Be it history, resting at the beach or even if you are looking for interesting and adventurous things to do, you’ll discover it in South Carolina’s various charming traveler appeals. Choose the best from the extraordinary spirit of stage shows, golf, games, and water parks in Myrtle Beach, or unwind at the popular holiday resorts. Traverse the mysterious paths of Charleston on an extravagant carriage ride or travel few of the South’s several wonderful plantation houses nearby. You can hit the fort in Charleston harbor, where the Civil War started, or indulge in the scenic views and serene ways of Caesars Head State Park. Seasides are a top pick for many, but South Carolina is also a retreat for the nature lovers.
‘’Great things are done when men and mountains meet’’ as said by William Blake, is one of the greatest truth ones can ever say. Mountains are beautiful and are there to be climbed, so if you are in South Carolina you should definitely backpack your things and head out to the beautiful trails for hiking. Hoist your South Carolina holiday with a journey to the Blue Ridge Mountains. These rich lush green sceneries are the ideal frame to catch quality rustic experiences and adventures. Few of South Carolina’s favorite places for hiking are Table Rock, Caesars Head, and Oconee state parks.
The Foothills Trail
The Foothills Trail in South Carolina is a partially crowded trail for hiking. It is situated near Mountain Rest in South Carolina, the stunning lake Jocassee is the reason which makes this hike beautiful. This hike is rated difficult and one can avail this trail and make the best out of it from March to November.
The Foothills Trail is a delightful, adventurous hike through excellent southern Appalachian terrain. If you are fond of water, the path or trail to Foothill is filled with waterfalls and beautiful rivers, you can even dip in for a swim. This trail is open every season and winters hikes can also be done.
There is ample amount of wildlife settled here and deer, snakes, toads, frogs, raccoons, waterfowl, raptors, and many more animals can be seen during this hike. This trail runs 77 miles long and is generally steeper than any other hike in South Carolina. This trail is also suitable for bicycles and camping, as there are numerous water sources and many villages fall under this trail.
Caesar’s Head State Park
Caesars Head State Park happens to have some of the most magnificent mountains. The area covers over 50 miles filled with hiking trails into the rocky terrain, These trails offer a wide range of facilities. Various primeval camping areas are accessible along the paths of the hike.
You can hike for 2 miles and reach Raven Cliff Fall, where you will get an amazing view of the falls where the water falls into the Bays below. Every spring the main focus is the Hawk Watch program, travelers can view hundreds of whirling raptors, hawks, kites, falcons, eagles and more.
This trail is not very crowded and is a treat for people who seek solitude. You will get to see massive rock formation on this trail as well. The suspension bridge is definitely a vision and is a must watch for people who are attempting this hike.
Encouraged by the world voyages, flavors and vibrant lifestyle of legendary cyclist George Hincapie, Hotel Domestique is a reflection of diversities. It is a mixture of both cultural and modern boutique hotel, this special South Carolina hotel attracts people in and around the world who are in search of serenity and peace in South Carolina’s the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Especially interesting to visitors exploring a quick getaway, the site is besieged with innumerable miles of country roads which makes it extremely useful and easy for running and cycling. The hotel has a little bike shop with a mechanic always present, preset recommended ride routes, and sophisticated rental road and mountain bikes from Hincapie’s latest team sponsor.
Hotel Domestique is not an ordinary boutique hotel. There is a various number of activities available for the guests inside the hotel, it is even a treat for people traveling with their families.
Devil’s Fork State Park
Devil’s Fork State Park is situated in northwestern South Carolina. This park is filled with activities, it offers hiking, kayaking, and camping. Fishing is also a well-known activity at this park. There are two hiking trails which emerge from here; they are Bear Clove trail and Oconee Bell Nature Trail.
Here the Bear Clove trail is an easy to moderate trail whereas Oconee Bell Nature is a walk or better known as walks of nature, this trail is covered by water and spectacular views of flowers and greens. Bear Clove trail. Bear Clove trail includes the views of the Lake Jocassee, from the top you might diverge into the forest where you will find several trees and fruits like cherry, oak, and pine.
You will also get to see a lot of wildlife creatures such as snakes, deers, bear and many more. It is a loop trail of 2.5 miles. Fishing is also very popular as only Lake Jocassee is the place where you can fish two of the best fishes, trophy trout and smallmouth bass.
Table Rock Trail
The Table Rock Trail is a tough and strenuous hike. Starting the hike on the right time is very important, for this hike you need to start early. All the people who want to hike to the Rock Trail needs to register at the Nature Center.
It needs around 5 hours for a roundtrip, in general, to reach the top and come back; it is approximately 6.4 miles away. Reaching the top before it gets dark is important for this hike. When you reach half of the trail, you will be stunned by the beautiful views of the countryside. The first few miles of the trail is extremely pleasant as the trail is covered by gorgeous waterfalls and beautiful bridges. All of these are a retreat to the eyes.
The trail is a bit steep and has a lot of stairs. There is a shelter as well which is situated on the halfway of the trail, where you can sit and relax before you started hiking more. Also, the view from the shelter is extremely picturesque. There are many wildlife animals you will get to see like gray fox, black bear, raccoon and many more.
Travelers Rest is a city which is situated in Greenville County, South Carolina. Travelers rest lies between blue ridge mountain and Greenville. The Travelers Nest attracts a lot of travelers who are interested to see small towns and also it is a treat for the nature lovers.
It is a resting place for travelers who are tired and weary to take rest and relax in the mesmerizing city. This city holds a very numbered population. There are even many interesting places you can visit when you are at Travelers Rest. The living Coral Reef is nearby and has an aquarium which is unique in its own way.
There is Travelers Rest farmers market which is well known for its pure organic vegetables, you can take a walk in the market and explore a different kind of fresh and organic vegetables. You will also find the Greenville County Museum of Art, which is a must go for all the art lovers.
Jones Gap State Park
Jones Gap State Park, situated in northern Greenville County, is one of the famous state parks in South Carolina. This rocky and mountainous, state park is a portion of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area that covers more than 10,000 acres, along with Caesars Head State Park and Wildcat Wayside State Park.
Inside the park, one will come across many wild animals such as the rare wood frog, migratory birds, and various species of reptiles. Middle Saluda River, is a scenic river which is also located here. Jones Gap State Park is perfect for weekend getaways and is surrounded by rivers and streams.
It offers you a number of waterfalls such as; Falls Creek Falls, Rainbow Falls, Jones Gap Falls, and Silver Steps Falls. You can spend all your days swimming in the Creek Falls and relaxing under the sun. This place offers a lot of day hikes, small hikes, and long hikes are available from Jones Gap State Park.
Pumpkintown Mountain Restaurant
Pumpkintown Mountain Restaurant is an eaterie which lies near the Cherokee Foothills highway. It is basically located in Pickens. This place is a beautiful escape for people who love nature and want to eat and watch a serene and picturesque view.
Pumpkintown has delicious cuisine and offers more than only lunch. Pumpkintown Mountain Restaurant has a store which has a lot of gifts and souvenirs you can collect. Table Rock State Park is nearby and offers a beautiful view. There is a theatre there as well, where you can enjoy shows in your car as well. It is a nice spot to chill and rest for a while before you again start your hike.
The Red Horse Inn
The Red Horse Inn is situated on the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is a famous getaway for romantic couples who can stop during their hike and relax in this beautiful inn.
They have 190 cottages and few of them have attached outdoor hot tubs, where you can enjoy with your partner and get lost in an enchanted world. The view from there is amazing and you are sure to have an extremely nice and good time in the mountains. You can go golfing, fishing and there are a lot more you can explore at The Red Horse Inn.
The people there are extremely helpful and will surely take care of all your needs. The place is not very old and yet already in the eyes everyone seeking serenity and peace. They have beautiful breakfast baskets where they serve croissants, muffins, fruit juice, and many other things.
Victoria Valley Vineyards
Victory Valley Vineyard is a beautiful, 10-year-old winery with a different setting and three stars for their wine efforts. It is located in Piedmont hillside off the Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Byway.
It offers a beautiful scenic view. You can experience the countryside wholeheartedly when you are here in the Victoria Valley Vineyards. They have wines which are over 15 years of age Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Petite Manseng blends, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc.
They even serve sandwiches and salads along with the wine. You can enjoy the stunning view of the Table Rock mountains from here as well. Victoria Valley Vineyards even offers to host events like weddings, anniversary parties, birthdays and many more. They are absolutely perfect at what they do just like the wine they serve!
Falling Waters Scenic Byway
Source: fotoluminate /Depositphotos
Falling Waters Scenic Byway in South Carolina Mountains
When you are traveling through Oscar Wiginton Memorial Highway, you will discover the Falling Waters Scenic Byway. It is the route which connects South Carolina 107 and 103. It is a great retreat for people who seek a lot of outdoor adventures. Backpackers, hikers and horseback riders are dazed by the beauty of this place.
There are many state parks and picturesque byways. It is said that Falling Waters Scenic Byway is a gateway to hiking the mountains. There is Issaqueena Falls and Oconee State Park, this route is filled with places for fishing and stunning waterfalls.
The road leading here is especially beautiful during the spring where different colors of nature spurt out. There are many places you can visit along the route. So if you have planned a long weekend trip or more than that, filling up your days would not be of any problem. You will Chattooga which is a favorite destination for fishing.
Lake Hartwell is a reservoir made by humans and is one of the most visited lakes of South Carolina. You can go swimming or fishing in Lake Hartwell and it is definitely going to be a memorable experience for you.
Lake Hartwell is situated in the midst of picturesque surroundings that takes you away from the hustle bustle of your busy life. You will find many fishes here like largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye and many more. There are also many recreational activities around this lake such as fishing biking, camping and there are many wildlife animals which you can explore when visiting Lake Hartwell.
Some places to visit are Issaqueena Dam, Eighteen Mile Creek, Rock Quarry, Ghost Island, Clemson Football. Clemson Football draws a lot of travelers who are interested in sports and other activities.
Oconee State Park
Oconee State Park is a beautiful getaway if you want to go to the mountains and relax. You can swim and rent canoes and go fishing. There are a lot of options here.
You can go hiking in the foothills trail or just indulge in paddle boating. People who are willing to go on weekend camps can do so as camping options are also available for them. Bedroom Cabins are also available in this area for those who prefer a bit of comfort. Playing golf is also an attraction for tourists.
This park offers five major hiking trails from here Oconee Trail, Running Pine Trail, Lake Trail, Hidden Falls trail. If you visit this place during springtime it will be extremely scenic as there are wildflowers all over. This trail is extremely advisable if you are traveling with your family and kids as the roads are extremely easy to walk on.
Oconee Station State Historic Site
Oconee Station State Historic Site gives you a glimpse into the beautiful colonial history of South Carolina. Oconee station is one of the few blockhouses of all the remaining ones. It is located at Walhalla, South Carolina.
The Oconee Station State Historic Site covers around 210 acres of space, which offers a beautiful and picturesque view. This place has beautiful natural views, waterfall and a lot of wildlife animals. The main attractions here are Oconee Station Blockhouse and the Richards house.
These two show an interesting relationship between the Native Americans and the settlers over there. The paths leading here are very well maintained. There is a nature trail which is of 1.5 miles surrounded by a serene and beautiful pond. This nature trail leads to a forest, which is enchanting in its own way.
Keowee-Toxaway State Park
Keowee-Toxaway State Park is located in Pickens This park is not very crowded and thus still has a natural touch and feel to it. There are fewer activities in comparison to other state parks.
That is the main reason why it remains to be untouched and natural. There are a lot of hiking trails leading from this place. You can also go camping nearby here, as there are many campsites in and around the park. It also has a lot of space for picnics, so if you are have planned a day trip this place is completely perfect. While on a picnic where you can go visit the museum nearby which will tell you a story of primitive people living there earlier.
The mountains of South Carolina offer a huge number of attractions for people who are traveling there. You can camp, fish, swim, hike and do so much more and that too all with a spectacular view of the mountains. These hikes are offered for everyone, if you are a novice or you are a fitness professional when it comes to hikes. Some trails are rated difficult whereas some are easy to moderate. These hikes even have a lot of stories and histories revolving around it. Mountains are always dreamy and beautiful. Be it short or high, it definitely needs to be conquered. So, pack your bags but pack them light and go out exploring and conquering the amazing trails of South Carolina.
List of Image Sources
- The Foothills Trail in South Carolina Mountains: MarksPhotoTravels/Flickr
- Caesar’s Head State Park in South Carolina Mountains: Jason AG/Flickr
- Hotel Domestique in South Carolina Mountains: Glory Cycle/Flickr
- Devil’s Fork State Park in South Carolina Mountains: Janet Tarbox/Flickr
- Table Rock Trail in South Carolina Mountains: Dzmitry (Dima) Parul/Flickr
- Travelers Rest in South Carolina Mountains: carolinamountainrealestate/Facebook
- Jones Gap State Park in South Carolina Mountains: MarksPhotoTravels/Flickr
- Pumpkintown Moutain Restaurant in South Carolina Mountains: PumkintownMountainOpry/Facebook
- The Red Horse Inn in South Carolina Mountains: theredhorseinn/Facebook
- Victoria Valley Vineyards in South Carolina Mountains: victoriavalleyvineyards/Facebook
- Lake Hartwell in South Carolina Mountains: My.Lake.Hartwell/Facebook
- Oconee State Park in South Carolina Mountains: SC.State.Parks/Facebook
- Oconee Station State Historic Site in South Carolina Mountains: Jimmy Emerson, DVM/Flickr
- Keowee-Toxaway State Park in South Carolina Mountains: SC.State.Parks/Facebook