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Hiking Boots

Hiking

Lake Hartwell Country is a hiker's paradise. With hundreds of miles of trails that range from half-day excursions to overnight treks, there are so many ways to hit the trails and start exploring.

When out on the trails, always use Leave No Trace principles, be courteous to other hikers and wildlife, and bring plenty of water. Take only pictures and leave only footprints.

Table Rock State Park

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Table Rock Trail

Trail length: 3.6 miles one way

Strenuous

391 Table Rock State Park Rd.

Pickens, SC 29671

Easily one of the most well-known hikes in South Carolina, this trail leads to the summit of Table Rock Mountain and gives way to incredible views. This one is not for the faint of heart.

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Lakeside Trail

Trail length: 1.9 mile loop

Easy/Moderate

391 Table Rock State Park Rd.

Pickens, SC 29671

The Lakeside Trail follows the edges of Lake Oolenoy and offers stunning views of Table Rock Mountain. It's also great for trail running, dogs, and families with young children.

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Carrick Creek Trail

Trail length: 1.9 mile loop

Easy/Moderate

391 Table Rock State Park Rd.

Pickens, SC 29671

The Carrick Creek Loop is perfect for those looking for a relatively short walk in the woods. The trail is heavily wooded most of the way and offers the opportunity to see some wildlife.

Photo courtesy of SC Trails Website

Hiking

Pinnacle Mountain Trail

Trail length: 4.2 miles one way

Strenuous

391 Table Rock State Park Rd.

Pickens, SC 29671

The Pinnacle Mountain Trail leads to the summit of Pinnacle Mountain, and it offers breathtaking views along the way. Make sure to thoroughly prepare, as this is a strenuous trail.

Oconee State Park

People in Park

Tamassee Knob Trail

Trail length: 2 miles one way

Moderate/Strenuous

GPS Coordinates: 34.863182, -83.098196

This trail will get your blood pumping as you traverse several inclines and declines to the overlook at Tamassee Knob. At times, there are steep drop offs on either side of the trail, so use caution.  

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Oconee Trail

Trail length: 2.3 miles one way

Easy/Moderate

GPS Coordinates: 34.863182, -83.098196

The Oconee Trail meanders through the beautiful wooded areas of Oconee State Park, passing by one of the park's two lakes along the way. This trail offers the opportunity to see Appalachian wildlife.

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Old Waterwheel Trail

Trail length: 1.2 mile loop

Easy/Moderate

GPS Coordinates: 34.863350, -83.098213​

This quiet, wooded trail offers the ultimate serenity. As the name implies, you'll follow the path to the remnants of an old waterwheel that was once used to pump water.

Keowee-Toxaway

State Park

Devils Fork
State Park

Fall Foliage

Raven Rock Loop Trail

Trail length: 4.4 mile loop

Moderate/Strenuous

GPS Coordinates: 34.933111, -82.885247

With sweeping views of Lake Keowee, this loop trail is a favorite hiking spot in Keowee-Toxaway State Park as it crosses a unique natural bridge. You'll definitely want to put this one on your list! 

Image by Dave Phillips

Oconee Bell Nature Trail

Trail length: 1 mile loop

Easy

596 Jocassee Lake Rd, Salem, SC 29676

This trail is beautiful at any time of year, but it's especially incredible in late March and early April when the rare Oconee Bell flowers are in full bloom. Best of all, it's great for all skill levels.

Clemson Experimental Forest

Image by Third Serving

Fants Grove Trail System

Trail length: 35.6 mile trail system

Moderate/Strenuous

903 Fants Grove Rd, Anderson, SC 29625

This network of trails is great for hiking and trail running. There are many spots along the way with beautiful views of Lake Hartwell. 

Image by Uniq Trek

Lake Issaqueena Trail

Trail length: 4.7 mile loop

Moderate

109 Wardlaw Lake Rd, Central, SC 29630

This loop in the Clemson Experimental Forest offers a beautiful forest setting and, at times, runs alongside the shore of Lake Issaqueena.

Foothills Trail

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Bad Creek Access (A7) to Upper Whitewater Falls (A8)

Trail length: 2.3 miles

Strenuous

GPS Coordinates:

Bad Creek 35 00.736, 82 59.940

Upper Whitewater Falls 35.0359, 83.0176

Features: Hiking beside the Whitewater River, Corbin Creek Falls, spur trail to Lower Whitewater Falls, view of Upper Whitewater Falls.

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Canebrake Trail

Trail length: 5 mile connector

Moderate/Strenuous

GPS Coordinates:

Canebrake Boat 35 03.923, 82 53.430

NC Hwy 64 at apx. 2 miles west of Rosman, NC, turn on Frozen Creek Rd*

Intersects FT on Lake Jocassee at the Toxaway River

*At Frozen Creek Access, campers are asked to fill out a registration envelope to register their vehicle for the length of their stay.

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Eastatoe Gorge Spur (S3)-(S4)

Trail length: 2.7 miles one way

Moderate

GPS Coordinates: 35.049105, -82.816262

Features: Rare ferns found in this area, Eastatoe Creek, Eastatoe Creek Narrows overlook.

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Jumping Branch Trailhead (A13) to Oconee State Park (A14)

Trail length: 4.6 miles

Easy

GPS Coordinates:

Jumping Branch 34 54.197, 83 06.414

Oconee St. Park 34 51.807, 83 05.880

Features: Views of the Piedmont. Trailhead for Tamassee Knob Trail.

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Lower Whitewater Falls

Trail length: 1.9 miles one way

Moderate

GPS Coordinates: 35.021674, -82.990837

Features: Viewing platform, 200 ft. tiered waterfall.

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Sassafras Mountain (S1) to Caesar's Head State Park (S2)

Trail length: 14.2 miles

Strenuous

GPS Coordinates:

Sassafras Mountain 35 03.870, 82 46.620

Caesar's Head St. Park 35 06.956, 82 38.304

Features: Borders Greenville watershed property, Sassafras Mountain - highest peak in SC, view of the East Fork of the French Broad River, Raven Cliff Falls.

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Upper Whitewater Falls (A8) to Sloan Bridge (A9)

Trail length: 5.5 miles

Easy

GPS Coordinates:

Upper Whitewater 35.0359, 83.0176

Sloan Bridge 35 00.198, 83 03.246

Features: View of Upper Whitewater Falls, Lake Jocassee view, winter views, hiking a ridge along the NC/SC state line.

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Burrell's Ford Road (A11) to Cheohee Road (A12)

Trail length: 10.4 miles

Strenuous due to length

GPS Coodinates:

Burrell's Ford 34 58.261, 83 06.894

Cheohee Road 34 54.946, 83 06.714

Features: King Creek Falls, parallels the Chattooga River, Pig Pen and Lick Log Falls.

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Chimneytop Gap (A3) to Laurel Valley (A4)

Trail length: 2.1 miles

Easy

GPS Coordinates:

Chimneytop Gap 35 03.792, 82 47.916

Laurel Valley 35 02.938, 82 48.828

Features: Wooded trail, rock outcrops.

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Fish Hatchery Road (A10) to Burrell's Ford Road (A11)

Trail length: 3.9 miles

Easy/Moderate

GSP Coordinates:

Fish Hatchery Road: 34 58.619, 83 04.410

Burrell's Ford: 34 58.261, 83 06.894

Features: Wooded trail, winter views.

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Laurel Fork Falls (A5) to Canebrake (A6)

Trail length: 5.8 miles

Moderate/Strenuous

GPS Coordinates:

Laurel Fork Boat 35 01.934, 82 53.808

Canebrake Boat 35 03.923, 82 53.430

Features: High ridge above Lake Jocassee, steep steps (Heart Break Ridge), longest suspension bridge on the Foothills Trail, crosses the Toxaway River, hiking along Lake Jocassee Shoreline. Trailhead: Cane Brake Trail to Frozen Creek Access.

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Round Mountain Gap

Trail length: 1.4 miles

Moderate

GPS Coordinates: 35.0759401, -82.8534695

Features: Campsite.

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Sloan Bridge (A9) to Fish Hatchery Road (A10)

Trail length: 3.3 miles

Easy

GPS Coordinates:

Sloan Bridge 35 00.198, 83 03.246

Fish Hatchery Road 34 58.619, 83 04.410

Features: East Fork Chattooga River, Hikers' Peril Falls.

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Canebrake (A6) to Bad Creek Access (A7)

Trail length: 16.4 miles

Strenuous

GPS Coordinates:

Canebrake Boat 35 03.923, 82 53.430

Bad Creek 35 00.736, 82 59.940

Features: Crosses the Horse Pasture and Thompson Rivers, Hillard Falls, spur trail to Lower Whitewater Falls.

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Cheohee Road (A12) to Jumping Branch Trailhead (A13)

Trail length: 1.4 miles

Easy

GPS Coordinates:

Cheohee Road: 34 54.946, 83 06.714

Jumping Branch Trailhead: 34 54.197, 83 06.414

Features: Views of the Piedmont.

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Fork Mountain Trail (S5) - (S6)

Trail length: 12.2 miles

Moderate

GPS Coordinates: 35.005697, -83.081979

Features: Ellicott's Rock (junction of SC, NC, & GA), hike along the Chattooga River, side trail (2.5m) to the Walhalla Fish Hatchery.

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Laurel Valley (A4) to Laurel Fork Falls (A5)

Trail length: 8.1 miles

Moderate

GPS Coordinates:

Laurel Valley 35 02.938, 82 48.828

Laurel Fork Boat 35 01.934, 82 53.808

Features: High ridge views, Virginia Hawkins Falls, Laurel Fork Falls, multiple bridges.

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Sassafras Mountain (A2) to Chimneytop Gap (A3)

Trail length: 2.1 miles

Easy

GPS Coordinates:

Sassafras Mountain 35 03.870, 82 46.620

Chimneytop Gap 35 03.792, 82 47.916

Features: Crest of the highest mountain in SC, balancing rock.

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Table Rock State Park (A1) to Sassafras Mountain (A2)

Trail length: 9.7 miles

Moderate/Strenuous

GPS Coordinates:

Table Rock 35 01.923, 82 42.024

Sassafras Mountain 35 03.870, 82 46.620

Features: Excellent views, Mill Creek Falls, rock outcrops.

Palmetto Trail Passages

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Ross Mountain Passage

Trail length: 5 miles

Moderate

GPS Coordinates: 34.847432, -83.099007

This Passage connects the Stumphouse Mountain Bike Park to Oconee State Park and the Oconee Passage. The Passage traverses beautiful hardwoods within the Sumter National Forest's Andrew Pickens District, a one-and-a-half-mile gravel road stretch skimming the slope of Ross Mnt. and a mountain laurel thicket on the edge of Oconee State Park.

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Eastatoe Passage

Trail length: 4.6 miles

Moderate

GPS Coordinates: 34.947810, -82.869080

As you head out on the Eastatoe Passage from the Dug Mountain Fishing Access parking lot, you will enjoy the sights and sounds of hiking alongside Eastatoe Creek. You will then begin to gain elevation and cross a boardwalk above a waterfall on a small feeder creek. The trail begins to descend back towards the creek where you are met with your reward, the opportunity to enjoy our new 95 ft. suspension bridge over Eastatoe Creek. 

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Stumphouse Passage/Mountain Bike Park

Trail length: 1.5 miles

Easy

GPS Coordinates: 34.818405, -83.116858

Located in Walhalla, Stumphouse Mnt. Bike Park is the only such recreational facility open to the public in Upstate, SC. Note that the designated hiking area is the 1.5m section of the Palmetto Trail. The remainder of the trail is for mountain biking.

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Blue Ridge Electric Co-Op Passage (Jocassee Gorges)

Trail length: 12.6 miles

Moderate

GPS Coordinates: 35.022489, -82.749406

Blue Ridge Electric Co-Op Passage winds through remote and rugged areas, and rewards hikers with an abundance of native flowers and wildlife, mountaintop vistas, waterfalls, and an impressive boulder field. The passage begins at Pinnacle Pavilion (“The Barn”) in Table Rock State Park and travels through the Wesleyan Camp into the Jocassee Gorges. According to Native American legend, Jocassee means “Place of the Lost One,” a description worth heeding. 

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Oconee Passage

Trail length: 3.73 miles

Easy/Moderate

GPS Coordinates: 34.861836, -83.087365

From the park, the passage follows a scenic roadbed that pinches into a path along the mountain ridgeline. From the ridgeline into Station Cove, the passage drops about 1,000 feet for a challenging, one-way descent. Turn right where Oconee Passage intersects with Station Cove Falls Trail, and walk the quarter-mile spur to the popular Station Cove Falls. One of the prettiest in the county, the waterfall is a majestic 60-foot, tiered cascade. An amazing array of wildflowers can be found year round in Station Cove’s botanical area.

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Roundtop Mountain

Trail length: 5.9 miles

Moderate

GPS Coordinates: 35.042770, -82.772096

This round-trip hike begins and ends at the Sassafras Mountain parking area. The bonus of this trip is the short walk to the new observation deck atop Sassafras Mountain, the highest point in SC, which affords magnificent views of the surrounding area.

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