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'12,000 Year Trail' in Cayce making strides to the future

The Cayce Historical Museum holds tours to introduce the deep history of Cayce.

CAYCE, S.C. — A nature tour in Cayce could lead to a new welcome center - and more attention for the city. In doing so, the 12,000 Year Trail from the past is making strides for the future.

"It was a deerskin fort from 1718 until about 1722," Andy Thomas, the curator at the Cayce Historical Museum, said.

He said the history goes even further back than that. The reason for the name of the trail, 12,000 Year Trail is because of its Native American roots. 

"We know that Native Americans inhabited that area of the Congaree for almost 12,000 years," Thomas said.

This history is told through weekend tours at the trail. The adventure back in time is to remind people of how significant Cayce is to South Carolina. 

"In South Carolina, there aren't a lot of places that we have - a lot of that intersects within that small of an area," he said. "We've got prehistoric native American history, colonial history, and Civil War history."

Now, it's foreshadowing the future by bringing more attention to Cayce. Tim Newcome is looking to be a part of the next chapter by moving to the historically rich area.

"I'm 49 years old and I've lived in a lot of different communities and there's generations of generations have lived there before you," Newcome said.

Thomas said the hope is that, by bringing more people and attention to Cayce, a welcome center soon follows. 

"The ultimate goal through the river alliance is there's going to be a visitors' center out there," Thomas said. 

He added this trail having a welcome center could also bring economic growth to Cayce.

For those interested in joining the tour, the Cayce Historical Museum offers it for free. It takes about two-and-a-half hours on weekends. 

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