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Things to do in Columbia: Sesquicentennial State Park

Now that it’s March, it’s time to talk about OUTSIDE! The weather is getting warmer, but it’s still far from the summer heat that makes outdoor activities a bit tough later in the summer. That, of course, makes the outdoors a pure siren’s call, especially for the Disharoon Homes doggies and those of us who cater to them. Luckily for us, there’s a super cool state park RIGHT around the corner from our office, and even if you have to make a special trip to visit, it’s sooo worth it!

I call my kayak Big Red because she’s red and heavy and I swear she laughs at me when I heft her to the water

Sesquicentennial State Park, or Sesqui as us locals call it (mostly since none of us learn how to spell Sesquicentennial until like, high school), is around 1,400 acres of protected wild area here in Columbia, filled with trails and surrounding a lake that yes, is absolutely gorgeous. It has camping, it has bike trails, it has walking trails, it has boat rentals, it has grills for your awesome parties and shelters you can rent for those parties, it it has a water park that opens in the summer, it has a dog park, it has a huge playground for the little ones, it has a huge field perfect for kickball or baseball — honestly, it’s kind of hard to imagine what it doesn’t have.

hashtag my aesthetic

Since the Disharoon Homes office is minutes down the road, we like to head down and walk around the Sandhills hiking trail that wraps around the lake. It’s just shy of two miles, which is perfect for sneaking the dogs out on a lunch break. They’ve paved most of it in recent years, so even if you aren’t the most mobile person in the world, it isn’t a terribly difficult trail. There are a few hills, so I wouldn’t call it accessible, per se, but it’s pretty close. If you do need something with more accessibility, the first part of the trail on the parking lot side of the trail is almost completely flat, paved, and has the best view of the lake, so that’s a definite win.

[insert wizard of oz joke here]
No need to worry about getting lost in the wilderness, either. As long as you stick to the pathways, there are little arrows that point you in the correct direction every once in a while. Even in the summer when it gets unbelievably hot everywhere else, the back trail is almost completely in the shade thanks to the canopy, so it’s a great place to cool down once the weather really turns. Really, all you have to do here is kick back, enjoy the gorgeous surroundings, and coo appropriately at other peoples’ dogs when they pass.

Speaking of dogs, they are super dog friendly, which is basically a requirement for anywhere I go these days. The dog park is $25 a year or $4 for just the day, and all dogs are required to be up to date on their shots and fixed, so it’s a great place for your pup. My black lab, Sidney Crosby, is a little shy so meeting other dogs is great for her to get socialized to dogs that aren’t my two dachshunds or the other office dogs our buyer agents bring in.

they have water fountains for you and your pup, which is especially appreciated in the summer

Even if you aren’t into trail walking, they’ve got tons of other activities for you to enjoy. You can rent canoes and kayaks and even paddleboats, which is super cool. The  birdwatching is excellent, so make sure to bring your binoculars and guidebook if you decide to come. Fishing is quite common, as well. They sell firewood, which you definitely want to buy and burn there at the park to help limit problems with bringing invasive, nonnative bugs in that can eat the trees. Camping is encouraged, as well, so it doesn’t just have to be a day trip!

Columbia’s got some really cool stuff that you can do, and this is one of my personal favorites. I’ve been coming here since I was a wee little thing, so it’s definitely got a special place in my heart. I recommend coming once and checking it out, then if you love it (which you most definitely will), South Carolina has a really cool program where you can buy a state park pass and get unlimited access for an entire year. Then, you can make a fun game out of going to more of South Carolina’s amazing state parks, which are some of our greatest treasures and definitely things I brag to all my friends when they come from out of state to see my dogs (and me, I guess). You can get more info on that here. They pay for themselves pretty quickly, and you get some nice perks for supporting the parks.

So, long story short, go to Sesqui. It’s a great day trip, dog- and kid-friendly, and if you’re local, do what we here at Disharoon Homes do and buy a pass and make it a frequent trip. Not only are you supporting our state parks, which is awesome of you, but you’re also doing something great for yourself. Get outside and see why we’re the ninth fastest growing state. People want to come to live here — don’t you want to know why? Map is below so you can figure out how to get there, and check out the SC State Parks here on twitter if you’re like me and a sucker for great pictures!



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Samantha Disharoon

Samantha Disharoon is a listing specialist and broker manager at Disharoon Homes in Columbia, SC.

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