A wide variety of recreational activities are available in Chester County, ranging from neighborhood
playgrounds to state parks and National Forest lands. Active recreation departments are operated by
Chester County in cooperation with the City of Chester and the Town of Great Falls. Facilities of these
departments include playgrounds, swimming pools, tennis courts and ball fields for softball, football
and soccer. These facilities are clustered in the Chester and Great Falls areas. There are small town
parks in Richburg and Lowrys, and an area park in west Chester County. A new YMCA opened in early
An 18 hole golf course located east of Chester is operated by the Leroy Springs Company, and is open
to the public. Republic Golf Course, a nine hole course in Great Falls is also open to the public.
Water based recreation is available in a number of areas. In addition to private ponds and lakes, water sports such as swimming, boating and skiing are available at Fishing Creek Lake, an impoundment on the Catawba River above Great Falls. The lake has public landings as well as a number of private residences and cabins. Canoeing is increasing in popularity along the Catawba River above Fishing Creek Lake and on the Broad River all along the western boundary of the county.
Chester State Park, located south of Chester on SC 72/121, offers camping, picnicking, fishing, a playground, and nature trail. Landsford Canal State Park is located on the Catawba River in the northeastern part of the county. This park is located at an ancient crossing point of the river which has a rocky shoal. In the 1820s, a canal was built to allow barge traffic around the shoals for the transportation of cotton and other crops to market in Charleston. This canal area, unused for many years, is now an interpretive site. The park also has a picnic area, a nature trail, and opportunities for fishing and canoeing.
Portions of Sumter National Forest are located in western Chester County. The forest provides areas for hiking, hunting, access to the Broad River, and a developed recreation area at Woods Ferry. (www.villageprofile.com)
Wylie Park Activity Center
161 West End St.,
The Wylie Park Activity Center houses the Chester Parks & Recreation Department.
This facilty includes a weight room and a computer lab.
Chester County YMCA
157 Columbia St.,
Chester, SC 29706
The Chester Branch YMCA is running at full throttle. The organization opened its recreation
center at the former Dora Jones Gayle Elementary School in January 2000. It offers a variety
of activities to its members.
The YMCA features a renovated gymnasium for basketball and other sports. Visitors may work
out solo on the Y’s exercise equipment or participate in group programs such as aerobics. In 2002,
the Y opened its $1.3 million indoor pool. Y members swim but for a variety of other purposes, including aqua aerobics and physical therapy. The YMCA also handles recreation activities for Chester County, including basketball and football. Check the activities section or call 581-9622 for more information.
Chester State Park
759 Park Drive,
Chester, SC 29706
Chester State Park is one of two state parks in Chester County. It is situated off S.C. Highway 72
about one mile southwest of Chester. The tranquil 523-acre park is enjoyed by campers, day visitors
and nature-lovers. The park’s 160-acre lake offers visitors excellent fishing opportunities. Amenities
at the park include a walking trail, an equestrian show ring, picnic shelters, picnic tables and boat
Landsford Canal State Park
2051 State Park Drive
Richburg, SC 29729
Landsford Canal State Park is one of the county’s most historically significant sites. The canal is
considered the best preserved of South Carolina’s 19th century river canals. Remnants of 1820
canal-culverts, stone bridges, locks and a historic mill site remain intact. A lock-keepers house
contains interpretive exhibits about the canal system. The rocky shoals along the Catawba River
in the 250 acre park are home to one of the world’s largest population of rocky shoals spider lilies.
This rare plant blooms in May. Park amenities include a nature trail, canoe trail, picnic shelter and
Leroy Springs Golf & Recreation Complex
770 Old Richburg Road
Chester, SC 29706
The organization opened in the 1950s on Dawson Drive. Memberships are open to Chester County
residents 18 years old and older. Call for membership information. Since 2002, senior programs
have been the focus at the recreation complex.
- Golf Course (Chester Golf Club)
Keith McGee, head golf professional - 581-5733. Open seven days a week from 8 a.m. until
dark; closed Christmas day. Chester’s only 18-hole course is open to both members and the
- Recreation Complex
Colleen Littlejohn, Senior Director - 385-6109. Open Monday-Wednesday-Friday, facilities available include the social room that has a capacity of 200 people and may be rented for social events. Chester County residents 50 years and older are eligible for membership in the senior programs and to join the Golden Age Club. The “Fitness and Excellence Through Competiton Program” is co-sponsored by Chester County Senior Services. Other classes include walking aerobics, senior aerobic and toning, line dancing and set back games. Seniors may join other members at the shuffleboard courts, the horseshoe pits or workout in the weight room on the training equipment.
Woods Ferry Recreation Area
Sumter National Forest – Enoree Office
20 Work Center Road,
Whitmire, SC 29178
Woods Ferry Recreation Area is located in the Sumter National Forest in the western-most
part of Chester County. It lies within a beautiful wooded flood plain and is surrounded by
upland pine woods and maturing hardwood forests. Attractions of the recreation area include
horse trails and a boat launch, as well as camping, picnicking and hiking amenities.
Arts and Crafts
- T-Ball — YMCA — 581-9622
The Chester County branch of the YMCA sponsors a T-Ball League. Registration begins in
February. This is an instructional league for children ages 4 to 6 years old. Players learn the
basics of baseball and how to play as a team. Practices and games begin the first week of April.
Chester Youth Baseball League — Troy Roberts — 209-2341. The Chester Youth Baseball
League was organized in 1958 with four teams. Today the league has about 40 teams in five
age brackets. Leagues have also been formed in the Lewisville and Great Falls area. The league
has expanded to include 15 -18 year old players in competition. Register for this league in
February for youth ages 5 -18 at the baseball complex at 593 C Brice St., Chester. Play begins in
April for all except the Colt League, which begins in May.
- Instructional Baseball — Ages 5 - 6.
- Minor League — Ages 11 & under
- Little League — Ages 12 & under
- Senior League — Ages 13 - 16
- Lewisville Baseball League — Ronnie Roof — 377-3057 or Roger Roof — 379-1314
Great Falls Baseball League
The Great Falls baseball program held March through July, includes all the teams in the community. It offers:
- T-Ball League- Ages 4-6
- Coach’s Pitch League — Ages 6-8
- Dixie Youth Minor League — Ages 9-10
- Dixie Youth Majors League — Ages 11-12
- Dixie Youth Pony League — Ages 13-14
- Colt League — Ages 15-19
- City of Chester Parks & Recreation — 581-7429
Various leagues are offered for adults and children during the season. Basketball camps are
offered during a summer day camp.
- Biddy Basketball League — YMCA — 581-9622
Registration ends in December for ages 5 through 8 years old. This league is an instructional
league in which boys and girls learn fundamentals of basketball and play weekly games. Both
games and practices are held on Mondays in Chester. Games and practices for Richburg area
and Great Falls area teams will be on Saturdays.
- Youth Basketball League — YMCA — 581-9622
Registration for this league is from October to the end of November. The league is open to boys
and girls ages 9 years old to 15 years old and consists of three divisions. These divisions are 9
and 10 year old; 11 and 12 year old; and 13 to 15 year old. Practices begin in December and
games begin in January.
- Cheerleading — City of Chester Parks & Recreation — 581-7429
Piedmont Pop Warner Youth Football and Cheer, offers cheerleading.
- Cheerleading — YMCA — 581-9622
Registration for cheerleading for football begins in February and is open to all girls in 5-year-old
kindergarten through sixth grade who plan on cheering for flag, small fry and mite football.
Remote registration is held in both the Richburg and Great Falls area.
- Ballet and jazz six-week summer course for children and teens (June 29 and July 11- 25)
- Classic and Latin ballroom classes
- Clogging classes
- Leroy Springs Golf & Recreation Complex. Contact Brian Bell — 385-5311
Daughter-Daddy Dance — Annual event for public in February
- Leroy Springs Golf & Recreation Complex. Contact Colleen Littlejohn — 385-6109.
Square dancing — YMCA. Contact Micky and Carry Greer at 385-6884 or Joe and Jerry Thomas at 581-5165 for square dancing.
Facilities for Rental
- City of Chester Parks & Recreation — 581-7429
Partnered with Piedmont Pop Warner Youth Football and Cheer (This program includes scholarships.)
- Flag Football — YMCA — 581-9622
Registration begins the first of July and is for all 6, 7, and 8 year-olds in Chester County.
- Tackle Football — YMCA — 581-9622
Chester County Small Fry Football League, Registration begins July 1, ages 9-10
Chester County Mite Football League, Registration begins July 1, ages 11-12
The league consists of three teams in Chester, two teams in Richburg, and one in Great Falls.
Chester County has two public golf courses. Both courses charge greens fees for the public. Golf
carts and other utilities available for rent.
- The Chester Golf Course — 770 Old Richburg Road — Chester
Leroy Springs Golf & Recreation Complex — Keith McGee — 581-5733
Features 18-holes of championship golf. The complex sponsors a variety of tournaments, which
include the Member/Guest, Member/Member, Club Championship, Tri-County Association,
and Kickoff Classic.
- The Republic Golf Course — 536 Evans Vaughn Drive — Great Falls — 482- 3300
Features nine-holes course and sponsors one tournament per month for members only, and
another for the public.
Hunting and Fishing
A variety of hunting and fishing licenses are issued by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
Effective dates of all licenses are July 1 through June 30. Licenses can be bought at a number of area
retail stores, usually those that sell hunting and/or fishing supplies; as well as from S.C. Department
of Natural Resources offices. No child under 16 is required to buy a hunting or fishing license. Hunters
born after June 30, 1979, are required to take a state-approved hunter education course before a
license is issued. State law requires hunters to carry their hunting licenses, as well as at least one
other form of identification, while hunting, even on private land. When fishing on public water courses,
licenses must be carried. Numerous other licenses are available, including lifetime and combination
licenses. Complete details of the state hunting and fishing legalities, as well as information on hunter
education, the various dates of specific hunting seasons, boating requirements, license costs and
other relevant topics, are outlined in a "Rules & Regulations" guidebook. A copy of this book can be
obtained by writing: Regulations, P.O. Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202; or by calling (803) 734-3886.
- Universal Karate-Do classes — YMCA — 581-9622
For children ages 4 years and up, offered in association with Greer’s Martial Arts Academy — Cohen Greer is chief instructor.
- TNT Motorsports Park — Barbara Parrish — 385-5048
This park, located at 1502 Brown Road, off S.C. Highway 97 in Chester, has five MX tracks, 18
miles of trail and is open seven days a week, weather permitting, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. for
Training from beginning to advance is scheduled by appointment. World competitors meet
once a year on New Year’s Day.
- Making Music Studios — DeniseAnn Crenshaw – 385-6043
Private voice and piano instruction; group theory classes; psalmist; and music for special
occasions, including church musician available for fill-in.
Parks, Playgrounds, Picnics and Sport Events
- Bennett Park — Great Falls
Offers playground, walking trail, picnic tables, shelter, two tennis courts and two ball fields.
- Chester State Park — 749 State Park Drive, Chester — 385-2680
Offers two-mile nature trail, Jon boat rentals in warmer months, camping and archery.
- City of Chester Parks & Recreation — 581-7429
Manages seven established parks in Chester. All have rental, sheltered picnic areas and
playgrounds. Sports and recreation counselors are at each park during summer camps.
Wylie Park on West End Street has an outdoor public swimming pool.
- Dawson Drive — Chester; Offers four baseball fields
- Gayle Community Park — Chester
Offers playground equipment and one picnic table.
- Herbert J. Johnson Memorial Park — Fort Lawn — 872-4724
Offers playground, picnic tables and shelter.
- John Keziah Park — Blackstock; Offers one picnic shelter and one playground.
- Lake Wateree State Park — 881 State Park Road, Great Falls — 482-6401
Offers tackle-shop, public boat ramp — a popular fishing spot, one-mile long nature trail,
picnic tables, playground, and accommodates large RV’s.
- Landsford Canal State Park — 2051 State Park Drive, Richburg — 789-5800
This historical spot has picnic tables.
- Pine Springs — Leeds Area; Offers picnic tables and shelter.
- Republic Park — Great Falls
Offers one ball field, one concession area, and two tennis courts.
- Rodman Park — Rodman Area. Offers two soccer fields and two ball fields.
- Stadium Drive — Chester. Offers one football field and three girls’ softball fields.
- Leroy Springs Golf & Recreation Complex — Colleen Littlejohn — 385-6109
Chester County residents 50 or older are eligible for membership in the senior programs.
The “Fitness and Excellence Through Competition Program” is co-sponsored by Chester
County Senior Services and the complex. Competitions in more than 30 events are held
locally in October. Winners may advance to state competitions held the next May.
These events include golf, bowling, basketball free throw, horseshoes, shuffleboard, Frisbee
golf, darts, spin casting and co-ed volleyball. Other classes include walking aerobics, senior
aerobic and toning class, senior line dancing and set back games. Seniors may also join
the Golden Age Club, which meets the first Wednesday of each month for a business meeting
and covered dish luncheon. A variety of other activities including out-of-town trips are planned
each week. Seniors may join other members in any of the other complex activities, such as
workout in the weight room on training equipment, or playing horseshoes and shuffleboard.
- Skydive Carolina Parachute Center — 1903 King Air Drive, Chester — Danny Smith — 581-5867
This center located at the Chester Airport in the Lowrys area, 1854 A Piper Drive, is billed as
one of the best tandem and accelerated free-fall courses available. Indoor classroom training
includes large screen video and photography.
- Indoor soccer — YMCA — 581-9622; Designed for children ages 4-6.
- Youth Soccer Alliance. Penny Shelton — 789-3249
The Youth Soccer Alliance is the county’s soccer league. There are four divisions in the league:
under 7, under 10, under 13 and under 16. Registration for participation in the league is held in
April and May for a total of three weekends. Specific information about registration time
appears in the local newspaper. Practice begins for participants in mid-July, and games start in
August and end before Oct. 31. Volunteers from throughout the community work with the
leagues to ensure quality programming.
- Chester Dixie Girls Softball League — President Tim Wilks — 581-5744
This league began in 1990 with three teams and was franchised in 1992. Register in February
and March. Games are played on the three fields at the old fairgrounds off York Street in
Chester and the season runs from March through June. More than 200 Chester County girls
The league has 19 teams. All-Star players are selected for each age-level at the completion of
the season in June and they compete at the district-level in surrounding counties. District
advance to state-level competition.
Darlings: Ages 7-8; Angels: Ages 9-10; Ponytails: Ages 11-12; Belles: Ages 13-15
- Chester Cubs. Mitch Crosby — 519-7159
- Great Falls Dixie Youth Girls Softball League.
This league, which begins in late March and continues through July, signs up all interested
girls ages 9-13.
- Lewisville Dixie Girls Softball League. Ronnie Roof or Roger Roof — 581-3226 or 379-1314
The league includes: Angels: Ages 9-10; Ponytails: Ages 11-12; Belles: Ages 13-15; Debs:
Ages 16 and up
- Lewisville Old Timers — Billy Keels — 209-4130
- Bennet Park — Great Falls. Offers two tennis courts
- City of Chester Parks & Recreation — Wylie Park, West End St., Chester — 581-7429; Hosts
annual tennis club league.
- Chester USTA —
Men’s 3.0 tennis — playing season from February through May
- Republic Park — Great Falls; Offers two tennis courts.