Saturday, June 30, 2012

the low down on long shoals

 Okay, so I discovered this little jewel on the internet.  It is located between Keowee Toxaway and Table Rock.  It took us about 45 minutes to get there.  Not too bad.  This sign is ABOUT the only advertisement for the place.  If you are not REALLY looking for it, you will NOT find it!  Trust me!  Angela and I had directions and a GPS and we still stopped TWICE to ask for help!! LOL  So, let me know if you are going to attempt to find it, I'll be glad to pass along our directions....
 I loved most everything about the park.  Pictured above are the steps going down to the river.  Or so we thought....they come to an abrupt stop about half way down.  So, unfortunately you are left to very CAREFULLY "hike" the rest of the way on your own.  I DO NOT suggest wearing flops (as I did).  And if you have any type of problem with your knees, just drive to your local waterpark and pay the entry fee.  You'll save yourself a small trip to the hospital!  (I'm only halfway joking!)
 Once you make it to the rocks, you are HOME FREE!!  And I promise, you will not be disappointed! 

 This would be Luke reaching for my hand, asking me to help him out of the water and onto dry land.  It was very slippery.  As you can see, rather than help the poor child, I chose to capture a photo of him!  *wink*

 On their way to do it again!

It is no secret that I LIVE to find FREE/CHEAP activities to enjoy during the summer.  Well folks, Long Shoals Wayside Park has landed itself at the TOP of my favorites list! 

A few things to remember if you plan a visit:
  • Carry flops in your bag, but DO NOT wear them to walk down the hill.
  • If possible, plan your trip so that you arrive AFTER lunch.  The park is in a hole in the mountain and the sun is brutal!  There is little shade on the rocks.  So, unless you plan on tanning or swimming, you WILL be hot!  Around 2:00, the sun moved around and it was much more pleasant.  However, no matter when you go, you'll enjoy yourselves.  Don't forget to pack your sunscreen and PLENTY to drink! (With that in mind, remember that whatever you carry down the hill, also has to go back UP with you.  Not easy!
  • There is a porta john.  (This was one of my very few complaints).  If you have boys and they have to "pee" you're good to go...plenty of wooded area! :)  If you're a girl, you're out of luck unless you are willing to use the porta potty.  I have to say, it was pretty nasty.  And, needless to say, if anyone has to do MORE than that, you will be "up a creek!"  Literally.
  • We had a great time sliding without floats, but there were other kids there with floats, etc to slide on.  You will go much faster that way!
  • I was much LESS worried about snakes here than at Jones Gap.  It is pretty open and the water is clear enough that you can see where you are swimming AND what's swimming with you!  There was enough activity, I believe the snakes stayed away.  We never saw them.  Thank goodness! 
  • My own personal preference is to carry a life vest or floaties for your younger children.  JP swims pretty well without assistance, but there are a few places, (as you're sliding), that could potentially land you under a rock.  In that instance, I felt safer with JP having that extra protection.
I guess that's about it.  If you have further questions, feel free to leave a comment, email or Facebook me.  As you can see, we had an AWESOME time!  We will definitely go back..and soon! 

If you live in this area, it will be well worth your time.  And it will only cost you the gas you use to get there!

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