Good Stuff

Congaree Swamp: Great Outdoors

“TAKE A HIKE,” PEOPLE …  By FITSNews  ||  For those of you who didn’t know it our founding editor is a closet greenie.  In fact he’s been know from time to time to wax sentimental about his love of the outdoors – and his belief in the notion of conservation…

“TAKE A HIKE,” PEOPLE … 

By FITSNews  ||  For those of you who didn’t know it our founding editor is a closet greenie.  In fact he’s been know from time to time to wax sentimental about his love of the outdoors – and his belief in the notion of conservation and environmental stewardship (in a manner consistent with market principles and private property rights, of course).

This week he and his eldest joined their local Trail Life USA troop for a visit to the Congaree National Park – which since 2003 has been the only national park in the Palmetto State.

Wait … this website is touting a government-run park? The same website that habitually rips parks as a non-core function of government?

Yes …

Don’t get us wrong, we believe all parks – local, state and federal – should be immediately privatized.  But we’re not going to boycott a government park on ideological grounds.  Especially not with a ten-year-old chomping at the bit to go traipsing through the woods with a dozen of his best buds.

So …

Located twenty minutes southeast of Columbia, S.C., the Congaree National Park contains more than 26,000 acres (or 41.5 square miles) of bottomland hardwood forest.  In fact it’s the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest left in America.

Traversed by the Congaree River, the park contains numerous streams and creeks (which are available for canoeing and kayaking) – as well as hiking trails ranging from 0.7 to 11.1 miles.

Free overnight camping is also permitted at several sites within the park – although if you decide to go deep into the woods be sure to keep your eyes peeled seeing as the forest populated by all sorts of predators (alligators, bobcats, coyotes, feral pigs and feral dogs, to name just a few).

For the casual hiker looking to spend a few hours communing with nature, the shorter trails feature elevated boardwalks.  That makes it easy for older citizens and families with young children (i.e. strollers) to enjoy the scenery – which includes majestic Bald Cypresses and Loblolly Pines as well as a wide range of flora and fauna.

And feathered friends (the park was designated in 2001 as a globally important bird area).

The best part of the park?  Its trails are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week .  And there’s no admission fee to hike them .

Take a look …

(Click to enlarge)

Pretty, huh?

The only bad news?  According to data from the National Park Service, attendance over the last five years has averaged less than 120,000 a year – making this an underutilized asset.

For more information on the park, CLICK HERE.

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79 comments

Native Ink September 21, 2014 at 10:12 pm

Let me get this straight. Libertarians believe that no place should be public and you should have no civil rights outside of your own property. Even if I go deep in the swamp, I’ll always be on someone else’s land and be completely bound by someone else’s capricious rules. This just sounds like feudalism to me.

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Of course September 21, 2014 at 10:29 pm

Everything sounds like feudalism to you. If it was up to you, no one would own anything.

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Native Ink September 21, 2014 at 10:35 pm

Then tell me how it isn’t feudalism?

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Smirks September 22, 2014 at 4:12 am

Because the Invisible Hand of the Free Market (peace be upon Him) says so. If the serfs don’t like it, they’ll find some other feudal lord to serve.

Libertarians hate the thought of tyrrany by government, but ignore the thought of tyrrany by unrestricted rule by the wealthy and corporate elite. Some of the more extreme libertarians almost worship it.

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PattiAnne September 22, 2014 at 7:41 am

Smirks- You really should have a blog of your own. You make more sense the writer of this one. I know I’d read it.

euwe max September 22, 2014 at 9:55 am

It’s hard to run a blog… Smirks has the ability to write out a sound opinion piece, and defend it like a vicious dog… or like Steve Martin – whichever strikes him.

But attracting *other* people with skillz to contribute useful insights, and witty repartee is not so easy. You practically have to fuck the governor to get above the noise floor.

lol September 22, 2014 at 9:58 am

lol, at least he seized the opportunity.

He’s busted a lot of other stories open though that the MSM won’t touch…he’s providing a valuable service that would leave a huge void in terms of true “watchdog” status if he weren’t around. That’s why he gets attacked and is hated by most in SC government.

euwe max September 22, 2014 at 11:05 am

You’re nobody until somebody hates you.

euwe max September 22, 2014 at 7:50 am

the Invisible Hand of the Free Market (peace be upon Him) says so

—-
Dominus Vobiscum.

Of course September 22, 2014 at 8:46 am

So tell us Smirks, how is it in the fantasy land where there is no government that the wealthy and corporate elite would rule you?

Would they hire guns and force you into slavery?

nitrat September 22, 2014 at 9:19 am

Have you kept up with the Libertarians of virtually very Silicon Valley tech company conspiring to fix wages on their employees?
That’s probably a lot more widespread than the feds have the manpower to investigate. Plus, the people working in retail and other businesses don’t have the same means to discover the kinds of conspiracies that the tech companies have practiced.
Of course, that’s why those Libertarian tech guys want to hire to hire immigrant engineers rather than Americans. They are much quieter when being screwed over.

Of course September 22, 2014 at 9:23 am

I’m sorry, is there some company that’s able to force its workers to work for it, outside of gov’t help(like slave prison labor in China), that makes this scenario you just painted viable?

How is it that someone that can go get a job freely anywhere is able to get “screwed over” long term?

nitrat September 22, 2014 at 9:28 am

You’ve read way too much Ayn Rand and taken it way too seriously.

Of course September 22, 2014 at 9:29 am

Good argument. You got a notch on your belt for that one.

euwe max September 22, 2014 at 9:52 am

Ayn Rand is as obvious in a post as acne. Acne is nature’s way of telling girls which guys masturbate too much and have bad hygeine.

Tom September 22, 2014 at 3:14 pm

Yes.

Of course September 22, 2014 at 7:11 pm

You’re a loon.

aikencounty September 22, 2014 at 7:36 pm

You mean like before child labor laws, 40 hour work weeks, workers compensation insurance???????????????????

Of course September 22, 2014 at 8:44 am

How about you tell me how it is, since you made the claim.

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Smirks September 22, 2014 at 3:57 am

B-but, freedumbs, liberty, muh NAP…

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shifty henry September 21, 2014 at 10:14 pm

Visiting the park’s attractions is really even better than you can imagine from the article. I recommend it throughout the year. Has been one of my favorite places to take dates. Extremely enjoyable and with the right girl also romantic.

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Native Ink September 21, 2014 at 10:38 pm

I went there for the first time in June. Unfortunately the boardwalk was still closed because of damage from the winter storm. I’ll have to go back, but in the meantime, the Francis Beidler Forest near Charleston is also a good place to explore the swamp.

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shifty henry September 22, 2014 at 9:24 am

Ialso recommend this one

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Mike at the Beach September 21, 2014 at 10:47 pm

Federal and state parks are perfect examples of some of the few things that only government can do reliably and effectively (like the military). The free market (which we all love) simply won’t support certain things, and large, easy-to-access, reasonably-priced green spaces are some of those things. “Privatizing” our parks systems would mean high-end real estate development, Wal-Marts, mineral and fossil fuel exploration, and/or any other activity which would be economically superior to charging $20 bucks a car for campers. Only the fringiest of my libertarian buds want to sell off our freaking National Park Service. Thankfully, this is such a kooky position that it will likely never get above that tin-foil hat range of 5-7% support, so at least my kids (and their kids) will get to go see Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon parks one day. Teddy Roosevelt was right…

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paul September 22, 2014 at 8:38 am

And Will seems to conveniently forget that the free market was busy logging the whole of the area that now forms this park prior to the Feds stepping in and buying it.

And tell us Will, are you sending your kids to our “worst in the nation” public schools as well?

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Mike at the Beach September 22, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Excellent point. Some folks just don’t get that that life can’t usually be reduced to a simple all or nothing formula. There’s very little pure evil / pure good in the world, and this extends to our views of government. In real world, practical terms, bot the “all Gubmint BAD!” crowd AND the “Gubmint can solve anything” crowd are simply wrong.

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Jack September 22, 2014 at 2:59 pm

And what is wrong with that? They were converting trees to money, isn’t that what America is all about.

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Subjective Sam September 22, 2014 at 7:11 pm

lulz!

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Of course September 22, 2014 at 8:58 am

Yep, no private parks would ever pop up to replace what we have. From the viewpoint that the US will last forever, it’s a good thing they own vast swathes of natural beauty so it’s all protected.

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Subjective Sam September 22, 2014 at 11:57 am

Are you telling me that if the US didn’t seize all the lands for parks that things like the Grand Canyon would go away, or perhaps there’d be a Walmart at the bottom of it?

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Mike at the Beach September 22, 2014 at 2:16 pm

Of course the Grand Canyon wouldn’t go away, that’s a specious argument. It would be trashed, and there would be housing developments with “fabulous canyon views, starting in the 300’s!” and retail / industrial encroachment. That’s what the free market does. If you think the free market (which is 100% profit-motivated) would somehow preserve the natural beauty of these areas you are delusional. I’m about as free market a guy as you will ever meet, but we don’t need private armies, private interstate highways, or private nature areas. There are a few things for which the federal government is useful; preserving large swaths of our nature areas is one of them.

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Subjective Sam September 22, 2014 at 2:35 pm

I think this was my favorite part of your argument Mike:

“Federal and state parks are perfect examples of some of the few things that only government can do reliably and effectively (like the military).”

You told a knee slapper, yet remained stone faced. Amazeballs!

You could be on SNL, back when it didn’t suck.

I’m going to start referring to you as “Middle of the road Mike”. It’s the way to get elected, seem reasonable, be likeable, etc.

Are you sure you don’t want to run for office?

Mike at the Beach September 22, 2014 at 4:43 pm

I’ll follow you (since you’re deflecting off of my retort to your silliness). Where’s the humor in what I said? Should we privatize the military?! Is there *nothing* you think we need a federal government to do? I’d be interested in hearing your version of how that would work…

Subjective Sam September 22, 2014 at 7:10 pm

“Should we privatize the military?!”

Don’t we already to some extent?

“I’d be interested in hearing your version of how that would work…”

You probably have a better bead on that specific example than me.

aikencounty September 22, 2014 at 7:32 pm

EXACTLY!
For a closer comparison, Lake Murray versus Clark Hill or Richard Russell.

euwe max September 22, 2014 at 8:36 pm

Of course the Grand Canyon wouldn’t go away, that’s a specious argument.

—–
so you can’t imagine someone buying it to use as a landfill? Your imagination is stunted, or you’re naive.

Mike at the Beach September 22, 2014 at 9:03 pm

I disagree. You’ve obviously never dealt with the EPA. Between the Clean Water Act and general pollution / solid waste regs, no mob family would be filling in the Grand canyon, privatized or not. Building houses all around it and it? Sure, but not filling her up…

That being said, since we’re discussing a purely hypothetical (hopefully) future libertarian Utopia / dystopia devoid of rational government regulation, maybe we sold or disbanded the EPA along with all of the parks. In that case, you would be right. It matters not, though, because only the biggest, pointiest hats of the tin-foil hat crowd really want to sell off and privatize the national park system. The normal folks should win this one fairly easily.

euwe max September 23, 2014 at 9:05 am

I disagree. You’ve obviously never dealt with the EPA.

——
I thought we were talking about a Libertarian America – my bad.

euwe max September 22, 2014 at 2:56 am

Tree hugger.

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shifty henry September 22, 2014 at 9:27 am

Lots of trails and privacy. Some girls are more adventurous than others and will hug a tree for ya’… any weekday that is not a holiday or has school groups is best.

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euwe max September 22, 2014 at 9:56 am

Girls are naturals… or at least I wish they were.

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vicupstate September 22, 2014 at 4:32 am

Typical Libertarian. Derides government all day long, but still avails himself to all that government provides.

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Incest and Cousins September 22, 2014 at 8:06 am

It’s the fallacy of the whole philosophy. They are Libertarian for everything except that dear to them or important to them. Same for the Tea Partiers; no controlling philosophy except their personal agenda.

The two are kissing cousins if not incestuous.

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Of course September 22, 2014 at 8:52 am

He’s paying for it, he should get to use it. Anyone paying taxes, whether they agree with the whole model or not should at least get to use the assets they funded with their stolen money. That goes for roads, library’s, etc. et al

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SCBlues September 22, 2014 at 8:01 am

“TAKE A HIKE,” PEOPLE …
Yawn . . . . . here we go again . . . .
Another Mark Sanford piece – this is getting ridiculous!

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euwe max September 22, 2014 at 9:50 am

Do you think I’m a misogynist?

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Subjective Sam September 22, 2014 at 9:55 am

Yes, but on the lower end of the scale, staying well within the top of the bell curve…if we use men’s definition of “misogynist”, you’re not. But I naturally defaulted to the women’s definition, because I’m married.

:)

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euwe max September 22, 2014 at 11:07 am

I’m married too..

I was only interested in hearing what SCBlues thought.. since I don’t give a fuck about Republicans or Libertarians… if I want their opinion, I’ll buy it.

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Subjective Sam September 22, 2014 at 11:48 am

Aw, don’t be so angry. When you come here you have no choice but to see other people’s opinion. You can always leave if it bothers you enough.

euwe max September 22, 2014 at 12:13 pm

I’m not angry. It’s like Bez says: “I have no more emotional reaction to them than killing rodents, or plague-bearing fleas.”

“If you get angry, you lose” – Berg.

Subjective Sam September 22, 2014 at 12:24 pm

“One of you fuckers here are fucking with me!” (pre-edit of course)

lol…you lost a long time ago.

euwe max September 22, 2014 at 12:26 pm

I can’t lose.. I’m a god.

Subjective Sam September 22, 2014 at 12:27 pm

lulz

SCBlues September 22, 2014 at 11:06 am

“Do you think I’m a misogynist?”
No.

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euwe max September 22, 2014 at 11:52 am

Thanks.

I usually trust my own instincts on these kinds of things, but you can’t really know unless you ask someone that you can trust.

Humor to me is something that has the power to get at the truth of things – absurdity is sometimes the only contrast that can cause someone to think about “meaning” – what we all know is “real” and the fiction used as a smoke screen for selfish and simplistic fools who don’t know how, or don’t have the courage, to access the richness and variety of life.

If a person seems rude and callous, preying upon the weakness of others… and he thinks he’s simply being sarcastic (as though by itself it has any redeeming value) – he’s not enlightening anyone, he’s making an ass out of himself without providing any counter point.

But women – women are special creatures, sometimes (not always) tender and subtle, the hand that rocks the cradle… their counterpoint to the male is important to our survival – at least I think so.. and I don’t mean reproductively… I mean the sensitivity and artistic sensibility that makes us human.

When we as men begin to treat women as simple beings.. summing them up as reproductive organs, or “the weaker sex” or any of a host of things throughout history we, as men, have collectively engaged in… we demean ourselves, and rather than being noble animals climbing the ladder of meta evolution – deliberately become savages and worse.

We have the power to become more than we are – and when that power is corrupted, among the first to feel it are the women who sew the fabric of reality with colorful thread, and brighten the day with a thousand suns of joy.

In my most wicked testosterone-laden rant, in my deepest heart, I see a duty towards women.. to protect them, and to honor them… it must be a genetic thing. But even with this, I am aware of what has been done to them in the name of protection and “honor” – with the corrupted power I mentioned earlier… and watch my communication to insure that I am not interpreted as condescending or tritely dismissive…

I try to interact with women as I do with men on an intellectual level in all cases… knowing that our opinions about some things will always differ.

The scourge of ages gone by have left women today with inherited scars, with traditions and self-expectations that are many times contradictory. Men will take advantage of that, like a predator to a wounded bird… and in pain, even the most helpful intention may seem like a new concealed threat.

My hope is my tongue is a razor so sharp and so finely opens a wound, that even as its purpose is defined, my merciful eye heals it up.

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Subjective Sam September 22, 2014 at 11:54 am

You’re incredibly profound.

euwe max September 22, 2014 at 12:15 pm

I’m a tower of humility, head and shoulders above the rest… the dean of the University of Humility.

SC Political Digest September 22, 2014 at 8:43 am

“our founding editor” is a self-obsessed cliche, not a closet Greenie. You’re a not so closeted Liberal. so “Green and Red is not too far behind. Liberal may be true, but you’d NEVER admit that, because then you’d have claim the failure of Obama and the TOTAL control Democrats have imposed on us.

ALL of us – ESPECIALLY Conservatives- LOVE the planet. It’s closest to (but not our) God. We just think you’re an idiot to take “Green” so far you want to tax breath and control er’body else w/ your “environmentalism.”

That said: nobody really CARES what you have in your closet, but we D@*n sure care about the mess you’re making of our country, with ignorance and dominance of government policy.

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Big Oil & Frack™ September 22, 2014 at 11:03 am

“ALL of us – ESPECIALLY Conservatives- LOVE the planet.”

Mmmkay…you may want to back off whatever you’re smoking.

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SC Political Digest September 22, 2014 at 11:21 am

God gave us this planet to enjoy and appreciate. Conservatives understand it. W/o producers, we could not afford to clean up the mes, you non-profit fools make.

Conservatives don’t make a vote-getting Greed machine out of it, like you left wing and corrupt idiots. We respect what God gave us.

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Nancy Drew September 22, 2014 at 11:48 am

Your so full of shit, BIG TURD.

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HD September 22, 2014 at 8:54 am

Sell our National Parks, National Monuments, National Forests, National Cemetaries etc. to the highest bidder? Good idea. I’ll look forward to going to the Verizon Washington Monument. Dumbass. By the way, the word is “champing,” not “chomping.”

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nitrat September 22, 2014 at 8:56 am

privatize a park…privatize a state park…privatize a national park…meaning it can be sold off to pave for a parking lot at any time.

“But we’re not going to boycott a government park on ideological grounds. Especially not with a ten-year-old chomping at the bit to go traipsing through the woods with a dozen of his best buds.”

Of course not. You can’t let him in on the fact that Libertarian ideology is based on nothing but a complete self absorption that allows its simple minded adherents to do anything they want, benefit from government any way they want when they want, attack it when it’s not all about them and call it all ‘freedom’.

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Of course September 22, 2014 at 8:59 am

You’re right, the government doesn’t deserve to be attacked. It’s awesomeness.

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euwe max September 22, 2014 at 9:57 am

How much for that whole mound of wildflowers?

What’ll you charge me to piss on the sidewalk?

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Subjective Same September 22, 2014 at 9:59 am

Government can plant them on highways, you just can’t pick them. So they have no value.

:)

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euwe max September 22, 2014 at 11:04 am

If you can’t buy it, it has no value.

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Subjective Sam September 22, 2014 at 11:53 am

“If you can’t buy it, it has no value.”

Well, it has no price, so you can’t “value” it, but it can have value. See? :)

Why did you add the “piss on the sidewalk” afterwards anyway? Do McDonald’s charge you to use the shitter or something?

euwe max September 22, 2014 at 11:57 am

I thought that piss brought to life the essence of buying a service so that you could fuck something up with it… the Libertarian ideal.

for the individual, in nature alone – value has a different meaning than for a group living together among common resources.

That’s why smoking dope in a park is forbidden.

Subjective Sam September 22, 2014 at 12:00 pm

“I thought that piss brought to life the essence of buying a service so that you could fuck something up with it… the Libertarian ideal.”

Oh, I thought the libertarian ideal was the non aggression principle and property rights. Glad you clarified it for me.

euwe max September 22, 2014 at 12:11 pm

No problem. If you want, I might be able to point you to a professional that can help you find out what social/psychological scars you have that cause sociopathy to seem like freedom.

Subjective Sam September 22, 2014 at 12:23 pm

That’d be great! Can these scars that have warped my sense of what freedom is be dealt with permanently, or is it ongoing therapy for the rest of my life?

I heard Room 101 has an excellent, loving staff to help. What’s been your experience?

euwe max September 22, 2014 at 12:29 pm

The first thing that needs to be determined, is if you are a genuine sociopath. If that’s the case, I’m sorry, there is no cure. But don’t worry – you won’t care, either.

If it’s just some kind of hero-worship, you’ll be fine.

My experience has been that most people want you to be ok… the more well rounded, interesting and productive people there are, the happier we’ll *all* be… not to mention, we’ll get more shit done working together, than at cross-purposes.

Subjective Sam September 22, 2014 at 12:33 pm

I love working with people! Will they be threatening me or can I work with them voluntarily?

euwe max September 22, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Depends… bring donuts.

Subjective Sam September 22, 2014 at 12:36 pm

lol, fair enough! If only all such people were so reasonable.

Of course September 22, 2014 at 9:01 am

Watching the clockwork 9am rush of gov’t employed “workers” commenting on articles like this is comically predictable.

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shifty henry September 22, 2014 at 9:35 am

One of the upstate parks has an exhibit of Teddy Roosevelt’s fishing gear (rods, reels, clothing, etc.). Sorry I can’t remember which park.Also check out Harbison State Forest on Broad River Road.

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Ought September 22, 2014 at 9:50 am

South Carolina does have a good number of beautiful and interesting parks.

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