Georgetown County Parks and Recreation will celebrate the great outdoors this month in one of the county’s most beautiful public places. The department has scheduled its inaugural Outdoor Festival and River Day for Saturday, Sept. 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Rocky Point Community Forest. Co-sponsored by the Winyah Rivers Alliance and S.C. State Parks, the event will bring food, outdoors-themed vendors and fun activities for the whole family.
Vendors and games will be set up at Northwest Regional Recreation Center in Choppee, which is adjacent to Rocky Point. Activities including kayaking, guided hikes and more will take event-goers into the community forest to explore trails, learn about the area’s history and more.
“People are welcome to go out there and hike or bike and explore on their own. But we’re also going to have guided hikes for people who don’t feel comfortable going out on their own,’” said T.L. Staub, the department staff member in charge of creating and maintaining trails. A schedule is still in the works, but he said plans are to have a guided history hike, exploratory hikes, and one that focuses on the environment.
There will also be guided bike rides and kayak trips. The county has a limited number of kayaks available for use, or paddlers are welcome to bring their own kayak. The paddle trip will take participants up the Black River to Choppee Creek.
“Then when you’re done with your hike or paddle, we’ll have a hammock rest area where people can relax a little bit,” Staub said.
For those who want to learn more about the area’s wildlife in a more controlled environment, a snake and reptile presentation is also planned, thanks to the Winyah Rivers Alliance.
“There’s also going to be a DJ. We’re going to have disc golf and cornhole set up,” Staub said. For the more adventurous, there will be archery and axe throwing. “We’re really going to have something for everyone. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
The Southern Anglers Radio Show will broadcast live from the festival that morning to kick things off. Outdoors-related vendors are still being accepted for the event. The last day to sign up to be a vendor is Friday, Sept. 15.
“We’re looking for anybody who has an activity or merchandise that would enhance the outdoor experience,” Staub said.
The Parks and Recreation Department also plans to launch its Georgetown Outdoor Adventure Trails program, which will be known as GOAT. The program will be a community resource for people who enjoy hiking, paddling and exploring the outdoors, and will encourage them to get out and take advantage of all Georgetown County Parks and Recreation has to offer, he said.
“Whether you’re an experienced outdoorsperson or you just want to come see what Rocky Point has to offer, this is an even you’ll want to attend,” Staub said. “We want to get people from all the communities of Georgetown County involved in outdoor activity. Rocky Point is the focal point of that right now, but we’re looking to expand to other areas of the county as well and have opportunities in different areas of the county so people can have something right in their back yard, or they can go explore their county and do a variety of activities within an hour’s drive of home.”
A festival schedule will be posted at gtcparks.org when available. For more information, call Georgetown County Parks and Recreation at (843) 545-3320.