Thursday, November 4, 2010

McCormick County Promotes a Great Amenity

One of the key amenities for relocating boomers and retirees is nature and open space. There will continue to be a return to small towns, exurbs (areas located a drivable distance away from metro areas) and nature driven locations. McCormick County understands the research and is agressively marketing its miles of paddle trails, in additions to other outdoor amenities.

McCormick is unique in that it hosts South Carolina's only resort state park with golf course. And, of course, you have beautiful Lake Thurmond and miles of undistributed forest.

The county is also unique in that a full 50% of the tax money collected in the county comes from residents at Savannah Lakes Village, a popular 55+ community. As South Carolina's smallest county, McCormick struggled for years in rural poverty. Savannah Lakes Village has "imported" some very prosperous, educated and experienced new residents from out of state. This community has put the county on the map to outsiders. And, now, the McCormick powers-that-be have the foresight to promote a very valuable asset: nature and outdoor recreation.

McCormick Markets Nature, Outdoor Recreation for Visitors, Retirees
Let’s see. Fifty-one miles of water trails over 22 paddling sections. A 50-mile
scenic drive through small rural towns and the Sumter National Forest. Sixty-three
thousand acres of public land. Two state parks, three USACE parks, four golf courses and 136 miles of hiking and biking trails.

It’s an astonishing conglomeration of recreation opportunities. For this Carolina Adventure, let’s consider the 51 miles of water trails. It’s a paddler’s paradise, for sure, and even if you’re the sedentary type, there are plenty of ways to
enjoy the outdoors without undue exertion.

Why not plan to spend the night and enjoy two days of fun?

There are five campgrounds within the Little River Blueway, as well as Hickory Knob State Resort Park and Fannie Kates Country Inn.

WOW FACTOR: Land and Wildlife Abundance/Conservation – Remarkably, the Little River Blueway offers 63,000 contiguous acres of preserved public land (mainly Sumter National Forest land). Waterways and paddling routes are buffered by USACE and National Forest land, allowing visitors to be completely immersed in nature. Wildlife in this area is abundant with bald eagles, blue herons, white egrets, beavers, river otters, deer, raccoons, red fox and bobcats commonly spotted throughout the Little River Blueway land and water trails.

HINT: Nothing beats an early morning sunrise paddle on the Blueway. Visit the Website and Little River Blueway on Facebook for water flow that may update the northern sections of the water trails. The Website also offers free downloads of
all regional trails maps, including an overall Little River Blueway project map.

Carry a GPS unit and cell phone, wear a whistle and avoid all-cotton clothing. Adventure area maps are available at the McCormick County Chamber of Commerce
and Savannah Lakes Village Visitors Center. For more information:

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