Skip to content
destination guide icon
Request Your Free Destination Guide
John Wells Invites You Outside

John Wells Invites You Outside

Goodale State Park Manager John Wells is perfect for the job. He loves the outdoors, and his enthusiasm for it is contagious. He says he’s loved the outdoors since his first backyard campout with his father. Now, he encourages others to experience the natural wonder of the Olde English District.

He begins, of course, with his own state park. “Here at Goodale, we have a 140-acre lake (the Civil War Era Adams Mill Pond), and you can paddle through the forest along a 3-mile canoe trail,” Wells says. “You can touch the trees on either side of you, yet there’s 8 feet of water beneath you. It’s not too strenuous, and you can get up close to things. I recommend it to everyone.”

The hiking is great at Goodale, too, but he adds that hiking is phenomenal throughout the area, which boasts nine state parks that feature impressive nature trails. While not a golfer himself, Wells says the area’s courses (including the 18-hole championship course at Cheraw State Park) offer a wonderful way to commune with nature. Disc golf is also popular in the area, with the United States Disc Golf Championship being held at Winthrop University in Rock Hill each October.

Fishing is another popular pastime. Bass is especially coveted, but bream, catfish and a few other freshwater species are also caught by anglers. Besides paddling, Adams Mill Pond is a nice casual spot for a day of fishing. Lake Wateree State Park is also popular for fishing and boating on its 13,800-acre lake.

Depending on the time of year, Wells says there is always something to do outside in the area. You can see the Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies at Landsford Canal State Park in May and June, even attending the annual Lily Fest each May. “Cheraw State Park has the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (best seen April through July),” Wells says. “Walking the grounds at Andrew Jackson State Park is always a good time and Kings Mountain has the usual state park amenities plus the living history farm. Also, next to the state park is Kings Mountain National Military Park, if you want a taste of history.”

Residents and visitors alike mention the beauty of the area; Wells loves being a part of that daily. “You don’t need a specific hobby or sport to enjoy the outdoors here in the Olde English District,” he says. “The important thing is that you just take the time to get outside and enjoy nature. We invite you to come out and play.”