Where are you (park, forest, etc.)- Table Rock State Park
Nearest town (s)- Greenville, SC
How long is this hike- Day trek, good half-day
Miles- 7 miles round trip
On your toughness scale (1 easiest, 10 toughest)- 7. Being in good shape can only help on this hike. It is by no means restricting (I think a Pomeranian passed me on the way up), but it is one of the tougher hikes in the state.
Tell us about it- Besides my mosey around Paris Mountain State Park just in my backyard, this was my first hike in the state of South Carolina. For one of my first hikes here I was impressed. Coming from the D.C. area you have to drive a solid two hours to see any type of large hill that will give you a decent view. Therefore when I found this 3000'+ hill only 30 minutes away I was pretty thrilled.
The start of this hike is awesome. You are greeted at the trailhead by a number of smoothly cascading waterfalls.
About 2-2.5 miles up things start to level off. That's when you realize that you're really about 1 mile west of the true summit of table rock. So then comes the next mile hike along the ridge that takes you up another couple hundred feet. You reach the sign marking "Summit of Table Rock" before you reach the views. Continue only another 1000 ft or so further down the trail and you come to the balds of Table Rock State Park.
When I first hiked Table Rock I thought this area was the end of the trail. Then I saw a group of college-aged kids pop out of the trees behind me. They came from the other direction. Curious I decided to go that way. Little did I know that another few hundred feet down the trail you had an even better view to the northeast.
Understandably I was warned prior to my adventure not to stray too far from the trail. Well this next area explained the rationale behind the warning.
After a little relaxing I made my way back down Table Rock in about half the time it took to climb up. Overall, quite the enjoyable day.
See any wildlife? I am starting to wonder how much exists in this state.
Would you recommend? I would recommend this as one of my favorite hikes in the state so far. It's challenging enough so it is a good workout for the day, and it provides probably the 2nd best views I have seen so far in the state (Caesars Head State Park is taking the win).
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