South Carolina December 06, 2016
10 Picturesque Trails In South Carolina That Are Perfect For Winter Hiking
South Carolina winters are the best! There’s a chill in the air, and it’s a great time to be outside without the daunting cloud of sweat-inducing humidity following you everywhere.
Without a doubt, the fall and winter seasons can be a perfect time to get outside and explore the beautful Palmetto State. We’re here to help in that department, with 10 winter hikes in South Carolina that deliver outstanding views and special surprises – like waterfalls! Enjoy!
1. Carrick Creek Trail
The Carrick Creek Trail is a two mile loop at Table Rock State Park. Rated "moderate," the trail rises about 400 feet overall and offers clear views of a few cascading waterfalls, including Carrick Creek Falls shown above. There's also an overlook not too far into the trail.
How to find it: Head to Table Rock State Park at 158 Ellison Ln, Pickens, SC 29671.
2. Falls Park On The Reedy
Winter is the perfect time to explore Falls Park on the Reedy, one of the only city parks in the nation with a natural waterfall of this size at its center. You can even venture onto the Swamp Rabbit Trail from here. The Swamp Rabbit Trail is a rails-to-trails path that travels approximately 19 miles to Cleveland. Perfect!
How to find it: 601 S Main St, Greenville, SC 29601.
3. Congaree National Park
Congaree National Park is a real treasure to have here in our home state. Among other wonders, it contains the largest tract of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest in the nation. That's something! The park offers
eight hiking trails
ranging from .3 mile to 11.7 miles. At least one of them has a boardwalk surface.
How to find it: 100 National Park Rd, Hopkins, SC 29061.
4. Oconee Passage of The Palmetto Trail
This 3.2 mile segment of the Palmetto Trail known as the Oconee Passage is accessed from Oconee State Park. Much of the trail follows an old railroad bed, however in places the trail gets relatively narrow as you make your way down a hillside. It's one of the reasons the trail is rated "moderate." But the pay off, shown above, is a full-on view of the beautiful Station Cove Falls.
How to find it: 624 State Park Rd, Mountain Rest, SC 29664. Upon entering the park, turn right and follow signs to the old archery station where you'll find the trailhead.
5. Poinsett State Park
The High Hills of the Santee provide a perfect setting for a hike at Poinsett State Park. Several trails are mapped out
Or you can just wander along the banks of the 10-acre pond.
How to find it: 6660 Poinsett Park Rd, Wedgefield, SC 29168.
6. Anne Springs Close Greenway
This 2,100-acre nature preserve in Fort Mill, South Carolina offers up 40 miles of trails, including biking and equestrian trails. Find a complete map at this
The bridge shown above is located near the Nature Center.
How to find it: 104, Adventure Rd, Fort Mill, SC 29715.
7. Rocky Creek Trail
Rocky Creek trail is 4.8 miles out and back and is rated easy, although in the winter you'll want to watch for ice. The trail features this waterfall (look up) plus a lake the locals call "stumpy pond." You'll see why when you get there.
How to find it: 1009-1099 Chester Avenue, Great Falls, SC 29055.
8. Twin Falls Trail
Located near Sunset, this trail is about two miles out and back and features an overlook where you can see the two magnificent falls at the same time. The trail is rated easy, however getting down to where Fido is in this photo could prove to be more challenging, especially in the winter, so exercise caution.
How to find it: Water Falls Rd, Sunset, SC 29685.
9. Morris Island Lighthouse Trail
This short and sandy trail is less than a five minute walk but takes you to an empty beach where you can explore and hike until your heart's content. You'll also get a panoramic view of the Morris Island Light and all the waters surrounding her.
How to find it: Drive to the end of East Ashley Avenue on Folly Beach. The trail head is in the middle of the turnaround.
10. Ceasar's Head State Park
Okay, so you won't always find snow at Caesar's Head State Park, but no "winter hikes" list could be complete without at least one snow photo, right? Caesar's Head has trails ranging from a half mile to ten miles and most are rated moderate to strenuous. In fact, you're asked to register with the park office any time you decide to hike in this state park. But you can drive almost all the way to the overlook shown here. Park in the lot and then it's just a short walk to the the overlook where, in the winter, you'll have a good view of Raven Cliff Falls (shown above).
How to find it: 8155 Geer Hwy, Cleveland, SC 29635.
We really do have it all here in South Carolina. Even in the winter, the Palmetto State is an outdoor dream. Whether you prefer hiking to a beach or way up on a mountaintop, this list of winter hikes in South Carolina is sure to have something that piques your interest.
Where’s your favorite place to hike when the weather turns cold? We’d love to know in our comments!
Want more outdoor activities this winter? Here are
11 Winter Festivals In South Carolina That Are Simply Unforgettable.