Friday, May 09, 2008

South Carolina Marks 75 Years Of Its State Parks, And Adds A Little Bit Of Rock And Roll

NAPSI-Who would have thought serene landscapes would lend themselves to adrenaline-pumping excitement? This year, the South Carolina state park system is celebrating its 75th anniversary with plenty of bells and whistles. Today, the dozens of beautiful parks throughout the state offer visitors a wide variety of environments to enjoy.

The South Carolina Forestry Commission was empowered by law in 1933 to begin building “state forest parks,” and soon after, the legendary Myrtle Beach State Park opened. Its beauty and location make it still one of the state’s most popular parks.

There are now 47 state parks in the system, offering serene settings and diverse diversions from the mountains to the sea, according to the agency that now oversees the operation, the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism.

“An estimated 7 million people visit our state parks each year,” said S.C. State Park Service director Phil Gaines. “Our system comprises nearly 90,000 acres across the state and includes more than 3,000 campsites and 200 lodge rooms, cabins and villas.”

Rock On

Fun seekers coming to Myrtle Beach now have another type of park--the new Hard Rock Park--to give them something they’ve not experienced anywhere else. Several themed zones--Rock & Roll Heaven, Born in the USA, Cool Country and British Invasion--will offer five roller coasters. Led Zeppelin: The Ride is the park’s signature attraction, featuring “ultramodern, on-board audio” synchronized to the Zeppelin anthem “Whole Lotta Love.”

Then there’s Nights in White Satin: The Trip; the haunted-mine ride Midnight Rider; the London Cab Ride; Kids Rock! State Park, with kid-style rock climbing, bungee jumping and rope swings; and much more. Details can be found at

As part of the celebration, each park is planning its own special event. More information about the parks and all their attractions are at

Parks Rock: South Carolina’s state parks are celebrating 75 years with outdoor events every month. Also new, Hard Rock Park, the world’s first rock and roll theme park, in Myrtle Beach.

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