Spring into the New Season with the Old 96 District

South Carolina’s Old 96 District offers festivals, hiking, history, and outdoor fun for couples and families venturing out this spring

Lake in Abbeville County, South Carolina at sunset Photo courtesy of the Old 96 District


By Vanessa Infanzon

Travelers both new and familiar to South Carolina’s Old 96 District will uncover the beauty within each of the five counties: Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, Laurens, and McCormick. 

Find your favorite destination as you head into spring in the Old 96 District:

1. Expand your knowledge of history (without the internet).

South Carolina’s rich history includes more than 200 Revolutionary War battles, many fought in the Old 96 District. Visitors can learn the details behind the Loyalist and Patriot causes while walking the very land where they fought. At Ninety Six National Historic Site in Greenwood County, visit the museum and watch a 20-minute movie before heading out on the self-guided battlefield tour on an accessible paved 1-mile loop.

The Dr. Benjamin E. Mays Historical Preservation Site honors the life of Dr. Mays, a South Carolinian who fought for an education despite the economic and racial challenges he and his family faced. Dr. Mays served as president of Morehouse College in Atlanta from 1940 to 1967.

2. Restore your festival vibe.

After a quiet winter, start the season with the food, music, and activities at a springtime festival in the Old 96 District. The Abbeville Spring Festival is May 4-6, and the South Carolina Festival of Flowers in Greenwood is June 10 and 11. 

3. Plan a camping trip.

Each state park within the Old 96 District offers its own amenities and unique features. Swim at Calhoun Falls State Park’s beach, breathe in the wisteria at Lake Greenwood State Park, or fish at Baker Creek State Park.

Hickory Knob State Resort Park features an archery range, ax throwing, a golf course, and a restaurant in addition to cabins, RV campsites, and lakefront tent sites.

4. Pick the perfect blueberry.

Imagine popping a blueberry pie into the oven after picking a basket of fresh blueberries from Mixon Farm in Laurens County. 

Get your hands dirty at one of 20-plus farms in the Old 96 District and learn about how food grows, pet animals, and try horseback riding. 

5. Tell your family to take a hike (with you). 

Shake off those hiking shoes for a walk in the woods. Take an easy 1.3-mile hike to Horseshoe Falls at the Battle of Musgrove Mill State Historic Site. Bring the family dog on the moderate 4-mile loop at Parson’s Mountain Recreation Area — everyone will thank you for the views from the 800-foot summit.

Keep reading in: