South Carolina packs some amazingly diverse terrain into a relatively small region. The Palmetto State forms a triangular area from a sliver of the Appalachian Mountains to the sandy, sub-tropical coastal plain. In between lies a band of sandhills, leftover from a time eons ago when the ocean reached some 100 miles further inland than it does today.
Geologists, geographers, and hikers find enjoyable common ground in our mountains-to-the-sea topography, yet all too often, outdoor lovers seem to bypass South Carolina in favor of popular National Parks in North Carolina or Florida. Aficionados of coastal exploration or waterfall discovery often overlook the Palmetto State where most tourists visit the beaches, play golf, go shopping, and enjoy the fine restaurants along the coast. Of course, an upside of this is that sometimes it makes for secluded hiking in spectacular wetlands, such as the ACE Basin, or colorful mountain gorges in Oconee, Greenville, or Pickens counties.