With summer’s blazing heat slipping away to welcome autumn’s sunny skies and cool breezes, it’s time to get back outdoors to explore the many activities readily available in our great communities east of the Cooper.
For many dedicated golfers, fall means navigating some terrific courses without risking heat exhaustion. Autumn is the ultimate tee time! Options range from the Patriots Point links-style course on the Charleston Harbor to riverside courses like Dunes West and Rivertowne Country Club. Greens at Charleston National Country Club in the northern part of town offer a little less traffic, and Wild Dunes Resort on Isle of Palms makes each shot a vacation.
However, golf might not be your game. The less crowded waters of Shem Creek, Charleston Harbor and the Intracoastal Waterway shouldn’t be forgotten in the fall. The weather still permits kayaking or paddling without the summertime crowds. If you own a boat or have a friend willing to pipe you aboard, the area offers great opportunities for sailing and powerboating, too. Of course, rentals are available at numerous local commercial businesses. Their pricings are reasonable, but a ride with a friend can often be had for a six-pack and a smile against the gentler winds in the autumn.
If you’re looking for more leisure fun for the entire family, a great facility open to all is the beautiful Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park. The 1250-foot-long pier ideal for walking and fishing creates a platform that can be enjoyed at any pace. The nautical-themed playground is also great for the kids or grandkids.
According to town Councilman Gary Santos, widely acknowledged as “Mr. Recreation” among our local lawmakers, “[The town is] working on phase three of improvements at the park. The funding is there, and we’re just waiting for final approvals.”
Councilman Santos said that these improvements will include two basketball courts situated back to back. This paved area will also be available for roller skating, street hockey or evening entertainment attractions. Circuit-style workout stations are also in the plans.
Councilman Santos also noted that runners and walkers have some great choices in Mount Pleasant this season.
“Lucy Garrett Beckham High School has agreed to let [walkers and runners] use their new rubberized track. Its availability will be contingent of their student’s needs.”
He also noted that the track at the Park West recreational complex is open and rubberized for those looking for a good spot further north. Closer to the bridge, the track at Town Hall is a good option for a quality track meant to provide support for the joints.
Santos added, “I think that outdoor activities in our town are excellent because there are so many opportunities available. For example, there’s nothing like a walk or run over the Arthur Ravenel Bridge or a bike ride in one of our designated lanes, such as the one that takes riders over the IOP Connector to the Isle of Palms.”
Apart from the tracks and roadside paths, Palmetto Islands Country Park should not be forgotten in the interest of outdoor fun. This 943-acre tropical-themed paradise is ideal for family or group outdoor recreation. There are nature trails, bike paths, boardwalks and picnic sites with grills. You can fish, crab and even rent pedal boats for a leisurely ride on the water.
There are also public spaces available for the sportsminded this fall. The Cheryl Woods-Flowers Soccer Complex offers five lighted fields and one playground. The Duffy Baseball Complex at Center Street in the Old Village presents three lighted baseball fields, a batting tunnel and a multi-purpose paved court. In the northern end of town, Cario Middle School at Park West has a lighted multi-purpose field, while Carolina Park boasts four lighted fields, plus extensive sidewalks and trails for running and biking.
Day or night, there’s lots of outdoor exercise and fun for everyone, from young families to senior citizens, in every nook and cranny of Mount Pleasant.
Then of course, there is biggest attraction of all—the one that draws visitors from across the country to our town in the Lowcountry. With miles of pristine beaches beckoning, the Atlantic ocean itself is the biggest outdoor recreational attraction of all in autumn. Before those breezes give way to wintery winds, everyone should spend some time on the seashore. Pause to pick up a few seashells. Reflect on your time spent exploring your side of the Cooper this fall, the season made just for the locals. It’s the perfect time of year.
By Bill Farley