Situated in the heart of South Carolina lies, Poinsett State Park. Named after botanist Joel Roberts Poinsett, the park is known as the Mountain of the Midlands and was once home to many Siouan Native American tribes. The land was also filled with water mills during the 1800s, many of which can still be seen today. The park’s land was also owned by the Singleton family for some time, including Angelica Singleton who would eventually become Angelica Singleton Van Buren and First Lady of the United States.
Besides its intricate history, Poinsett State Park is also popular for its unique biodiversity. It contains over 337 types of plants as well as interesting rock formations, such as a coquina rock which is embedded with seashell fossils. Visitors might also catch a glimpse of various types of wildlife that roam through it, including alligators and woodpeckers.
You’ll find plenty of outdoor things to do at Poinsett State Park. Visitors can get out and enjoy some time out on the park’s lake. Go swimming in the lake anytime from Memorial Day to Labor Day, although do keep in mind that no lifeguard is on duty. Consider going fishing in the 10-acre lake, which is filled with bass, catfish, and bream. Boats are allowed on the water, and there are rentals you could use. If you plan to fish, you need to make sure to have a South Carolina fishing license.
You could also go hiking through this 1,000-acre park. It’s filled with numerous trails, such as the Coquina Trail and Scout Trail, which will take you by various landscapes. Some also connect to the nearby Palmetto Trail which is one of the longest trails in the state.
Enjoy viewing the vast ecoregions that the park offers. Because the park contains a unique mixture of flora and fauna from the Sandhills, Piedmont, and Blue Ridge regions, there’s plenty to see and explore. The park is filled with forests, bluffs, and woodlands, which contains mountain laurels, Spanish moss, and cypress trees. You’ll also find a vast amount of wildlife, such as egrets, kingfishers, gnatcatchers, and snakes.
Camping at Poinsett State Park
Search for an RV in Sumter County and stay at the park’s campground. It offers 24 sites which offer amenities such as water, electric, restrooms, showers, and a dump station. Some sites can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet long, although not all can, so it’s important to clarify in your reservation if you need a site in this length.
Pets are not allowed at the campground. The park does have a small gift shop where you’ll be able to buy souvenirs or ask questions about the area. While there is no WiFi at this RV campground, the park’s visitor center does have it.
Exploring the Area
There are numerous places to explore with your camper rental while in the area. One to consider visiting with your travel trailer is the Swan Lake Iris Gardens. Situated in Sumter, the land was once a private fishing lake during the late 1920s for Hamilton Carr Bland. Eventually, Bland decided to plant Japanese irises around the lake, a tradition which has continued to this day. Besides irises, the gardens are also filled with fragrant lilies, magnolias, and camellias. It also hosts an Iris Festival in May.
Head to Florence, and drive your motorhome over to the War Between the States Museum. This small museum was created in 1988 and is situated inside an old home. It holds many exhibits which contain artifacts from Union and Confederate troops, such as uniforms and photographs. There is a reference library visitors can browse through as well as a small museum shop.
A short drive away in Columbia is the South Carolina State House. This structure is where political happenings in the state occur and is located next to the governor’s residence. Self-guided and guided tours are available although there are specific tour times that need to be strictly followed. During the tour, you’ll be able to view the different chambers, various artifacts, and the structure’s stunning architecture. When you’re done wandering through the State House, you could stop by its gift shop which sells numerous goods produced in the state.
Poinsett State Park is situated next to many gas stations, so you’ll be able to fill your gas tank up without worries. There are also various types of restaurants located nearby, which feature many different cuisines. You’ll also find a few authentic South Carolina barbecue eateries situated a few minutes away.