The One Loop Trail In South Carolina That's Perfect For A Day Hike, No Matter What Time Of Year
Croft State Park. If 1,300 Google reviews and an average of 4.7 stars from visitors aren’t enough to convince you that this state park belongs on the bucket list, then perhaps it’s time to get in the car and go experience it for yourself on this day hike in South Carolina.
We recommend starting with a trek on the Southside Loop Trail that begins at the parking lot at the end of Groce Road.
This 8.5-mile trail is heavily trafficked (and with good reason) and is really only considered moderately difficult for it's overall length and a couple of spots that at considered steep.
But what you'll expend in energy on this hike is more than rewarded with a trek through varying terrain that includes following along the beautiful Fairforest Creek.
The gurgling creek is one of many you'll encounter on the hike which traverses low-lying terrain that eventually swells into higher elevations.
Wander through hardwood forests in the lowlands only to find yourself in the company of stately white oak trees on higher ground.
A total elevation gain of 603 feet on this long loop is quite reasonable, but you may want to bring the hiking sticks to help cope if you're not a particularly seasoned hiker.
The hike utilizes three trails that wind through the woods here. Don't worry. They are clearly marked! You'll want to turn from the Southside Loop onto the High and Dry Trail, and then onto the Lizard Trail Loop. (You can pick up trail maps at the park office, or download a trail map from AllTrails.)
Mountain bikers can use the trail, too!
On a bike you can zip through in no time, but you're sure to want to stop and smell the roses. There are several trails in Croft State Park; some cater to hikers, some to bikers, and some to equestrians.
If you're new to Croft, then be on the lookout for the remnants of old homesteads from the 1800s that are scattered throughout the park. The state park also boasts several 18th and 19th century cemeteries you can seek out as well.
(This is all in addition to the wonderful campground, the picnic shelters, the lake that's great for small craft boating, the equestrian stables for your horse to stay in, and the SCDNR shooting range that's just steps outside the park.)
Wondering if the four-legged family members can come along on this hike? Yes! But they must be leashed.
Don't forget to pack enough water for the whole family. The hike should take anywhere from four to five hours to complete.
Croft State Park is open year-round. A minimal admission fee is charged for day-use visitors.
Get a peek at the park’s day use hours and see the small entry cost by visiting
the official website for South Carolina State Parks, here.
Learn more about the trail and even download the app and a trail map
from our friends at All Trails, here.
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Explore South Carolina
Croft State Park, 450 Croft State Park Rd, Spartanburg, SC 29302, USA
Southside Loop Trail, Southside Lp Trl, South Carolina 29302, USA