Another holiday camping adventure had arrived! This time, we were headed back to Hamilton Branch!
In the fall, we took a weekend visit to the park and absolutely loved the campground (if you missed that blog, you can read it here!). So, when the SC state park system did their 25% off deal, I snatched up our amazing waterfront site again for Easter weekend. We were heading down Thursday night and didn't have to leave until Monday! And the weather looked PERFECT for camping.
Cameron and I rolled out a little early on Thursday after work and made it to the park around 8:00PM. It was a little trickier backing into the site with the new trailer because you have to approach it from an odd angle, but Cameron still got it into the site perfectly. We leveled it out and started to set up our home for the next few days.
The park was oddly quiet, especially our loop. We weren't sure if more campers would be rolling in over the next few days, but we loved having the whole place to ourselves. John was coming to join us on Friday for the weekend, so we got the site set up and ready for his arrival. Cameron and I enjoyed some wings and Mac & Cheese before watching a movie and heading to bed.
The next morning, we got up and had our coffee by the lake while Luna checked out the grounds. We took her for a walk around the campground loop to see if anything changed since our last journey here. There was a lot of deforestation going on which we weren't sure if it was to add more sites or just clearing.
We checked in at the campground store and, after forgetting a map, we decided to just roam and see if we could find the trailhead. Turns out it was 100 feet from the store!
Cameron and I walked the nature trail, which was a nice 1.5-mile loop. There wasn't much activity, but we still had fun. Most of the state parks on the Savannah River are primarily for fishing and boating, so they don't really focus on nice, long walking and hiking trails.
After the little hike, we walked back to the campground and waited for John and Bailey to arrive. The day was warming up, so we decided to just relax by the trailer for the afternoon in the sunshine.
John and his four-legged co-pilot arrived shortly before dinner time. We discussed the local pizza place Michelle's (Come on you guys have to know Michelle's by now. It's Cameron's favorite that we always write about) for dinner and decided that it sounded good!
Michelle's is in McCormick, which is about 15 minutes from Hamilton Branch, so we loaded up for a ride in John's truck to head to town. We weren't sure if it would be busy, since there really aren't too many options in the town for food. Luckily, there was a nice table outside that we sat down at and got served right away. It was a great evening for some pizza and beer (but really, when isn't it). We enjoyed ourselves and headed back to our furry friends to relax for the evening.
Saturday, we focused on relaxing. Just kidding... We did an 8 mile walk around the entire park, checking out all 200 sites! It was gorgeous weather, and we had so much fun just walking looking at all the boats and trailers. At one point, we actually got a little lost finding our way because the park is that huge.
Tired and hungry, we headed back to the site to enjoy some time in the sunshine. We set up our chairs, grabbed our drinks, and FaceTimed with mom. Bailey even decided she was going to learn to swim this trip! She did so great and was loving the water (definitely a lab). She even fetched a stick every time John threw it!
After lots of laughs, swims, and drinks, we decided to grill up some burgers and dogs (hot dogs, not our furry dogs) to enjoy the evening.
Sunday was our last full day and was going to be even warmer than Saturday, so we got an early start and did a smaller tour of the park for exercise.
John had never been in the canoe, so we wanted to do a tour of the lake. When Cameron and I came in the fall, we didn't pack the canoe because it was such a short trip. This time, we were ready to explore!
We launched right from our site and headed out to paddle around and check out all the inlets by the campground. There were a lot of pontoon and fishing boats out, since the weather was incredible. As we made our way around the lake, we found some hidden docks that you couldn't see from the campground shore. There were some houses set back behind trees that looked beautiful, and each had a private dock. We admired the homes and all the wildlife (turtles and osprey) before paddling back into shore to set up the hammocks and hang (pun intended) for the rest of the day.
We spent the rest of our trip drinking, relaxing, and swimming, enjoying our Easter day together before heading home Monday morning. A great trip to Hamilton Branch, yet again. This spot might become a yearly tradition!
He likes pizza.