South Carolina Hiking, Nature September 19, 2017
10 Short And Sweet Fall Hikes In South Carolina With A Spectacular End View
Cooler weather means more pleasant conditions for hiking. Whether you’re hiking in the Upstate where the colors of fall surround you, or are getting some exercise in parts of the Palmetto State where the colors just don’t turn so vividly, you’re sure to love the views found at the end of these 10 hikes in South Carolina.
1. Glassy Mountain Trail - near Pickens
A well-traveled 1.6 mile loop to the top of Glassy Mountain dishes up an unforgettable view of the valley below and the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance. Along the way you can enjoy the sights and smells of the season. In the spring it's wildflowers, and in the fall it's the changing of the leaves. The trail is at it's best from March to November.
2. Garden of the Waxhaws Trail - Lancaster
This short, yet somewhat challenging trail winds for 1.1 miles around the lake. You'll love the grassy causeway and the panoramic views it affords of the lake. At one point the trail has a rather steep grade, earning it a "moderate" rating among beginning hikers. For much of the trail you'll have some fantastic views of wildlife.
3. Canal Trail - Landsford Canal State Park - Catawba
The Canal Trail is an easy 1.5 mile walk leading to the Catawba River. Along the way you'll pass by the old locks that were once used to bypass the river and are now just part of the landscape, sitting in ruins. At the end of the trail, the Catawba River is a sight to behold.
4. Riley Moore Falls Trail - Westminster
You'll hike a short ways down a forestry road before you find the trailhead for Riley Moore Falls. In all, the 2.0 mile trail is rated easy and ends up at the Chauga River at a waterfall so spectacular you should just plan to spend the entire afternoon. Bring a towel because you or the kids will want to go in!
5. Waldrop Stone Falls - Central
The rewards from this trail are located all along the way, but along the loop trail you'll get to see the falls tumbling over a giant rock. Beware of the steep grades along this trail, in some places wooden stairs with railings have been installed. In spite of the grade, it's still an easy trail if you don't mind some climbing.
6. Tamassee Knob Trail - Oconee State Park - Mountain Rest
Wow! You're sure to love the payoff at the end of this 2.1 mile hike into the woods at Oconee State Park. In spite of an elevation gain of more than 700 feet, the trail is rated as easy and most agree. Perhaps it's because the climb is relatively steady and not so steep. Pack a lunch and enjoy a shady view of miles and miles of mountain ranges when you reach the top.
7. Issaqueena Falls - Walhalla
You couldn't ask for a shorter, easier trail with such a huge view at the end. The trailhead to Issaqueena Falls is next to the entrance to another Upsate wonder: Stumphouse Tunnel. The trail itself is only 2/10 mile and the view at the end is a giant waterfall named for an Indian legend who reportedly threw herself from the top of the falls and died. The trail leading to the top of the falls is rated easy. However, getting to the bottom of the falls is a bit more challenging and sometimes rather slippery.
8. Wright's Bluff Nature Trail - Santee National Wildlife Refuge - Summerton
Bug spray is a good idea for this short 1.1 mile trail that winds through part of this wildlife refuge. A couple of viewing platforms get you high above the foliage and offer spectacular views of the lake and Cantey Bay.
9. Lake Haigler Loop - Fort Mill
Part of the Anne Springs Close Greenway, this 3.3 mile loop trail winds through the woods and is usually abundant with wildflowers. If you're not a member of the Greenway, you'll pay $5.00 to hike this trail, but it's worth it.
10. Licklog Creek Falls Trail - near Mountain Rest
Rated as easy, the 2.1 mile trail (each way) gets a little challenging at the end if you decide to hike down to the foot of the waterfall. Either way, the payoff at the end of this hike is outstanding with a giant waterfall dropping and cascading its way down a rock ledge.
The recent turbulent weather in South Carolina may have downed a tree here and there, so to be safe allow for some extra time when you head out on any hike in the Palmetto State.
For more short hikes in South Carolina,
check out these trails that are all under three miles.