Hiking Trails and Site-Seeing Near Cleveland, SC
Thinking about taking a trip to South Carolina for your next vacation? We don’t blame you! The beautiful land, perfect seasons, and rich history bring millions of travelers here every year…not to mention the southern hospitality. If you are looking for a place that offers both relaxation and great adventures, wooded cabins and glorious views, look no further than a Blue Ridge Mountain vacation in the Upstate of South Carolina. Stay at one of our cabins to bring your family and loved ones right into the Blue Ridge Mountains, only minutes away from trails and waterfalls. As a South Carolina native, I have spent countless summer days exploring trails, swimming holes and waterfalls. During the fall, no weekend is complete without driving up a mountain to take in a glorious, golden, mountain view. Below is a short list, in no particular order, of my (and many other’s ) favorite trails and views that I would recommend to everyone.
1. Table Rock State Park
At the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Table Rock State Park has plenty to offer for everyone. The entrance of the park is adjacent to a lake with a swimming area and pedal boat rentals. There are many trail options at Table Rock for beginners and advanced hikers. Take your kids along the boardwalk trail and let them wade around a small waterfall right off of the trail, or keep walking to meet trails that will take you to spectacular overlooks.
For more on Table Rock, click here (this link will redirect you to another site)
2. Caesar's Head State Park
Caesar’s Head State Park is a part of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area in the Upstate of South Carolina. Just off of the parking lot is a short paved path to an overlook that will provide you with breathtaking views of the mountains. Whether you are planning to stay in the park for a hike, or are just driving by with a few minutes to spare, this easy-to-access overlook is a must-see. There are a many options for hiking at Caesar’s Head State Park, including the popular Raven Cliff Falls trail that leads hikers to a suspension bridge with stunning views of the waterfall below. Caesar’s Head State Park connects to Jones Gap State Park, also a part of the Mountain Ridge Wilderness Area, and is next on our list for must-see trails and sites!
3. Jones Gap State Park
Adjacent to Caesar’s Head State Park, Jones Gap State Park is also a part of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area. As you enter the park there is a large riverside area to explore and watch the wildlife. A little further will take you to trail heads leading to beautiful waterfalls. The drive to the park itself is sure to relax you as you make your way across winding roads following the river.
For photos and more information on Jones Gap, click here (this link will redirect you to another site)
4. Lake Jocassee
Lake Jocassee is truly a gem in the Upstate: crystal clear waters surrounded by protected wilderness and mountains. It is a spectacular place. There are waterfalls that flow into the borders of this large lake that look like they are straight out of paradise. There are companies at Lake Jocassee that offer visitors boat tours of the waterfalls year-round, as well as a paddle board and kayak rental shop right on the lake. If you have smaller children that need more room to get their energy out, pack a picnic and hang out at the Devil’s Fork State Park, a park on the lake with a beach area for swimming. Lake Jocassee is a place that you will never forget and that you will always return to for more.
For a boat tour, click here (this link will redirect you to another site)
For more on Lake Jocassee and Devil’s Fork State Park, click here (this link will redirect you to another site)
5. Whitewater Falls
Whitewater falls is the highest waterfall east of Rockies, and a visit here should be on anyone’s bucketlist while in South Carolina. One thing that adds to the falls’ beauty is how untouched the surrounding land is. There are easy-to-access viewing areas for Whitewater Falls and also many trail options for hikers.
For more trail information on Whitewater Falls, click here (this link will redirect you to another site)
6. Pretty Place
There’s no place like Pretty Place! Take a winding drive to this beautiful, stone, outdoor chapel with miles-long views of the mountains below. Pretty Place offers visitors a serene spot to soak in the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Waking up before dawn is usually not something we volunteer to do, especially if you are on vacation, but to sit in the Pretty Place chapel and watch the sun rise over the vast array of mountains is worth every waking moment!
For photos and more information about Pretty Place, click here (this link will redirect you to another site)
Be Sure to Also Check Out:
-Dupont State Forest (a filming location for the Hunger Games!)
-Pisgah State Forest
What is your favorite Blue Ridge destination in Upstate SC? Tell us below in the comments sections!