Message from the Park Director





Each month we'll hear from our State Park Director, Phil Gaines, on a new and exciting topic important to state parks.

Phil is a graduate of Clemson University and a Certified Public Manager.

He started his career as an entry level park ranger at Kings Mountain State Park in 1982. He has been Park Superintendent of three different state parks in South Carolina and served in various roles in the State Park Service including Assistant State Park Director for a number of years. He became State Park Director in 2005.


 Phil also serves on various national and statewide boards including:




  • Board of Directors of The National Association of State Park Directors,
  • Board of Directors of the National Association of State Outdoor Recreation Liaison Officers,
  • Instructor at the National Association of State Park Directors State Park Leadership School in West Virginia and the past Chairman of the Board of Regents of the School,
  • Current Vice-President and past President of Southeastern Association of State Park Directors,
  • Clemson University’s External Advisory Board For the College of Health, Education and Human Development,
  • Drayton Hall Site Council, and
  • Battle of Camden Advisory Board.
  • Phil is also active in his community and church, in Lexington S.C.

 Check out all of Phil's monthly columns listed in the left-hand margin, or read his most recent column here each month.