Discovering South Carolina: Sesquicentennial State Park

Nicknamed ‘Sesqui’ by locals, Sesquicentennial State Park is a secluded hideaway in Columbia South Carolina. Known for its tall towering trees, Sesqui is the perfect spot for a hike, kayaking and picnicking.

Sesqui is one of sixteen parks built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during The Great Depression. It was given to the City of Columbia to mark the 150th anniversary of South Carolina’s Capital City.

Fast park facts:

  • 1419 acres of parkland to explore
  • 12 miles of hiking and biking trails
  • 3 picnic shelters
  • 78 stand campsites
  • 5 primitive campsites
  • A fun splash pad that has 26 sprayers to cool you off in the hot, humid South Carolina summer heat
  • Enjoy paddling, boating and kayaking on the park’s 30 acre lake
  • Enjoy a scavenger hunt with your kids

Sesquicentennial is steeped in over 12,000 years of human history.

  • By the 18th-century the native peoples of the land – the Congaree, Wateree, Catawba and Cherokee lived in the Columbia/Richland County area – living in close-knit communities and using the waters and land for sustenance and trade.
  • European settlers first settled the area of Sesqui in 1740
  • The land of Sesqui was once home to tight-knit African American community of Corley’s Chapel. They lived in the area, built a church, a school; living off the land – extracting turpentine and other resources
  • Stop at the park’s old log cabin, which is the oldest structure in Richland County. The cabin was saved from demolition in 1969 and moved to its current position in Sesqui. The structure was restored circa 2010. This video gives a bit of background on the cabin.
  • The CCC were instrumental in building America’s parks and public places during the heart of the Depression – and their legacy remains today.l. The unique bathhouse is built of modern materials versus the traditional wood and stone common with CCC architecture. Learn more about the CCC in SC here.
  • To learn more about Sesquicentennial’s history – I highly recommend this in-depth historical piece on Sesqui from The University of South Carolina.

Sesqui is a great spot to relax by the lake and find a bit of solitude without wandering far from the bustle of the city. Sesqui is an oasis of pines and a bygone era, a place to escape and recharge.

Plan your Sesquicentennial adventure here.

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