For my last hike of 2012, I took a relatively short hike just outside of Pickens, SC. The hike was the Glassy Mountain Hike, which is part of the Department of Natural Resources Heritage Trust program. Apparently, this trail had been closed for the fall of 2012, as it was cleaned up and new erosion controls were put down.
The last weekend of December 2012 was pretty cold, hence my interest in a short hike, and after a few searches, this seemed a likely candidate. It's not a very difficult trail at all, and only just over a mile or so, but it is worth checking out, if you just want a stroll through some beautiful country and see some rather impressive views of the South Carolina foothills. I hadn't known what to expect from this little trail, but I liked, and I'll return in the spring or summer, when the greenery is back out in full force.
According to trail guides, there are places where the trail is a bit tricky, and it is recommended that people watch their footing. For the most part, I didn't see any difficulties. However, I came across a large expanse of rock that promised to offer a good view of the mountains above the trees. The trick was that there were sheets of water that trickled across this stone from a recent rainfall. This might be a little slippery, but hey, it was just water, right?
But, you see, there's this thing that happens when water gets cold. Remember that I had said that it was pretty cold? Well, it was cold enough that this water was a bit icy. I didn't get very far before I started sliding. I felt that it was the better part of valor to retreat back to the trail, before I broke either myself or my camera. I may try that again when it's warmer.
Overall, worth it for the views, although I'm not sure how easy it will be to see the mountains when the hardwoods have gone green. I'll find out later.