It’s likely that you don’t think of Swan Lake as a place to hang out in the winter, unless it’s during a warm spell like the one just past (and wasn’t that a wonderful preview of spring?). Swan Lake is known for its irises, dozens of species of flowers, and many kinds of birds in addition to swans. In December, it is the home of the Fantasy of Lights.
But whether the irises are in bloom or not, the park is welcomes visitors all year. Winter is the best time to see Camellia Island, a tranquil spot bursting with sasanqua and japonica varieties in every shade of pink between snow-white and rose-red. And there are the birds, of course—all eight known swan species, along with anhingas, herons, Canada geese, snow geese, bean geese, a variety of colorful wild ducks such as mallards, muscovies, wood ducks, and coots, and a handful of egrets and blue herons all make the park their year-round home. The three-quarter-mile walking loop around the pond is a great place to get rid of whatever holiday excesses may still be making a trip to your closet a slightly perilous endeavor, and it’s the best possible location to see the early signs of spring as the season gets nearer.
The trail at Swan Lake is also a fantastic place to get in a little last-minute training if your New Year’s resolution was to participate in the Sumter Series. Sponsored by the Young Professionals of Sumter, the Sumter Family YMCA, Tuomey Healthcare System, and the City of Sumter, this series of six 5K races begins on February 2 with the Westside Christian Academy Resolution Race, and continues until Thanksgiving with the annual Turkey Trot. For more info, please call (803) 436-2640 or check it out online.
Our newest blogger, Patrick Enzor, will be checking in soon with his take on the Sumter Series. But in the meantime, why not check out the city’s most beautiful park? Swan Lake is always in season!
by Colette Daniels