Statewide expedition planners meet in Camden

South Carolina Seven to wind through the Midlands in mid-July

By W. Thomas Smith Jr.

Members of the SOUTH CAROLINA SEVEN (SC7) expedition logistics-and-planning team gathered for a final event-launch planning session at the Mullikin Law Office complex in Camden, Wed., June 23. The team, most of whom will participate directly in the statewide expedition, hammered out last-minute details related to the second annual SC7 hiking-kayaking-diving (mostly hiking) venture slated to begin July 1 in the Upstate.

Similar to last July’s expedition, but with relaxed COVID restrictions, this year’s SC7 expedition will serve to showcase the seven natural wonders unique to S.C. all the while advancing awareness of how best to protect the environment, says global expedition leader Tom Mullikin who conceived of and will lead the July 1-30 event.

“This is an expedition that will not only introduce South Carolinians and others to the myriad pristine geographic wonders our state has to offer, but how do we protect these wonders and the magnificently unique albeit fragile environmental systems that surround them,” says Mullikin, who also chairs the gubernatorially established S.C. Floodwater Commission. “Last year’s SC7 was enormously successful, and we are building upon that success with additional on-trail features this year like our destination-stop green carpet premiers of our new documentary film HIGHER GROUND based largely on the 2020 expedition.”

The first of three HIGHER GROUND premieres will be held at the Walhalla Performing Arts Center in Walhalla, S.C., with a green carpet reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by the 7:30 p.m. film showing. Additional premieres will be held July 14 at the Newberry Opera House and July 30 at the historic Charleston Visitors Center.

The month-long expedition from the mountains to the sea, SC7 will begin with a hike through the Oconee Passage, July 1, with each successive day closely paralleling the famed Palmetto Trail, winding through the center of the state and concluding in Charleston on July 30. Along the way, participants will enjoy time spent in-and-around S.C.’s various State Parks and experience the seven designated wonders of S.C., including Sassafras Mountain; the Jocassee Gorges; the Chattooga River; the Congaree National Forest; the Edisto River; the Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto Basin – universally referred to as the ACE Basin; and Bull Island-Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge: “Each one a unique geographical treasure,” says Mullikin.

Participants of the central S.C. leg of the expedition will hike through the Midlands, paralleling a stretch of the Palmetto Trail along Fort Jackson on July 15 and the Congaree National Forest on July 16.

Throughout the month, state and national dignitaries – Medal of Honor recipients, the Governor, Lt. Governor and others – as well as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, military veterans, business leaders, and state and local officials plan to participate along the trail and at the many destination-stops planned for SC7.

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