EDITORIAL: San-Lee Park rightfully ranks among U.S.’s best

May. 10, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

It is possible to have a gem in your very midst and not realize it.

For those who know of the beauty of our own San-Lee Park, it should come as no surprise that an outdoor enthusiast website, Tripleblaze.com, listed it among the “Best U.S. Campgrounds” In fact, San-Lee ranks 29th out of the top 100 campgrounds in the U.S. — and seventh on North Carolina’s list of best camping spots — on the site.

Jeff Barber, founder of the website, says the rankings say several things about our San-Lee Park, located at 572 Pumping Station Road. “Obviously, it’s a great place to camp,” Barber said, “It’s also accessible.”

The park’s manifold attractions for campers and day-trippers, as pointed out by Lee Parks and Recreation Director John Payne, include 12 miles of mountain-biking trails, five miles of hiking trails and two lakes stocked with fish.

San-Lee Ranger Steve Godfrey noted that 10 sizable camping sites are available to overnighters, who will have access to amenities like hot showers, a nature center, a playground and picnic facilities.

“We keep it well looked after, and people with families sure do appreciate it” Godfrey said. “We try to treat you just as if you’re coming to our house, and we try to make you feel welcome. If you feel at home and feel safe, you’ll come back again.”

Obviously, Payne, Godfrey and all of the San-Lee staff deserve a great deal of praise for their efforts in helping to make the park one of our priceless assets.

We’re glad that there are others who clearly have found our park to be a top-notch facility for camping.

If you’re from the Central Carolina area, we are blessed with such outdoor gems as San-Lee, as well as other nearby favorites like Jordan Lake and Raven Rock State Park.

Take time to visit San-Lee Park, if for no other reason than to experience the beauty that it offers to visitors from both near and afar.

We’re glad that the park is being recognized — and we’re thrilled that the park adds to our quality of life in Lee County.