Midlands author shares South Carolina hidden gems in travel book

Published: Aug. 20, 2014 at 2:02 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2014 at 1:52 AM EDT
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Poland shows off Reflections of South Carolina Volume 2
Poland shows off Reflections of South Carolina Volume 2

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Some of the most beautiful places in South Carolina are just a short drive away from the Midlands. And some of the most interesting places in the state are right in our back yard.

Local author and former University of South Carolina professor Tom Poland tells you where to find them in his new book, Classic Carolina Road Trips from Columbia, Historic Destinations and Natural Wonders.

"I tried to stay away from the cliche places where everybody goes anyway," he said. "I tried to pick out some spots in the state that are hidden gems, like Sheldon Ruins, the Ruins of Glendale, Hite's Barbecue, one of the last traditional places where you can get southern-type barbecue, old fords and places like that."

Poland said the book started as a series of columns called Just a Day Away he was asked to write by Barbara Ball for her newspaper.

One of his favorite places is Glendale Ruins near Spartanburg.

"You've got this wonderful juxtaposition of old ruins and white water in this same spot," he said. "You can take a picture and get both in the frame."

And a photo of the gothic ruins of a former mill is included in a book he co-authored, called Reflections of South Carolina, Volume 2, which will be released in September.

Locally, Poland loves Harbison State Forest, off Broad River Road. The 2100-acre park has 31 miles of trails and is just nine miles from downtown Columbia.

"This is one of the largest green spaces in a metropolitan area in the United States," he said. "Here, you almost feel like you're in the mountains and you can go down by the river and see the fall line, see the rocks. It's really a hidden gem right here underneath our nose."

Poland launches Classic Carolina Road Trips from Columbia Thursday, August 21 with a signing event from 11:30 - 2 p.m. at Uptown Gifts, 1204 Main Street, Columbia.

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