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5 Things To Do In Fairfield County

5 Things To Do In Fairfield County

In South Carolina’s Fairfield County, there is a little something for everyone. ​​Home to the South Carolina Railroad Museum, the area is the gateway to Lake Monticello and the 283-acre Lake Wateree State Park, which sports 100 camping sites, an on-site tackle shop, canoe and kayak rentals and a mile-long nature trail. 

For thrill-seekers, Carolina Adventure World’s 2,600 wooded acres are the perfect landscape for ATV, UTV and dirt bike riding. Fairfield County also celebrates the quiet charms of small-town living, and the town of Ridgeway is no exception. 

To help you plan your visit, we created a list of five things to do in Fairfield County.  

1. Spend the Day On the Lake

The nearly 13,000-acre Lake Wateree touches three counties in the Olde English District (Chester, Fairfield and Kershaw). But the main access is at Lake Wateree State Park in Winnsboro. The state park features many camping sites with water and electrical hookups, a boat ramp, a state-of-the-art playground, a loop hiking trail and more. (Pro tip: After a day on the water, grab a delicious meal and cocktail from The Retreat, which sits on Lake Wateree.)

For those looking for something a bit quieter, Lake Monticello is nearby in Jenkinsville, South Carolina. This 7,000-acre lake includes areas designed with fishing, boating and swimming top-of-mind.

5 Things To Do In Fairfield County
Lake Wateree State Park

2. Learn Something New at the South Carolina Railroad Museum

The South Carolina Railroad Museum was established in 1973 by a group of dedicated railroad enthusiasts from the Columbia and Charleston areas. Over the years, it has accumulated several pieces of rolling stock and equipment, including cabooses, freight cars and diesel engines. Visitors are also welcome to shop the museum-themed gifts and souvenirs in the gift shop before heading out. 

3. Get Your Heart Racing at Carolina Adventure World

Calling all thrill-seekers: Carolina Adventure World is a must-visit destination. Situated on 2,600 wooded acres in Fairfield County, this ATV, UTV and dirt bike riding park is one of the largest in the Southeast. With more than 100 miles of single-track trails of varying difficulty, you are sure to get your heart racing. Carolina Adventure World’s welcome center also features wide verandas, swings and rocking chairs for visitors to unwind before or after a ride. 

5 Things To Do In Fairfield County
Carolina Adventure World

4. Explore the Quaint Town of Ridgeway

Previously called New Town, the town of Ridgeway earned its current name when the owners of the Charlotte and South Carolina Railway decided against building the railroad on the Camden route but to use the “ridge way” instead. But today, there are cute shops and restaurants lining Ridgeway’s historic downtown.

Enjoy a delicious pot of tea along with sandwiches, soups, salads and mouthwatering desserts on the first floor of Laura’s Tea Room. Or reserve a seat upstairs for high tea service for the full experience. The Cotton Yard Market is a great stop to peruse vintage items, collectibles and antiques, and Ruff Hardware is an old-fashioned mercantile and hardware store with unusual and hard-to-find items. After shopping, grab a meal or drink at Olde Town Hall Restaurant & Pub for the perfect Rideway experience.

5 Things To Do In Fairfield County
Ruff Hardware

5. Discover America’s Longest Continuously Running Clock

Winnsboro is home to a tower that has made its mark as the longest-continuously running clock in the United States. The clock was built in 1837, and the materials used to construct it were ordered from France. In 1875, it became necessary to repair the clock tower, but since then, it has run for more than 100 years.  

5 Things To Do In Fairfield County
Downtown Winnsboro, South Carolina