urban environment. Take a break from the city and enjoy the natural beauty of pine trees, gorgeous nature trails, and an astounding variety of wildlife in Richland County. The park sets a clear contrast to the bustles of Columbia’s downtown nearby. Created in 1937, Sesqui State Park is one of the 16 state parks in South Carolina, commemorating the developmental projects of the Civilian Corporation Corps (CCC). The park was named Sesquicentennial as it was inaugurated during Columbia’s 150th birthday.

In addition to exhibits of nature and its glory, the park features a wide variety of wildlife that you can spot year-round. There are also numerous options for amusement and recreation which include hiking, biking, fishing, canoeing, boating, paddling, and kayaking. There are also plentiful opportunities for geocaching and birding. The park’s nature programs are also a great hit among the visitors. Two of the park’s major attractions are its dog park, the only place in the park where you can unleash your dogs, and a splash pad to beat the summer heat.

The park is open year-round for you to bring your RV. The park enjoys a peak season in spring, winter, and fall, with wonderful events and festivals to celebrate Halloween and much more. Summer, however, is also not a bad option if you wish to immerse yourself in the park’s calmness and natural beauty. The park is also abounding with RV camping facilities throughout the year. The RV campsites feature partial hookups, modern restrooms, and dump stations – everything you need in order to enjoy all that Sesquicentennial State Park offers.

Andrew Jackson State Park is just 70 miles north of the park and a wonderful place to visit in your RV. Accommodating RVs up to 35 feet, the park is full of historical, artistic and natural wonders. You can also enjoy some great fishing, boating, birdwatching, and do some short hikes in this beautiful park. On your way there stop in at Lansford Canal State Park where you can see the remains of a canal system built in the 1820s. Another park you'll drive past is Lake Wateree State Park which has a campground that features water and electric hookups for RVs up to 40 feet long. There is a short trail to hike, as well as great boating and fishing opportunities, and they participate in the fishing tackle loaner program. Exploring this region of South Carolina in your RV is highly recommended.

RV Rentals in Sesquicentennial State Park

Transportation

Driving

Sesquicentennial State Park holds the reputation of being one of the state’s most convenient and accessible parks. The park is a major attraction for both Columbia locals and travelers. It sits near three major interstate highways which are US-1, I-20, and I-77. The entrance to the park is off US-1. Sesquicentennial State Park is just 14 miles from downtown Columbia in the Sandhills region. Being surrounded by residential areas, you'll find ATMs, restaurants, and stores all very close to the entrance of the park. There are no restrictions for RVs and trailers traveling along the main highways close to the park.

While inside the park, one can easily move around with the help of a park map or GPS. The hiking trails wind through the park’s woodlands, and the picnic spots and campground are spread near the park’s lake. Rash driving is prohibited inside the park, and violations may result in a penalty. The maximum speed limit for vehicles inside the park is set at 20 miles per hour. Golf carts are permitted inside the park.

Parking

Adequate parking options are located all over the park including the entrance and the campground. The dog park is located near the retreat center at the first parking lot. The boathouse and splash pad are both close to the parking lot down at the lake. During the peak season, parking spaces are very limited, so carpooling is suggested. Roadside parking is not allowed inside the park, as campers are only allowed to park their vehicles at their designated campsites.

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Sesquicentennial State Park

Campsites in Sesquicentennial State Park

Reservations camping

The Campground at Sesquicentennial State Park

Sesqui State Park has fantastic RV camping facilities and amenities open year-round. The campground is divided into two loops. Only one of the loops is open year-round though, while the other is closed seasonally. There are 84 standard RV campsites offering water and 30-amp electric hookups.

The campground is on packed sand and provides dump stations and modern restrooms with hot showers as well. Most sites can accommodate a rig up to 30 feet long, while a few can hold an RV or trailer up to 50 feet long. Choose a campsite that suits the size of your RV and take your time leveling out before you unpack.

There are 14 sites that are pull-through, and nine sites that are premium sites, newly improved and offering more amenities including a campfire, lantern hook, barbecue grill, and a more spacious, level parking area.

No site can be reserved for more than 14 days. Reservation requests for a stay of fewer than two nights are not accepted. Only one RV vehicle per site is permitted as well. Pets are welcome, so you can bring your furry friends along with you in the motorhome.

Alternate camping

Retreat Center

A retreat center entertaining group meetings and events for a maximum of 50 people is available for reservations at the park all year long. This is a lovely venue for corporate events, weddings, and group gatherings. Guests may prepare their own food in the kitchen or use the services of a caterer. The kitchen is equipped with ovens, a fridge, freezer, ice machine, coffee machine, and microwave but guests must supply their own pots, pans, and utensils. The center also has the capacity to sleep up to 30 people over-night in its dormitory-style rooms. There are two separate wings for men and women with separate bathroom and shower facilities. No bed or bath linens are provided.

Primitive Camping

Primitive tent camping sites at Sesquicentennial state park are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There are five primitive camping sites, each with a central water spout, a few picnic tables, and a fire ring. Pick your spot and set up your tent wherever you like on your site, or hang your hammock between the pine trees for a peaceful night's rest. Hot showers and toilets are a little walk away.

Seasonal activities in Sesquicentennial State Park

Off-Season

Fishing and Boating

Another way to cool off in South Carolina’s blazing heat is to stay near Sesquicentennial State Park’s 30-acre lake. The park has a gorgeous little lake that offers freshwater fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, and paddling. A small boathouse can also be found nearby where you can rent boats, canoes, kayaks, lifejackets, paddles, and paddleboards. Both motorized and non-motorized boats are allowed in the water. There is no boat-launch ramp available. With a fishing license, you can hunt for bass and bream in the lake. Fishing boats are also available for rent.

Playing at the Water Pads

There can’t be a better way to curb the deadly summer heat than splashing in a spray pad with the sprayers drenching you with pleasant water sprinkles. Sesquicentennial State Park’s splash pad is one of its own kind in the state featuring 26 sprayers with one sprayer’s height reaching ten feet. Open daily, the 2,800 square feet of splash pad, spray pad, mist pad, or whatever you may call it, promises exceptional water fun for both children and adults. Park admission covers your entry fee for the splash pad too. This is a must-stop during your RV road trip to South Carolina.

Hiking and Biking

Sesquicentennial State Park presents three hiking trails and one mountain biking trail to indulge in one of the most spectacular hiking and biking experiences in South Carolina. The two-mile Sandhills Hiking Trail is a perfect hiking choice in summer when the park’s wildflowers and pepperbush are blooming in full glory and can be found spreading their fragrance all over the trail.

The half-mile Jackson Creek Nature Trail starts from the park’s sandy boathouse and transitions into the shores of the lake going all the way into a pleasant waterfall. The 3.5-mile Loop Road Trail is meant for both hiking and mountain biking whereas the six-mile Sesqui Mountain Bike Trail is made exclusively for biking. The Sesqui Trail winds through the park’s sandy areas and pine woods and transitions into Columbia’s downtown.

In-Season

Sightseeing and Outdoor Recreation

Sesquicentennial State Park offers plentiful opportunities for sightseeing and outdoor recreation during your RV visit. The park boasts a wealth of natural beauty spread over its 1,417 acres of thick woodlands and a freshwater lake. The park is believed to be the home of Richland County’s oldest building, an old rustic mid-18th-century cabin surrounded by tall pine trees. A number of buildings in use at the park are the original buildings built by the CCC in the 1930s.

There is also a sand volleyball court, a softball field, two playgrounds, and numerous geocaches around the park that provide visitors with interesting ways to enjoy outdoor recreation and feel amused. Year-round, night hikes, nature walks, and other tours are organized for visitors of all ages to enjoy.

Picnicking

If you are in a picnicking mood, Sesquicentennial State Park is a wonderful destination to turn your picnic cravings into reality. Sesqui Park offers five picnic shelter surrounding the park’s gorgeous 30-acre lake and campgrounds, available for pre-bookings. If not reserved, these shelters can be obtained on a first-come, first-served basis. The park’s picnic spots also feature picnic pads large enough for 25 people. Complimentary picnic tables and barbecue grills are provided at each picnic shelter and pad. The picnic areas are close to the lake, splash pad, playground, and restroom facilities. While the older folk relax and enjoy the scenery the young ones can feed the ducks or enjoy the playground and splash pad.

Attending Events and Festivals

Sesquicentennial State Park celebrates various festivals and arranges many events throughout the peak season. Locals from the nearby downtown and travelers from far off places converge at the park to enjoy these festivities.

A “Halloween Movie Night” is celebrated annually in the last week of October. The New Year is welcomed at the park with the annual “First Day Hike” at Sandhills Hiking Trail. The program includes casual hikes through the nature trails and a guided nature walk that explores the park’s flora and fauna.

Springtime is also a gala time at the park with the “Spring into Sesqui 5K” race held in April every year. The race is meant for everybody: runners, joggers, walkers, dog walkers, and fitness enthusiasts. Whether you are a novice or an expert runner, you can participate in the event and hope to win great prizes.

Find the perfect campsite.