Scattered throughout the Horse Creek Valley are small communities such as Graniteville, Warrenville, Gloverville, Langley, Bath and Clearwater.
Remnants of the once thriving textile mills can be seen, but there also is a large recreation area to enjoy and a huge cross that can be viewed from up close or afar.
Langley Pond Park
113 Langley Dam Road, Warrenville
A major dam renovation project is scheduled to be finished early in 2020, making it safe for water sport activities such as swimming and rowing to resume after a long hiatus. The Langley Pond Disc Golf Park has an 18-hole championship level course, and there also is 2.8-mile Loop Trail for walkers, joggers, runners and horseback riders.
Red Shed Diner
212 Ascauga Lake Road, Graniteville
Roadfood, a well-known restaurant guide, puts the Red Shed in its legendary category, praising the diner’s homemade desserts, meat-and-three meals and Angry Shed Meatloaf sandwich, which has jalapeno ketchup and pepper jack cheese.
Gregg Highway, Graniteville
More than 80 Confederate soldiers and veterans are buried on the property, but the most famous grave belongs to a boy, whose name remains a mystery. He was ill and unable to communicate when he arrived in Warrenville by train in the 1850s. Before anyone could learn his identity, he died. Visitors to his burial site often leave toys there. Also in the cemetery is a 92-foot-tall white steel cross. Megiddo Dream Station, a nonprofit that helps unemployed and underemployed adults become better job candidates, put up the cross, which was dedicated in 2015.
Horse Creek-Midland Valley Veterans Park
S.C. Highway 421, Bath, near the 100 block of Maple Street
A Panel of Honor with hundreds of military veterans’ names, a gazebo, picnic tables, granite benches and paved walkways are among the park’s features.
Blue Top Grill
212 Aiken Road, Graniteville
Diners at this country-style restaurant can order their hamburgers in several sizes, with or without cheese. The other choices include vegetable plates, shrimp platters and baskets, flounder and pepper steak.
Dede Biles is the Aiken County government, business and horse industry reporter for the Aiken Standard. Follow her on Twitter @DBethBiles.