DILLON COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Many people are taking advantage of the long weekend by getting out in nature. That means Little Pee Dee State Park in Dillon County is having its busiest weekend in years.

“Usually on the weekend, our electric sites will fill up, but this is the first time in quite a few years that all our tent sites have filled up as well,” Park Ranger Charlie Johanson said.

Johanson said this weekend was fully booked about two months in advance. He credits recent improvements like a new hiking trail, the refilled lake, freshly paved roads and other factors for the turnout.

“When COVID hit, state parks and camping was one of the few things you could still do,” he said. “A lot of people tried it out for the first time, loved it and have been coming back ever since.”

RVs filled the park, with campers taking to the water on kayaks or just hanging out in hammocks.

“I like the environment and the quietness of the park,” Howard Jones said. “And everybody’s so friendly. You don’t meet a stranger, seems like.”

Jones said he has been coming to Little Pee Dee since he was a child, and now he’s sharing it with his own children.

“Just making memories,” he said. “It’s all about making memories, and we’ve made a lot of memories at this campground right here.”

Many of the campsites were decorated in red, white and blue. Jones said between rounds of t-ball and cornhole, he and his family have been taking time to think of those who served.

“They fought for us to be able to have this,” Jones said. “I thank God for every one of them and what they put up for our country.”