Explore the Outdoors During the City's Park Ranger Program
Grab your family and friends and see how much fun learning can be! The City of Columbia Parks & Recreation Department is hosting free ranger-guided walks, tours and workshops.
Guests will learn the history of the Columbia Canal, what wildlife can be found in your local park and more.
Spring Birds | Saturday, April 29, 6:00-7:30 pm
Join our rangers with your binoculars and field guides in hand for a series of visits to birding spots at twilight as feeding ends and birds nest and roost for the evening. All levels of birders are invited to join this outing. We may choose to caravan to a second site if conditions are favorable, but this location is usually a birder’s paradise in the spring. Please wear walking shoes, dress for the forecast. Meet at the Riverfront Park North parking lot (4122 River Drive)
Spring Tree Identification| Sunday, April 30, 10-11:30 a.m.
Explore the variety of trees in our city and parks. We’ll learn to use an identification key that you can take home to identify the trees in your yard, neighborhood or local park. Meet at the Granby Park gazebo (100 Catawba Street)
Rocky Shoals Spider Lily Happy Hour | May 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30
By advance reservation only with seating at 4 pm, 5 pm and 6 pm
Kayak with the City’s Park Rangers to view the Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies on the Broad River, one of only 50 populations in the southeast.
Tours will begin with a safety briefing and instruction, and last about 45 minutes. Dress comfortably in case you get wet, wear sun protection and bring a refillable water bottle. We reserve the right to cancel any session in the event of unsafe river levels or inclement weather.
Reservations are required. To register, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rocky-shoals-spider-lily-happy-hour-tickets-33716636367
Upon reservation, we will send you a waiver to fill out beforehand and bring the day of the event. Participants must be able to fit a PFD (personal floatation device), and be able to swim. Please allow approximately 15 minutes to walk to our launch site from the Riverfront South parking area. Meet under the I-126 Bridge at Riverfront Park South, 312 Laurel St.
Meet under the I-126 Bridge at Riverfront Park South, 312 Laurel St.
North End Nature Walk | Saturday, May 13 | 1 p.m.
Explore the rich habitat along the north end of Riverfront Park. Guests will learn about the aquatic species that thrive here, and the trees and plants in our shady floodplain forest.
Meet in Riverfront Park’s north parking lot, 4122 River Drive.
One City, Two Canals, Three Rivers | Sunday, May 21 | 1 p.m.
Learn the history of how Columbia used our waterways, hear about the additions to the Three Rivers Greenway and more on our ranger-guided tour.
Meet at the Red Schoolhouse at Riverfront Park’s south parking lot, 312 Laurel St.
Canal History Tour| Saturday, May 27 | 1-2 p.m.
Join the rangers for a guided tour along the historic Columbia Canal and learn how it played a part in Columbia’s growth for almost 200 years. We’ll discuss the original canal, Columbia’s Waterworks, the earliest hydropower plants, and the SC State Penitentiary (CCI).
Meet at the Red Schoolhouse at Riverfront Park’s south end, 312 Laurel Street.
Guests are encouraged to bring binoculars and field guides as well as any essentials like water, sunscreen, bug repellent, hats and sturdy walking footwear.
For more information, please call the Parks & Recreation Department at 803-545-3100.
Parks & Recreation Department | 1111 Parkside Drive, Columbia, SC 29203