Natural beauty and great golf come together at Cheraw State Park. An 18-hole championship course winds its way through the long-leaf pinelands of the traditional state park, a course thats earned notice from the Aubudon Society for the way its managed to preserve and protect the habitat it shares with uncommon critters such as red-cockaded woodpeckers and fox squirrels. The park in South Carolinas northeast corner also boasts Lake Juniper, a 300-acre impoundment built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression along with the parks original cabins and picnic facilities. A boardwalk along the lake helps visitors enjoy the scenic setting, and kayakers particularly enjoy silently scooting into the cypress wetlands at the lakes edge.
We were pretty much the only ones there. Walked the paths through the newer growth areas - then through the part that they recently did a controlled burn on apparently. Areas still smoldering. The other part was like walking through a desert area- except instead of cacti you'd see new pine trees growing. Flat trails but the fire breaks had uneven sand - which actually made for a more challenging walk. Took kids and the dog. Bring water.
Great place! The park is well maintained and my kids love it. The trail, although a bit dull, is clearly marked and very easy. My favorite thing to do here is to rent the canoes for the day and go fishing. Being on the lake is much more interesting than walking the trail
Not a bad place to take dogs for an extended walk. Not as much elevation gain as hikes I'm used to, but definitely the closest thing to an actual hike that I've found since moving to SC (meaning it has a teensy bit of elevation versus being a flat loop around a bog). It was nice to spend the morning wandering under pine trees, but it's definitely an easy hike.
The Turkey Oak trail is an easy 4.5 mile loop through a dense forest of longleaf pine, turkey oak, blackjack oak, and hickory trees. A few longleaf pines are marked for nesting red cockaded woodpeckers. Near the middle, the trail enters a cypress swamp at Lake Juniper. Here, raptors and waterfowl can be found year-round. The trail is well marked. Beware: summers are hot and humid!