Discover American historical past and actually massive timber at South Carolina’s prime nationwide parks

The Palmetto State has greater than its justifiable share of websites that showcase key moments in American historical past, in addition to a nationwide park that showcases astounding champion trees

At these sights, you possibly can take your candy time strolling nature paths, listening to the birdsong and admiring nature’s magnificence – whereas studying in regards to the Revolutionary Struggle, the Civil Struggle and Reconstruction.

Listed here are the perfect nationwide park experiences in South Carolina.

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Stunning Congaree Nationwide Park incorporates North America’s largest focus of “champion-size” timber (aka the largest of their species) © Getty Photos / iStockphoto

Admire the majestic timber of Congaree Nationwide Park

Uncover the towering scope of historical timber with a go to to South Carolina’s solely “scenic” nationwide park. Primordial cypresses, big upland pines and water tupelos depend amongst its towering specimens – the best focus of “champion-size” timber (aka the largest of their species) anyplace in North America.

Look out for the huge loblolly pine, which rises to over 170ft tall. If that’s not sufficient, the park additionally protects the japanese US’s largest tract of old-growth bottomland forest, low-lying land that’s periodically lined by water all year long.

The easiest way to see the timber – and to admire the great thing about this distinctive park – is alongside the two.6-mile elevated Boardwalk Path. It’s also possible to paddle alongside the Congaree River, its darkish, tannic-dyed waters hiding turtles, frogs and different watery life. 

Carry your individual canoe or kayak, or be a part of a paddling tour led by a park ranger. It’s also possible to lease a watercraft in Columbia, a 30-minute drive away.

Historic re-enactors in 18th-century costumes at Cowpens National Battlefield, South Carolina USA
Cowpens Nationwide Battlefield is an evocative vacation spot for anybody who appreciates American historical past © Carrie A Hanrahan / Shutterstock

Really feel the Revolution at Cowpens Nationwide Battlefield

When you thought the Revolutionary Struggle didn’t lengthen to the Southern states, assume once more. Amongst a number of battles that occurred in South Carolina, probably the most important occurred at Cowpens. 

The battle occurred on January 17, 1781, close to present-day Gaffney. The location was, actually, a wide-open woodland (or “cowpens”) the place early cattle drovers would camp in a single day.

On the fateful day, Gen Daniel Morgan strategically deployed his Continental troops right here towards Lt Col Banastre Tarleton’s forces. The top end result: greater than 1000 losses for the British and about 150 for the People. 

The park features a customer middle and a strolling tour by means of the battlefield.

Inside historic Fort Sumter, Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Fort Sumter was the location of the primary battle of America’s Civil Struggle © Gabrielle Hovey / Shutterstock

Take into account Charleston’s position in American historical past at Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie Nationwide Historic Park

Two forts guard the doorway to Charleston’s harbor, emblems of South Carolina’s roles in each the Civil Struggle and Revolutionary Struggle. 

The extra well-known of the 2 is Fort Sumter. On April 12, 1861, the Accomplice Military opened hearth on the Union fort: the primary battle of the Civil Struggle. The bombardment ensued for 34 hours, adopted by a Union give up.

The Accomplice troops occupied the set up, making it an emblem of resistance – although fixed shelling from Union troops over the course of the conflict nearly destroyed it. Guests immediately can see the cannons and fortifications that stay and listen to a lot of tales about this significant fortification. 

On close by Sullivan’s Island, Fort Moultrie is the place Col William Moultrie’s South Carolinians warded off a British assault in one of many Revolutionary Struggle’s first Patriot victories.  

The one technique to go to each forts is by boat shuttle, departing from Liberty Sq in downtown Charleston and Patriots Level throughout the harbor. 

Hint the steps of patriots at Kings Mountain Nationwide Army Park

Thomas Jefferson referred to as it the “flip of the tide of success.” Through the Revolutionary Struggle, American and Loyalist troopers clashed on this remoted ridge, just under the North Carolina line, on October 7, 1780.

Combating tree to tree with rifles and bayonets, the rebels gained the primary American victory to happen after the British invasion of Charleston.  

The park preserves essential battle websites, with markers and monuments that element the motion. On the customer middle, you possibly can watch an introductory movie, see reveals and seek the advice of a map of the strolling path that winds by means of the battlefield. 

Discover extra alongside the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, a 330-mile route by means of Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina that follows the trail of the American militia main as much as the battle of Kings Mountain.

You would possibly really feel underneath siege at Ninety Six

Along with the well-known Yorktown, the city of Ninety Six presents a few of the Revolutionary Struggle’s finest remnants of authentic siege traces anyplace. Established within the early 1700s, this crossroads city was so named due to its location 96 miles from the closest Keowee village. 

Twelve roads handed by means of it – greater than in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in 1863 – serving to it to flourish when it comes to commerce, commerce and transportation. Then the conflict got here alongside. 

In November 1775, People and Loyalists confronted one another in a three-day battle right here, ending in an uneasy truce. The People constructed an essential publish, subsequently seized by the British in 1780. 

One other battle erupted in 1781, when Gen Nathanael Greene’s military arrived to take the British fort, initiating what grew to become the conflict’s longest siege. Greene’s forces in the end failed – although the British had been so weakened, they moved their publish to Charleston.

As we speak, the customer middle has reveals on the location’s historical past, whereas strolling trails wander previous earthworks, cannon and reveals. 

Find out about plantation life on the Charles Pinckney Nationwide Historic Web site

As a toddler, Charles Pinckney break up his time between the household’s Charleston mansion and Snee Farm, a rice and indigo plantation simply outdoors of Charleston the place enslaved people toiled. 

Pickney can be recognized for his political involvement within the revolutionary trigger: he contributed not less than 25 clauses to the U.S. Structure, earlier than serving 4 phrases as state governor and Thomas Jefferson’s ambassador to Spain.

However as a member of one of many state’s wealthiest and most politically highly effective households, Pinckney inherited the plantation (in addition to the Charleston mansion) in 1782 and continued to run the “household enterprise” – due to, per the 1810 census, 58 enslaved individuals. 

Whereas a lot of the plantation was bought off through the years, the NPS has preserved 28 acres of it because the Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, a quiet place sprinkled with decorative gardens and pockets of moss-draped reside oaks.

A customer middle occupies an previous 1828 farmhouse, providing reveals on Pinckney the politician, the African individuals he enslaved and the operations of the plantation.

There are strolling trails and archaeological shows to discover: as an example, archaeologists have unearthed delftware and pearlware as soon as utilized by the elite. Archaeologists additionally uncovered a bounty of colonoware – unrefined, handmade earthenware broadly utilized by enslaved individuals on the property. Farm excursions are additionally out there.

Confront one of many US’ most momentous eras at Reconstruction Period Nationwide Historic Park

Many historians declare Beaufort County within the Lowcountry to be the birthplace of Reconstruction, the tumultuous, publish–Civil Struggle period (between 1861 and 1898) when the reunited nation confronted the financial and social legacies of slavery. 

Established solely in 2019, Reconstruction Era National Historical Park is a piece in progress, its goal to highlight nationally essential locations and occasions all through Beaufort County that replicate this stormy time. 

The park consists of 4 websites in and close to Beaufort. Penn Center on St Helena Island was based in 1862 by Northern missionaries as the primary faculty within the South for previously enslaved West Africans. As we speak, the historic constructing homes a cultural and academic middle. 

Enslaved individuals constructed Brick Baptist Church on St Helena Island for white planters. After emancipation, the edifice grew to become a faculty for previously enslaved people, and immediately it hosts an energetic church congregation. 

On New Yr’s Day in 1863, Union Military Gen Rufus Saxton publicly learn the Emancipation Proclamation to three,000 Black troopers and previously enslaved individuals at Port Royal’s Camp Saxton

The Old Beaufort Firehouse in downtown Beaufort serves as the brand new park’s customer middle and affords a superb place to begin to your go to.