Many outsiders don’t believe it, but South Carolina residents are well aware of the fact that their state is absolutely jam-packed with amazing ways to experience nature. From gorgeous beaches to awesome mountainous areas, the state features a variety of landscapes, and woven throughout these landscapes are some truly spectacular sights and shows put on by Mother Nature herself.
If you’re looking for something amazing to do in the great state of South Carolina, it’s high time you explore some of the state’s natural wonders so you can experience for yourself just how awesome the Palmetto State can be.
The Angel Oak
First on our list of South Carolina natural wonders is the Angel Oak. This incredible tree is estimated to be around 500 years old and is quite possibly the oldest tree east of the Mississippi. Its canopy spreads wide, reaching an astounding 17,000 square feet, and provides the perfect shade for reading or the ideal backdrop for a photo.
The Edisto River
The longest blackwater river in the US, the Edisto River is a sight to behold. This amazing river is an unbelievable 250 miles long, and in addition to holding the title of the longest blackwater river in the country, it is also the longest river held entirely within South Carolina’s borders. It is calm and inviting, and the perfect place to go canoeing, so be sure to come prepared for a leisurely paddle.
Strand Feeding Dolphins
There’s no denying that dolphins are incredible creatures, and South Carolina provides an amazing opportunity to see these creatures feeding in a way that can only be seen in a few places.
This type of feeding is called strand feeding, and it involves a group of dolphins wrangling a school of fish to shore and then lunging to feed on the fish. It’s an incredible show for sure, and one that highlights the importance of teamwork and the intelligence of these super cool marine mammals.
Table Rock Mountain
Table Rock Mountain is a flat-topped mountain that sits at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was once believed to be the dining table of the gods, and certainly has that majestic feeling that a god’s dining room might.
The mountain is located in Table Rock State Park and is surrounded by great hiking trails and amazing photo opportunities.
If you want to see something really strange and almost creepy, head to Boneyard Beach. The water at this beach has worked its way inland where many trees once stood healthy and strong. Now, thanks to the saltwater their roots are submerged in, the trees have turned a gray-white color and are void of any leaves whatsoever. Some of the trees are still standing. Others have fallen into the sand.
The whole scene is very surreal and feels very much like a graveyard.
Congaree National Park
South Carolina’s only national park, Congaree National Park is definitely a must-see for the nature lover. The park protects the largest expanse of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest in the country and is home to one of the largest concentrations of champion trees in the world.
This is a great place to hike, and if you happen to visit during the spring, be sure to catch the amazing show the fireflies put on during their nightly mating ritual.
The Sand Hills
Proof that much of South Carolina was once under the sea, the Sand Hills are beautiful but also quite interesting from a historical perspective. The hills are actually ancient sand dunes made up of Cretaceous-era sand. Additionally, the aforementioned Edisto River flows under these old hills of sand.
The 40 Acre Rock
Okay, so this rock is not actually 40 acres across. However, at 14 acres, it is an enormous rock, to say the least, and it certainly feels to be about 40 acres.
This gigantic slab of marble is incredible to see and provides a lovely view of the surrounding scenery. Unfortunately, much of the rock has been covered in spray paint from vandalism. Still, this natural wonder is well worth seeing, and the hike to get there is great fun as well.
Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve
This preserve is home to not one but two amazing natural wonders.
The first is a series of bodies of water called the Carolina Bays. Depressions in the ground located just inland and filled with freshwater, nobody is quite sure where the Carolina Bays came from or how they were created. Researchers believe the indentations to be at least tens of thousands of years old, and some speculate that they may have been created by meteors hitting the earth.
The second wonder to see in this preserve are the Venus flytraps, which grow along the edge of some of the Carolina Bays. These carnivorous plants are only found in the wild in a few places around the world, so be sure to see them while you can.
The Bomb Island Purple Martins
Finally, we must mention the incredible sight created by the Purple Martins of Bomb Island. These birds are so plentiful on this island that they often cover much of the sky in the area, and the enormous flocks are even picked up on weather radars. As you might imagine, this is an awe-inspiring and slightly frightening thing to see.
These are our favorite natural wonders offered by the beautiful state of South Carolina. That said, they aren’t the only ones. Therefore, if you’re looking for more adventures in nature after seeing all of these glorious sights, be sure to do some digging of your own. We’re sure you’ll come up with even more fantastic things to see and do in the great outdoors of the Palmetto State.
Have a favorite natural wonder in South Carolina that isn’t on this list? Tell us about it in the comments!