Your city or community may not seem very exciting to you. But it may be more interesting than you think!
For many of us in South Carolina, history and adventure are practically on our doorsteps, and the S.C. National Heritage Corridor ushers the way to great discovery and opportunity. Chances are you’ve noticed the red, yellow and blue signs marking the Heritage Corridor, which was started in 1996 and is managed by the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
The Palmetto State’s Heritage Corridor comprises 17 counties and is more than 320 miles long. The counties that are part of the Heritage Corridor are Abbeville, Aiken, Anderson, Bamberg, Barnwell, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Edgefield, Georgetown, Greenwood, McCormick, Oconee, Orangeburg, Pickens and Saluda.
Where you begin is up to you! The Heritage Corridor actually has two routes that you can follow – the Discovery Route and the Nature Route. You probably will find that the two overlap in many places!
The Discovery Route links many historic sites, including battlefields, buildings and landmarks, mill villages, courthouse squares and military sites.
Remember that South Carolina figured prominently in both the American Revolution and the American Civil War – and this means that you will find historical places along the corridor and throughout the state!
South Carolina has so much natural beauty, too, and the Nature Route provides an overview of many of our most picturesque locations. The route follows the waterfalls and mountains of Table Rock and the Wilderness Mountain Area, winds through the western side of the state where you’ll find Lakes Thurmond and Russell, extends to the Edisto and Savannah Rivers and goes through the ACE Basin to the beautiful coastal areas, including Charleston, our port city.
The historic John de la Howe School is on the Nature Route of the S.C. National Heritage Corridor. Our campus is part of the Sumter National Forest and also is adjacent to the Little River, which feeds into Lake Thurmond. Those of you who are familiar with De La Howe know that the school was established in 1797 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
From De La Howe, you are close to history and nature! The campus is near historic Abbeville County, Hickory Knob State Park with its championship golf course, the Little River Blueway and charming McCormick County, which was home to the New Bordeaux settlement of French Huguenots in the Upstate. In less than 45 minutes, you’ll find yourself in Greenwood County at historic Star Fort in Ninety Six, where two Revolutionary War battles took place. And, of course, the campus is near Edgefield County, home of 10 S.C. governors, the National Wild Turkey Federation Museum and a wonderful center for genealogical research.
This summer and fall, forget the interstate and take the “roads less traveled” to discover South Carolina’s rich culture and history. Many of your adventures can be day trips that will help you explore the variety and beauty of the Palmetto State.
To know more about the Heritage Corridor and sites that you can explore, visit http://www.scnhc.org/. You’ll be amazed at all of the interesting places — many of which are closer than you realize!