Outdoor

Marie McAden

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Columbia’s Sesquicentennial Park opens newly paved trail

Posted 12/4/2012 4:36:00 PM

This Saturday, park rangers at Sesquicentennial State Park in Columbia will cut the ribbon and officially open the newly paved Sandhills Hiking Trail, a two-mile loop through woods and wetlands.

The once-bumpy path is now smooth enough to push a stroller or wheelchair. But even with the recycled asphalt surface, you’ll still feel like you’re in the forest. The trail is well camouflaged by leaves and pine straw dropped by the pines and oaks towering overhead.

Although the pathway’s roots, ruts and rocks have been paved over, I wouldn’t recommend trying to skate on the trail — at least not the part that runs through the woods. However, along the west side of the loop, the surface is concrete, making it ideal for rollerblading or skateboarding.

This section also offers the best views of the park’s 30-acre lake, currently inhabited by a large flock of Canadian geese and assorted ducks. The sidewalk, which runs alongside the lake for about a third of a mile, ends at the footbridge over Jackson Creek. From there, the path enters the woods and veers away from the lake.

A number of boardwalks cross the wet areas of the forest. While you walk, look out for fox squirrels and pileated woodpeckers. You might even see a flying squirrel.

Admission to Sesquicentennial State Park is $2 for adults, free for visitors 15 and younger. This time of year, the park is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

If you’re in town this weekend, come on out to the park at 10:30 a.m. Saturday for the ribbon cutting and opening walk. For more information on the park, click here or call (803) 788-2706.