“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:7-10)
The landscape of South Carolina spans from the Coastal lowlands to the Blue Ridge Mountains. In between, hikers have the opportunity to enjoy a pleasant stroll or a challenging hike across more than 400 trails that are found throughout the state.
Congaree National Park
The park has miles and miles of trails to accommodate all levels of hiking ability. Some of the easier pathways span from 3.4 to 15.9 kilometers in length. Along the Congaree River, guests encounter the largest and oldest floodplain forest in the country. While many of the trails cover level ground. But, expect to climb over fallen trees, which enhances the workout.
South Carolina Foothills Trail
The trail extends for more than 80 miles and spans from Caesar’s Head State Park to the Oconee State Park, which is situated on the border between South and North Carolina. As the area has never been heavily populated or developed, the trail remains one of the best for hikers that desire a backcountry wilderness adventure. Babbling creeks and picturesque waterfalls make the trail a favorite. Camping is permitted. However, bears inhabit the region.
There are many trails around the Clarks Hill area. But, the Forks Area Trail System is considered one of the best. The trail extends for 37 miles and is considered appropriate for novice to moderately experienced hikers. The Deep Step trail is particularly ideal for mountain bike enthusiasts. While there is flat terrain, much of the trail zig-zags over the hills here and overlook the Savannah River. But, the thick, lush forest provides ample shade. The location is ideal for training to hike more difficult trails.
Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve
The trail is easy and brings hikers to various unusual rock formations hidden within the forested region. The Peachtree Rock, for which the location derives its name, remains the most famous. Unfortunately, the formation has crumbled. Venture north of the rock site to the waterfall that cascades downward 20 feet into Rock Creek below.
Keowee-Toxaway State Park
The park encompasses 1,000 acres and features lush forests that surround rocky formation. The moderately difficult Raven Rock Loop Trail is a favorite and extends for little over four miles. The path crosses over Poe’s creek and a granite bridge before extending uphill over a boulder field. The trail then drops into a valley before ascending onto a ridge, which leads down to Lake Keowee.