Fall in love all over again with Charleston County parks

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Lowcountry Weekend) - Balmy breezes sharpen to a crisp, afternoon light deepens from white to gold, nights grow longer by the day… Yep, it’s official: Fall has arrived in Charleston County parks! As summer fades, dozens of fun programs and events pop up in the parks for the new season. This fall, sample new fitness ventures, learn about the Lowcountry’s natural wonders, and enjoy relaxing festival days in the parks. Here’s a preview of some of the upcoming opportunities available to nature lovers of all ages:

Take advantage of cooler weather when you move your workout out of the gym and into the parks. Walk, jog, or bike miles of scenic trails; get your flow on during Starlight Yoga on the Mount Pleasant Pier; learn to ride the ocean surf in a kayak; reach new heights on the 50-foot Climbing Wall; or join fellow community members for open gym recreation in Hollywood. Have a competitive streak? Register to race in the Chili 5K or the Lowcountry Trail Half-Marathon and 5K. And McClellanville youth sports introduce energetic kids to tackle football, flag football, or cheerleading.

Those seeking less strenuous fun can choose from myriad nature programs. Bird lovers will be all a-flutter over the Lowcountry’s astonishing avian diversity during bird walks at Caw Caw Interpretive Center and Lighthouse Inlet. Sharp-eyed observers become enraptured by raptors at Johns Island County Park, and witness the monarch migration at Folly Beach. And young (and young-at-heart) learners all are welcome in hands-on educational courses. Toddlers will be enchanted by the Wee Wild Ones series, while elementary and middle-school nature lovers will thrive in Homeschool in the Parks, Earth Explorers, and Junior Naturalist programs. Older kids and adults can expand their understanding of the natural world through interpretive programs, including beach walks, canoe trips, and the Poetry at McLeod series.

Ready to kick back and relax with family and friends? Sip and stroll through gorgeous Lowcountry landscapes at Wine Down Wednesday and Toast Under the Oaks; spin and shimmy at Dancing on the Cooper; and enjoy live music at the Palmetto Park Jam. Celebrate fall in epic fashion at the down-home, foot-stomping Harvest Festival, famous for its bluegrass music, delicious food, and family-friendly activities. Humans require canine escorts to Dog Day Afternoon, when fur babies take over the Charleston County waterparks. And very good boys and girls can meet up with friends (and their humans) at mid-week Yappy Hour events.

This season, fall in love all over again with Charleston County parks!