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This is hiking weather

October 18, 2017   By Nicole Aiello in Community

Old Santee Canal Park in the fall is a great place to rent a canoe and paddle Biggin Creek.

The sweltering, humid summer temperatures have passed and, in their wake, the glorious days of fall have arrived. I was practically giddy yesterday I opened my windows after work.

Cooler autumn temperatures always inspire me to enjoy the outdoors before winter arrives. Old Santee Canal Park is one of the places where I revel in nature and enjoy the cooler weather. The park has a 4-mile network of boardwalks and trails that meander beside and over the serene backwaters of Biggin Creek. You can hike your way around the park’s 195 acres, taking in the sights and sounds of the Lowcountry.

Along your hike, you’ll see natural limestone bluffs and what remains of the Santee Canal that was completed in the year 1800. Fox, squirrels, butterflies, egrets, warblers, herons, owls, lizards and other animals may be your companions on your hike. You also can rent a canoe to explore the 3-mile paddle trail that immerses you in a cypress swamp that wood ducks, osprey, turtles and alligators call home.

If you’re a bird lover, don’t forget to bring your binoculars.

While there, you can explore the Stony Landing Plantation House, built circa 1843, and the park’s Interpretive Center, which chronicles the area’s history as far back as 4,000 B.C. This facility has two theaters with interesting and informative films that highlight the area’s historical and natural significance.

The Berkeley County Museum and Heritage Center is also a highlight at the park and is included with park admission. Exhibits and artifacts examine Brig. Gen. Francis Marion (the Swamp Fox), American Indians, Colonial life, the Civil War, early medicine, rural electrification, early education and the Francis Marion National Forest. There’s a new pirate exhibit with scholarship strongly suggesting that the pirate Blackbeard was born in the Goose Creek area before moving to Bath, N.C.

There are even gifts, books, prints, jewelry and other items are available for purchase at the museum's Heritage Shoppe.

Old Santee Canal Park is located in Moncks Corner. Pack a picnic, pack your family in the car and head to Old Santee Canal Park for a fun, fall day of exploration. Admission is only $3 per person and annual park passes are available. This is hiking weather.