South Carolina Hiking, Nature July 05, 2022
With Footbridges And A Waterfall, The Little-Known Coquina Trail In South Carolina Is Unexpectedly Magical
There’s nothing like getting out in nature, but solitude can be hard to find these days. If you’re looking for a South Carolina hiking trail where you can get lost in the beauty of nature and not worry about the crowds, take the lightly trafficked Coquina Trail in
Poinsett State Park. This 1.4-mile loop trail is only moderately challenging, with charming footbridges, old ruins, and a manmade waterfall along the way.
Poinsett State Park has 25.6 miles of trails and around 1,000 acres for hikers, mountain bikers, and runners to enjoy. The park was originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps from 1934 to 1938, and is located in Sumter County, in the region known as the “High Hills of Santee.” It’s unique for the diversity of its terrain and plant and animal life – you may even glimpse an alligator within its borders.
Coquina Trail meanders through much of this diverse terrain, and it’s a great introduction to the park. You’ll be walking around Old Levi Mill Lake, intersecting with Palmetto Trail along the way, and traveling through a mountain-like landscape not normally seen in this area of South Carolina.
The 10-acre lake is gorgeous and inviting on a warm day. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, swimming in the lake is allowed. But it makes for some beautiful views along Coquina Trail any time of the year.
Mountain laurels draped with Spanish moss create a magical backdrop as well, especially in the greenery of spring and summertime.
You’ll cross over Shank’s Creek along the trail, stepping across wooden footbridges built to blend easily into the landscape.
A wooden boardwalk makes up part of the trail, surrounded by thick woods so you’ll really feel immersed in nature.
Along the way you’ll find the remains of the original structures where the men from the Civilian Conservation Corps resided in the 1930s, while they worked on building Poinsett Park. You can also find ruins from an old grist mill that dates back to before the Revolutionary War!
And of course, the waterfall is a highlight of the trail. The surrounding stone ruins of Levi’s Mill just add to the magic.
Step across the footbridge and get right up close to the waterfall, or just stand back and admire the view.
Poinsett State Park website to find more information, including a map of all the trails you can enjoy within this beautiful park. Or check out our previous article to learn more about the history of Poinsett State Park.
Have you ever hiked Coquina Trail? We’d love to hear about your experience.
Address: Poinsett State Park, 6660 Poinsett Park Rd, Wedgefield, SC 29168, USA