A tour of Palmetto Cove

Drone video from the 2015 Alumalina rally, captured by Mr. Nesbit. Palmetto Cove did not commision or sponsor this video, all rights belong to Mr. Nesbit.

View from the road:

Palmetto Cove has two on site buildings, a shelter/lounge available to both members and non-members, and a dining hall (Green building, photos TBA)


Inside the dining hall (green building):

Site photos (Taken in Fall/Winter):

Palmetto Cove has access to a branch of the Saluda river at the back of the park, with several large rock structures and a tiny beach acessable via a trail (Not pictured)


Palmetto Cove was founded in the early 1970's by the Palmetto State Unit of the WBCCI (Wally Byam Caravan Club International). Many people know the WBCCI as the "Airstream Club." Members of the Palmetto State Unit put many years of hard work into the development of a truly unique site, which was a real magnet for Airstream rallies. For many years "the Cove" was an Airstream-only facility. However, in recent years, it has been opened up to all brands of self-contained Recreational Vehicles. This has been a boon to the RV community at large, because the Cove is a real gem.

The distant history of the area is not well-known today. According to Dr. Walter Edgars: "In 1740 there were very few Europeans in the South Carolina Backcountry." ( Partisans and Redcoats, pg. 2). At a time when locations half as far inland would have been considered remote, the area around the Cove was very sparsely settled by Europeans. However, settlement increased rapidly, and after the Cherokee Indian war of 1776, the areas east of the Appalachians came under the control of Colonial settlers (Ibid, pg. 37).

An extensive graveyard from the mid 1800's can be found a short distance away at Saluda River Baptist church. Numerous sites from the Civil War period can be found in this graveyard. The numbers and dates of the grave markers provide some insight into how settlement was progressing in this period.

Before becoming a campground, the Cove property was a homestead and a farm. If you spend a little time on the walking trails, you can find a family graveyard from the mid 1800's. Other signs of homesteading can be found nearby, on the rise of land overlooking the river.

Our old barn, though not so old as the graveyard, has a fascinating story behind it. An out of town gentleman is said to have courted a local lady for some time without success. When he asked her why this was, she replied that she had no interest in a man who hadn't settled down, and that a man was never settled until he had built a barn. The barn was built, and to this day shows no sign of going anywhere.

An old home site can also be found up near the northeast corner of the property by the road. With a clear view of Table Rock mountain, it's easy to see how the site was selected.

Just before becoming a campground, the site was an active farm. Corn, beans, and many other crops are known to have been raised. And, one of the local State Park rangers has told us tales about the fun and mischief he had there as a boy.

The essential character of the site remains unchanged even today. The open spaces correspond to the cultivated acreage of the old farm. The old home sites and forests have lain undisturbed for many years. And though modern conveniences are present, they have the look and feel of an older, simpler time.

When you visit, be sure to have a look at some of the old photo albums and make the short walk to the small graveyard. We have also been given some great material from the Cove's early days, which we hope to post sometime soon.