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The great outdoors is celebrated throughout the Greater Columbia area with its extensive park systems. The Greater Columbia area is home to one national park, three state parks, and many local parks that you can enjoy pretty much year-round. Check out one of these parks next time you want to get out of the house and have a fun relaxing day.

National Parks
Congaree National Park is home to the largest remnant of old-growth floodplain forest remaining on the continent! Experience national and state champion trees, towering to record size amidst astonishing biodiversity. Walk, paddle or just relax within this dynamic floodplain ecosystem. Beauty and tranquility reign supreme in this natural treasure.

State Parks
Sesquicentennial State Park is situated in the middle of the Sandhills region, and features a beautiful 30-acre lake surrounded by trails and picnic areas.

Dreher Island State Recreation Area is located on Lake Murray and not far from Columbia.parks2 It is one of the best-known largemouth and striped bass fishing destinations in the South. The park consists of three islands linked to shore by a causeway and two bridges.  In addition to woodsy hiking trails and lots of places to fish from shore, Dreher Island offers picnicking, camping, lakeside villas, tackle shop and boat ramp.

Lake Wateree State Recreation Area is located on Desportes Island and features boat facilities, tackle shop, park store, camp sites, picnic tables, playground and a mile-long nature trail that runs through peaceful woods.

Greater Columbia Local Parks
Finlay Park Is located downtown and is one of the most popular parks with an enormous waterfall that flows into a man-made lake.  This park is the site of many concerts and festivals.

The Three Rivers Greenway has been developed over the past twelve years as a 12-mile parks3linear park system created to link people to their rivers.  Still in development, many sections are open and function as some of the most walkable trails in the Columbia area.  Access is available from both sides of the river.

Saluda Shoals is a premier, natural and environmentally sensitive riverfront park which invites visitors to experience the Saluda River through kayaking, canoeing, pathways and observation decks.

Virginia Hylton Park in Lexington offers a playground, walking trail, koi pond, flower gardens, butterfly garden and gazebos with grills.  Harbison Environmental Education Forest has 18 miles of trails designed for walking, jogging, hiking and bicycling that range from moderately easy to difficult. A canoe landing located near the Broad River provides access for kayaks and canoes as a put in or take out from the river.

These are a few of the many parks around Columbia. Please let me know if you have any other fun outdoor areas in or around Columba that we can share, and please be sure to follow me on Facebook and LinkedIn!

You can also contact me Marianne Hatton at my website I Sell This Town


*Info courtesy of http://www.columbiasouthcarolina.net