South Carolina – Myrtle Beach State Park

Myrtle Beach State Park is a 312 acre park set along the Atlantic Coast just a few miles south of the main strip of South Carolina’s famous Myrtle Beach. The park is provides guests an ideal respite from the heavily populated bustle of the main beach and a great opportunity to enjoy the shore in its natural state. The majority of the park was developed during the height of the Great Depression by employees of the historic Civilian Conservation Corps.

One of the most popular features of Myrtle Beach State Park is its fishing pier. On just about every day of spring, summer and fall, you will find dozens of anglers watching their fishing poles along the park’s pier for the signs of the big strike that they have been waiting for. A wide variety of fish make it through the local waters at various times of the year, and some of the fish that local fishermen are primarily fishing for include drum, king mackerel, blues, Spanish Mackerel and flounder. There is a $4.50 daily pier fee for all fishermen over the age of 12, but there is also an annual fee for anglers who plan on using the park’s fee on a regular basis.

Visitors who are relatively unfamiliar with the flora and fauna that this region has to offer should begin their visit at Myrtle Beach State Park by visiting the park’s information center. The park has a particularly extensive nature center with a wide variety of resources that are designed to help visitors young and old learn more about interesting topics ranging from porpoises and dolphins to the changes that each of the seasons brings to the area. There area also some excellent opportunities for nature walking available right at the information center itself, including a large butterfly garden and a variety of bird feeders that are popular amongst several species of local birds.

While you are exploring Myrtle Beach State Park, be sure to try to identify some of park’s gorgeous bayberry bushes, also known as wax myrtles. Although countless tourists visit the Myrtle Beach region every year on vacation, a surprisingly small number of people realize that this area was named after the large number of wax myrtles that have been growing in the area for hundreds of years. While wax myrtles are now only occasionally grown as ornamental plants for landscaping purposes, these plants were considered extremely important during the colonial era as a cheap and abundant source of wax for candles. During the fall season, the berries that hug the branches of the wax myrtle plant are coated with a natural wax that used to be boiled off by colonialists to create pleasant smelling candles.

If you are up for stretching your legs and enjoying a nice stroll while you are at Myrtle Beach State Park, you will find that the park’s Sculptured Oak Nature Trail will have a little something for everyone to enjoy. The trail guides visitors through one the few stands of maritime forests that remain along the Carolina shore. There are a number of plant species along the trail that visitors are unlikely to find in such abundance anywhere else in the country, and the mile long trail is easy enough for anyone in a healthy condition to complete easily. Just be sure to bring a little bit of insect repellent along if you are using the trail during the warmer months, as there are a fair number of mosquitoes around during the summer.

There is also an equestrian trail available at Myrtle Beach State Park that is open every month of the year except for December through February. Riders are welcome to ride their horse directly in and out of the park if they like so long as they have the necessary Negative Coggins available for each horse. There is a $25 entrance fee for each horse to help pay for trail maintenance, and horses are not allowed to stay in the park over night.

Other recreational activities available at Myrtle Beach State Park include birding, picnicking and camping. The parks campground is conveniently located about 300 feet from the beach, and there are campsites available for both tents and recreational vehicles.