Poinsett State Park is located in Wedgefield, a small unincorporated community in western Sumter County. The park opened in 1936 and is one of 16 state parks constructed in South Carolina by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).
The park is named for Charleston native and US Ambassador to Mexico, Joel R. Poinsett. (The Poinsett Bridge near Greenville is also named in his honor.) The property is situated in a unique region of South Carolina known as the High Hills of Santee. It is unique because it features flora from four distinct natural communities – the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Piedmont, the Sandhills, and the Coastal Plain. The stone bridge seen above crosses an old dam and spillway that forms Old Levi Mill Pond.
The merging of the sandhills with the coastal plain is one reason why this environment creates such an interesting landscape. This land was used by several Native American tribes for hunting, including the Santee, the Wateree, and the Catawba.
Features of Poinsett State Park include a 10-acre lake with boat access, campsites and cabins, and the ruins of a grist mill dating back to the American Revolution. Many of the park’s hiking, biking, and equestrian trails also connect to the statewide Palmetto Trail.
The Knot was created to expand hiking options within the park. Utilizing portions of the Coquina and Hilltop trails, there are two options for visitors to choose from to switch up their experience while exploring. Both the Hi and Lo Knot trails seen above are popular for mountain biking. The trails were created in 2013 by members of the Midlands Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association and the Sumter ChainGang Bicycle Club.
Poinsett State Park opened in 1936. Pictured above is an original trail shelter designed by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Today these sturdy structures, located along the park’s trails, provide weary adventurers a welcome respite.
Reflections on Poinsett State Park
Contributing photographer Leonard Vaughan writes, “One of the most unique features of the park is the coquina-lined spillway (pictured above) built by the CCC in the 1930s. The park is a lovely place to spend the day or weekend. You can canoe on the lake, hike the many trails, and check out the unique flora and fauna of this diverse area.”
Another contributor, Linda Brown, shares this about her picture below: “This photo of the spillway at Poinsett State Park was taken in August, but I particularly liked the lone golden leaf against the tabby.”
More Pictures of Poinsett State Park