SUMMERVILLE — A tour is in the works for the unopened park along the Ashley River that’s already so popular Dorchester County had to fence it off and add security.
A walking tour and public input day tentatively is scheduled March 9 for the 83-acre site off Bacons Bridge Road, said County Councilman Jay Byars.
The day would provide residents the opportunity to stroll a path along more than a half-mile of riverfront and a nearby pond, and to give their input.
“I think that makes sense,” said county Parks and Recreation Commission member Mike Montei, who represents the district where the park is located.
Residents in any number of neighborhoods in the Oakbrook area around the park will use it, he said. They have questions about issues such as access.
Finding out what they do and don’t want to see there will be very valuable, he said.
The county plans an array of passive uses at the park, such as trails, a river launch, fishing, shelter and campsite rentals. Purchased in 2012 for $1.3 million, the acreage is a former development tract left in its early clearing stages when foreclosed. It sits along a jungle-like stretch of the Ashley River, where it turns from a blackwater creek into a tidal stream.
It had become one of those on-the-sly escapes for people who wanted to get on the river or into the woods.
The county recently clamped down on security after finding vandalism, as well as hunters, anglers, campers and off-road vehicle motorists having used the site.
An estimated $3 million worth of infrastructure already is in place, including sewer lines, the large fishing pond with gazebo, a dock on the river and the riverside trail with boardwalks.
The property might well have once held Gen. William Moultrie’s “lost fort,” an earthen redoubt guarding the river that is among the most significant regional Revolutionary War sites not yet located.
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