Spring is in the air around Rock Hill. For many folks and families in 2021, Spring Break is going to look a lot different this year. Rather than traveling far afield, many will opt to stay closer to home. In the first of what we hope will be a long-running series, the Rock Hill Coca-Cola Bottling Company introduces Picnic Trips. These spotlights on areas less than two hours from the Rock Hill area will give you a way to feel like you’ve traveled without going very far.
So pack a picnic (be sure to bring long plenty of Coca-Cola products) and hit the road!
Landsford Canal State Park
The first location for our Picnic Trips is Landsford Canal State Park. Located 20-30 minutes from Rock Hill, this state park preserves an important part of local history. In the early 1800s, travel across the Catawba River was difficult at best. To solve the transportation problem, canals were built to allow river vessels to by-pass the rocky shoals at this stretch of the river. The stone structures of those canals and many of the accompanying buildings are still intact.
To Get There
Landsford Canal State Park is located at 2051 Park Drive, Catawba, SC 29704. In general, you’ll be heading southeast from Rock Hill along US 21 South.
What’s To Do?
The park offers a pleasant day’s worth of activities for the casual visitor.
The Canals and Buildings
The self-guided history tour will walk you through the need for and construction of the canals. You can walk through the beds of the canals and get a sense of the size of the undertaking, especially in the mid-1800s.
If you have access to a kayak or canoe, Landsford Canal State Park is ideal. You can spend several hours paddling around the shoals, looking at the special plant-life. The rapids rarely get rougher than Class 2, and then only with a lot of water in the river after a rain.
Besides the archeological interest, the real stars of the show at Landsford Canal State Park are the spider lilies. They grow in only a few places in the world, and here are the most in any one spot. The lilies bloom in May and June.
If you visit Landsford Canal State Park in December through May, you might catch a glimpse of the nesting bald eagles. If you’re really lucky, you might see one of the fledging take its first flight from the nest in early June.
Each of the three trails at Landsford Canal State Park is a short, easy walk. The Canal Trail is the longest at 1.5 miles; the Nature Trail is .6miles; and the Eagle Point trail is .2 miles.