SC7 expedition highlights South Carolina’s natural beauty, from the mountains to the coast

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Published: Jul. 13, 2023 at 6:35 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Hundreds of miles lie between South Carolina’s Upstate mountains and its Lowcountry coast.

But this month, a group is making its way from one side to the other, and they want South Carolinians to come join them.

The SC7, or South Carolina 7, expedition started in 2020, as a way to bring attention to the state’s Floodwater Commission report.

Now it has grown into an annual July tradition, spearheaded each summer by the man who chaired that commission, Tom Mullikin.

“I’m like a kid at recess. I get excited every morning to come out. I mean, it’s crazy! I’m way too old. I’m bald, I’m white, but I enjoy it,” Mullikin said.

For the last four summers, he has led others to find that joy in the outdoors, too.

“We’re taking South Carolina and encouraging people to understand the greatness of our state and the unparalleled uniqueness and beauty of our environment and ecology,” Mullikin said.

On boats, rafts, and their own two feet, the expedition group travels hundreds of miles across South Carolina, starting in the Upstate, crossing through the Midlands and Pee Dee, and ending along the coast.

Over the course of 30 days, from July 1 to July 30, they make their way through state and national parks and along historic sites, with a different adventure scheduled every day.

This year’s stops include a visit to Parris Island to learn about its resiliency efforts and a day spent diving for fossils in the Cooper River.

They also feature a personal highlight for Mullikin.

“I’m a former commander of the [South Carolina] State Guard, love Francis Marion, love that story, and we’ll be on some of the waterways and in the areas that he operated on when we defeated the British here,” he said.

The ultimate goal is to encourage people to explore, care for, and protect the outdoors.

“We’re not blaming anybody for where we are,” Mullikin said. “We’re just simply recognizing that we’ve got a lot to do to protect the Lord’s garden that’s worth doing, and the truth is, it’s a lot of fun to do it.”

Mullikin encourages South Carolinians to join them, as many of their activities are open to the public.

They have the details at

The SC7 team also works year-round, outside its July expedition, to conserve South Carolina’s natural beauty, hosting events to plant trees, pick up litter, and even build artificial reefs along the coast.

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