Columbia SC State Parks

State Parks & Forests in the Midlands

Sesqui State Park | Dreher Island State Park


Sesquicentennial State Park, widely know locally as "Sesqui," is located 13 miles northeast of downtown Columbia on US Highway 1. Sesquicentennial State Park was donated to the State of South Carolina in 1937 by the Columbia Sesqui-Centennial Commission. Special half-dollar souvenir coins were minted and sold in commemoration of Columbia's 150th anniversary, with the proceeds used to purchase land for the park in 1937. In June of 1940, the 1,440-acre park opened to the public.

"Sesqui" is a popular but quiet park for Columbia area residents and visitors. It features an excellent example of a pine-scrub oak forest. The park is situated in the Sandhills region of South Carolina. Over a million years ago, the ocean extended as far inland as Aiken, Columbia and Chesterfield in South Carolina. The Sandhills are a result of the receding and returning of the ocean four times across this area. Once a series of rolling dunes, the Sandhills are now covered by pines and scrub oak. Visitors may enjoy a picnic beside the park lake, exercise along the fitness trail, walk the trail around the lake, or relax in the campground and more.

The 87-site camping area is located away from the activity areas in a pine forest. All campsites have water and electrical hookup and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Bathhouses and restroom facilities are available. The four-mile jogging trail and the excercise course are popular attractions for both campers and area residents. Families and friends may enjoy the lakeside picnic area. Children will enjoy the playground area near the picnic shelters. During the summer months, the lake swimming area (with lifeguards) and pedal boat and canoe rentals are popular.

Also, there is a year-round naturalist program and fishing in the park lake (contact the park superintendent for additional information). Two nature trails offer opportunities to enjoy the natural features of the park. A historical feature, the Log House is located in the park. It was accidentally discovered in Richland County when several old homes were being demolished in 1961. Records indicate that this house dates back to 1756, 20 years prior to the Declaration of Independence. The building was donated to the park system, after which it was dismantled, relocated and restored at Sesqui. The Log House exemplifies a style of log construction introduced by German pioneers, and today it commands increasing interest and attention from the public.

Park Hours: (Seven days a week)
7:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. during peak season
8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. during the off season

Location: During the peak season, a parking fee is charged to each vehicle entering the park.

For more information, call (803) 788-2706.

Dreher Island

Dreher Island State Park is located on Lake Murray just 30 miles northwest of downtown Columbia. During the 1940's, the area was used for World War II training exercises by the Army Air Corps for a raid on Tokyo. Today the park consists of three islands linked to the mainland by a causeway and two bridges. Its 348 acres and 12 miles of shoreline make it an ideal place for water recreation and family outings on popular Lake Murray.

The park features five vacation villas, all located along the shoreline. These upscale "island villas" offer a distinctive, contempary appearance. The park's two camping areas(112 sites total) have many lakefront sites. All campsites have water and electrical hookup and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Bathhouses and restroom facilities are available. Also overlooking the lake are seven picnic areas, each with two shelters.

Also, there is playground equipment, a park store and tackle shop, boat ramps, rental slips, and nature trail.

Park Hours: (Seven days a week)
6:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. during peak season (April - October)
6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. during the off season (November - March)

Location: For more information, call: Park Store & Information (803) 364-3530.

Office (803) 364-4152

Back Home to