Who knew? Back in the early 1800s, the state of North Carolina legislated that in the water-pocked counties of Bladen, Columbus (where Waccamaw is) and Cumberland, any lake of 500 or more acres would become state property.
Hence one of the larger of the N.C. "bays"--natural basins marked by the presence of lots of sweet bay, loblolly bay and/or red bay trees--Lake Waccamaw.
Anyway, about 50 miles inland from North Myrtle Beach, where we spent the weekend with the sisters-and-their-husbands of The Greatest Day Hiker Of Them All, we set out on a walk while the other two couples were setting out on the links.
Pretty much what you'd expect on flat, sandy land: zero elevation gain, a few lizards, pretty scruffy trees and not as many views of the lake as you'd think. Still, at about the halfway point of our walk, near the campground, the trail pops out along the shore and by the long pier out over the water.
We had lunch next to the water and watched a pair of ospreys dive for their lunch at the same time.
The way back was a little more inland and wooded, with the park literature mentioning the possibility of the rare Venus flytrap, which on this day were all apparently in hiding.
And we saw no pottery at all.
At Lake Waccamaw State Park, N.C.: Parts of the Lakeshore, Sand Ridge, Pine Woods and Loblolly trails. About 5 miles.
How to get there: Go to Myrtle Beach and then look around for a place to hike other than on the beach.