Have you visited Croft State Park? With a wooden dock, a clear lake, tiny minnows sparkling in sunny shallow waters, tall trees, horses, hiking trails, and a playground, it sounds like the perfect place, right? You’ll want to check out Croft State Park the next time you’re looking for a family adventure!
Spending a Day at Croft State Park
This gorgeous 7,000-acre state park offers miles of hiking, biking, and even equestrian trails. On our visit, we walked the short Lake Craig connector trail and then enjoyed views of an absolutely beautiful Lake Craig. We ate snacks we enjoyed them sitting on an adorable little dock watching the tiny minnows in the shallow water around us. The nearby fishermen were also quite entertaining for my crew.
We enjoyed a very peaceful morning in the park. My homeschoolers were able to practice making super sentences with quality adjectives about all the things they were noticing from the dock. “The sun sparkles on the backs of the wiggling minnows.” The next time we go I will bring sketchbooks and writing paper so they can write down their sentences and illustrate. There were definitely plenty of places to sit near the lake, and lots of grass for blankets, if that’s your preference.
You will find bathrooms conveniently near the parking lot for Lake Craig, and a short walk up the hill brings you to a nice playground with views of the park’s equestrian facilities. While there were only a handful of horses and riders when we visited, my children really enjoyed watching as we walked past. The playground was great for my children (ages 4 through 8), but younger children will need to be watched carefully due to the height of some of the equipment.
Things to Do at Croft State Park
Hiking and Biking Trails
Croft has many hiking trails, including an easy Nature Trail that’s about one and a half miles long. We went to the park intending to hike this trail, but even with a map, we struggled to find the trailhead. We gave up and went on our little adventure at the lake and playground instead. However, as we drove back down the park road headed for home, we noticed work crews clearing a few trees, and their trucks had been parked in front of the trailhead for the nature trail. We could have driven by 20 times and never seen it! ‘
Trails at Croft
There are several trails at Croft, with some of the major ones being the Palmetto Trail (Croft Passage), Nature Trail, Foster Mill, Southside Loop, and Rocky Ridge/ Whitestone Springs. You will also find several additional mixed-use trails that are designated for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. This park has over 20 miles of mountain biking trails, which is spectacular if you love the sport.
The SC State Park Croft State Park website does a great job detailing what trails are for what, their difficulty, and how long each trail is. The Park Ranger can also help you out, with office hours 11 am to noon and 4 pm to 5 pm daily.
Fortunately, there’s so much to see and enjoy at Croft State Park, that it didn’t matter much to us. But, do bring a map with you! If you’re looking for the Nature Trail, then you’ll find the trailhead on the right, just before you get to the parking lot for the equestrian facilities.
We love taking a small portion of the Palmetto Trail out to Fairforest Creek in the summer because it is not too difficult of a portion of the trail, so our toddler and four-year-old can come along. It also leads out to the creek, which is a great place to splash in the creek for a little while on hot days.
Love camping? Then camping at Croft should be on your radar for places to go next time you’re ready to pack up and head to the great outdoors. The park offers both RV camping and tent camping sites, in addition to a primitive group camping site that can accommodate up to 100 people. Camping sites are on packed gravel and come with electrical and water hookups. There are even hot showers, which as a mom with messy kids, makes taking them camping a little easier.
Canoe, Kayak, and Paddleboard Rentals
One of the great places to do watersports in the area is at Croft. You can bring your own equipment, or you can rent canoes, small boats, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards from the state park itself. For Jon boat and canoe rentals, you pay $15 for 4 hours of time or $25 per day. For kayaks and paddleboards, the cost is $10 per hour for the rental. They do not rent after 6 pm, so keep that in mind when planning your trip.
Want to go to Croft?
Admission for Croft State Park is $3 for adults, and $1 for children 6- 15. Children under 6 are free.
Pets are allowed as long as they are leashed.
Park hours are 7 am – 6 pm daily (8 p.m. on Fridays), and 7 am – 9 pm daily during daylight savings time.
Croft State Park Address: 450 Croft State Park Road, Spartanburg, SC
Have you ever been exploring at Croft State Park?
These trails in Spartanburg, SC are great places to hike during the wintertime!