Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Myrtle Beach State Park

Located in Horry County and encompassing only 312 acres, Myrtle Beach State Park is very much an oasis of conservation among the massive development of Myrtle Beach. With one mile of unspoiled front beach complete with a 729-foot fishing pier, and a 137-acre Heritage Trust Preserve of maritime forest, what makes this state park special is how it preserves Horry County’s natural ocean-side heritage.

Programs director Ann Malys Wilson told me, “Looking South and North back towards land from the end of the pier, you can clearly see the borders of the park because it is in stark contrast with the surrounding build-up.” Wilson also told me that this park serves 1.2 million visitors a year, and offers 300 RV hook-ups, which is the most for an individual park in the SC Park System. Wilson adds, “When you come here you’ll have a different Myrtle Beach experience than anywhere else along the Grand Strand.”

Myrtle Beach State Park offers some fine fishing on its full-service pier that sells bait, rents fishing tackle and allows children eleven years of age or younger to fish for free. The Park outreach program also uses the pier to showcase the bounty of saltwater inhabitants found there such as shrimp, crabs, fish and even sea urchins. Another front beach program for Myrtle Beach State Park allows equestrian usage of the property from the third Saturday in November until the end of February.

PhotosByJeffDennis: Looking north from the pier the scenic maritime forest ends where the hotels of the Grand Strand start up; the fishing pier at the state park is capable of being a very productive spot; a sign directs horse traffic to the beach

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