Historical Society Gets Update On What’s New At The Park

Editor’s Note: This is part two of the Dillon County Historical Society meeting on the Little Pee Dee State Park. Part One appeared in the Thursday, July 13th issue and gave the history of the park as told by the first park superintendent Lafon Norton and others who shared their memories at the meeting.


By Betsy Finklea
Park Manager Michelle Cunningham updated the Dillon County Historical Society on what’s new at the Little Pee Dee State Park at their meeting held recently at the park.
She introduced Leola Smith, the park ranger. There are the two staff people at the park. They also have some summer help.
Cunningham reported that the lake is back after having been taken out by Hurricane Matthew. It has been about two and half years since the dam was fixed. Also, the road has been paved. All of these improvements have helped bring people into the park.
The park has about 300,000 visitors per year. They have a continued great relationship with the County of Dillon. The county fixed the river access road. Many of the local fishermen have been very appreciative.
New mulch has been added to the playground. There are 16-17 septic sites now. The bath house is now heated and air-conditioned.
They are doing a lot of trail maintenance and rediscovering lost trails.
One of her goals is to get public swimming back hopefully by next summer, possibly by Memorial Day. School groups come in for programming. Dillon and Marion County law enforcement use the park to help train their dogs.
They still have kayaks, but no paddle boats. Another park snagged their paddle boats after the hurricane.
A new tent company will be doing a trial where they rent tents. This will start soon. This is for people who want to tent camp but who don’t have a tent or don’t want to deal with a tent.
The old tent site is being opened back up for primitive sites.
The cabin stays booked up. There is a three-month wait on the weekends. The cabin has heating and air conditioning, mini fridge, a Keuring coffee maker, a full-size bed, twin size bunk beds, a hammock, a grill, a fire pit, and a lakeside view.
At some point, the hope is to have two more cabins. Rep. Jackie Hayes is working on this. She said Coach Hayes has done a great deal for the park.
She said she had heard of the square dances in the past. She said if anyone knows who does calling that she would like to get in touch with them and maybe do some special programming.
The park is located at 1298 State Park Road, Dillon. You can reach the park by calling 843-774-8872.

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