Ah, Lake Wateree State Park, full of trees and squirrels mating all over the place. Yes, my timing was absolutely perfect to see squirrel mating habits in the wild, from chasing each other all over the fallen leaves to scampering up and down trees in very, uh, creative ways. I actually never got tired of watching them bound all over the place, they’re quite entertaining little critters.
The big attraction for me, though, was the nature trail, two loops off the main trail that started right across from the older campground entrance. The winter was still in evidence, with bare trees and little green but that didn’t make it any less interesting to me.
I went out one afternoon just before the sun dipped below the hills and it was kind of spooky, especially when the owl started in as I passed by this swampy area.
Although the park is clearly aimed at boaters and fisherfolk, it’s a nice spot to spend a few nights on a tour of South Carolina. Book a few days, paddle on the lake, walk the trail, and then be on your way — that’s what I did and it worked out quite well.
LAKE WATEREE (SOUTH CAROLINA STATE PARKS)
- Another sweet park in the South Carolina state system. One older loop of water/electric sites, with the best ones the low numbers along the water. All are well spaced out and a fair number of trees between most sites. The newer loop is mainly for big RVs, supporting 50 amp power; it’s a big open space with little privacy between sites. Reserve at South Carolina State Parks.
- Boat launch in the parking lot next to the camp office. And yes, the camp office will accept mail, including Amazon packages.
- Services: electric/water with dump station. Bath houses with showers. Trash bins and recycling at each campground entrance.
- Decent Verizon, some ATT, no T-Mobile.
- Groceries: Small store across from park entrance, otherwise 30 minutes down to Lugoff or Camden (which has the nearest Walmart for those who track such things). Same for gas.
Females in heat will attract about 10 males from up to 500 meters away. The males will chase the female in a behavior often mistaken for play by humans. If squirrels are “playing” in your yard, mating season is likely at hand.
(from Urban Wildlife Control)