Featured HIKING TRAILS
Near Awendaw, the 26 mile Swamp Fox National Recreation Trail is a wide route that is also share with mountian bikers. It passes through diverse habitat types, such as pine stands and hardwood forests, while rolling along old railroad trams. Due to the lowlands, it can get boggy after good rains.
Located halfway between Spartanburg and Columbia, the Buncombe Trail is a 31.5 mile hiking loop. This white blazed trail winds through forested hills and valley terrain with several stream crossings. Along the trail, the points of interest include old cemeteries, wagon roads, and plantation sites. There are opportunities to view various wildlife species and abundant plant life. With interconnecting loops, routes of various lengths can be formed. The Buncombe Trail is also shared with mountain bikers and equestrians.
Northwest of Westminster near Mountain Rest in the Sumter National Forest, the Chattooga River Trail (#54) is an 18.3 mile hiking trek through the scenic river headwaters past exceptionally beautiful cascading waterfalls, wild azaleas and rhododendron. While 18.3 miles of this trail are in the Sumter National Forest, the trail connects with extensive trails of two other national forests. This primitive trail varies from moderately to extremely difficult depending upon the terrain.
Running from the mountains to the sea, nearly half of the proposed 425 miles of the Palmetto Trail are in place. Over 130 miles of the trail exist as a continuous corridor, tying the Midlands to the coast. The development of several Upstate passages has generated a growing momentum for the trail through the Piedmont and Blue Ridge Mountains.
Northwest of Walhalla and west of Mountain Rest in the Sumter National Forest, the Rocky Gap Horse Trail is a 12.5 mile trail system consisting of several loops. The trail system connects with the 15 mile Willis Knob Loop. These are some of the most scenic trails in the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains and wind across deeply dissected ridges along with descending to the Chattooga River.
Near Gadsden, the 22,200 acre Congaree Swamp National Park has 25 miles of hiking trails through old growth bottomland hardwoods and swampland. The two main best trails include the Kingsnake Trail and the River Trail.
Beginning in Oconee State Park on the Chattooga River and ending 50 miles away in Table Rock State Park, the Foothills Trail is an interstate cruise across miles of prime South Carolina hill country, making a few forays into North Carolina. From dense forests of hardwoods to rocky cliffs, waterfalls, and streams, the trail takes in varied fauna and rare flora, such as the Turnbridge fern, and crosses a heart-stopping 200-foot suspension bridge.
Northeast of Savanah and west of Hilton Head, the 4,000 acre Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge has about 14 miles of grassy singletrack and doubletrack routes. There are nine trails in this trail system.
North of Clemson in the Clemson University Experimental Forest, the Issaqueena Lake Trail (8 mi. one-way) is a flat hiking trail through the 17,500 acre Clemson University Experimental Forest. The Issaqueena Lake Trail is primarily used by mountain bikers, but it is also open to hiking and horseback riding. The route meanders around the lake providing beautiful views.