Not so well-known but worth the visit, Landsford Canal State Park is located in Chester County, northern South Carolina, about 1 hour south of Charlotte, North Carolina. It is full of history, and is a great place to follow an easy trail alone or with children, as well as a playground, picnic tables, and offers kayaking, canoeing, and shore fishing.
The trail itself is a backdrop of a historic, man-made waterway that carried commercial goods inland in South Carolina from the Catawba River. There are well-preserved remains of a canal which once was, from 1820 to 1835. The hike along the remaining fragments of the canal system lasts for 1 1/2 miles, as well as a nature trail which forks off to follow the Catawba River.
I took this hike with my daughter and 4-year-old granddaughter. Our little one loved walking through nature and seeing remnants of the canal system. Maybe not for its historical value, but merely to practice her climbing skills. None the less, she got a little history lesson from her loved ones, hoping that a glimpse of the past may soak into her sweet little memory bank.
From mid-May to mid-June, the river boasts the world’s largest Rocky Shoals Spider Lillie’s in the world. And a nesting pair of bald eagles can be seen from the trails from late February to late June. During this time of year, many photographers can be found here, getting their special shot of the beautiful, white lily coat covering the waters of the Catawba. And during most of the year, birdwatchers with their binoculars can be found here and there, spotting eagles, or the many other species of birds known to call the park their home.
It is a blessing, actually, that this place is not so well-known. It is a precious gem hiding in South Carolina. One that I go to for peace. Peace, nature and history. Three of my favorite things.