by Emily Smith
Sometimes you don’t even have to leave your neighborhood to have an adventure. With school out and the heat on, not having to go far from home can be a blessing. This July, explore the ever-growing Carolina Forest community and see what fun outdoor activities it has to offer for family and friends.
First and foremost, the best place to start is the Carolina Forest Recreation Center. This will be your headquarters for all things “fun in the forest.” Beyond having exercise classes throughout the week for all ages, this local rec center hosts countless athletic camps and events for kids.
Sharing the same parking lot is the Carolina Forest Library, which has its own unique happenings, not just books.
A large grassy field stretches behind both buildings, which can be filled at any given moment with herds of children playing. To the side sits the rec center’s playground, a literal jungle gym of activity. Small picnics involving the use of personal grills are allowed provided they are kept a safe distance from playing children.
Families are encouraged to stop by and find out more about the many activities and classes offered at Carolina Forest. Baseball fans can come here to learn more about the International Drive Fields, a popular sports venue used by both schools and amateur teams.
One of the most popular bike paths along the Grand Strand, The Horry County Bike and Run Park is the closest thing there is to mountain biking in our flat area, and has been affectionately nicknamed “The Hulk.” The dirt park filled with gentle to more experienced up-and-downs, is located in your backyard of Carolina Forest, and is expanding all the time.
The main loop is definitely for the more experienced riders, with dirt paths that can curve sharply after a quick decline. This whole park is large however, and a number of different paths wind through the trees. For those who prefer being on foot, there are jogging trails twisting around as well. These many tracks altogether add up to almost 10 kilometers of fun.
The multiple paths and difficultly levels should be carefully noted on the map before beginning. It is also important to keep in mind that the Bike and Run Park does not have outdoor lighting, and should only be visited during daylight hours.
Down the road a little bit from the Recreation Center, the development of Huger Park continues to march on. The new five acres of park will only increase the amount of outdoor activities that Carolina Forest has to offer, though estimates of an opening date are still far off in the future.
It would be remiss not to mention another popular outdoor activity of the summer — fireworks. Regulations regarding fireworks vary depending on where you are, so please be sure to research before lighting up the night sky.
Above all else this July, be safe, stay cool, and have fun in the forest!