The transition from South Carolina to Tennessee is proceeding apace, but I figured I'd toss in this last South Carolina "hike". It was really just a brief stroll through Town Creek Park's series of trails. According to SCTrails, part of this series of trails follows the route of a train system used by the Appalachian Lumber Company, in the '20s. Town Creek Park is in Pickens, SC, not far from the main part of the city itself, but it still provides a "walk in the woods" type feel.
The Eastatoe Creek Heritage Preserve has a 1.7-mile one-way hiking trail down to the creek with a small water waterfall. It's not very difficult, although there is a good bit of elevation change during the last third of the trip (down on the way to the creek, and back up on the way back). It's a pretty trip, and I tried this trail out just at the tail end of spring as summer was starting to kick in.
I opted to return to the Great Smoky Mountains for this hike, since I had some time for a mid-week trip. It's a bit farther than I normally go, since it's a few hours to the park, but when my wife and I had done some hiking in the Smokies during our vacation, I developed an interest in exploring the park further. Thus, I decided to try the Deep Creek Loop Trail.
The Parson's Mountain Recreation Area is just outside of Abbeville, SC, which is about an hour and a half south of the Clemson area. I got to be rather familiar with this route, as I had tried multiple times to take this trail. I had been looking for a different place to hike, and I had found the loop trail around the lake at Parson's Mountain on the internet. This was my third time trying to hike this trail, and I finally found the park to be open for the spring.
Today's hike is Raven Cliff Falls, this time in Georgia. This is the third time I've been on this hike, and it is another favorite of mine. It is about 2.5 miles one-way and moderate, with a couple of major elevation changes, the highest right at the end. The trail follows Dodd Creek all the way to twin cliffs with a waterfall that flows between them. The trail itself is in the North Georgia mountains, near Helen, off of the Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway.
To start off my hiking in 2013, I returned to the place I started this blog with, the Keowee-Toxaway State Natural Area. In my first blog post, I described my hike along the Raven Rock Trail. The trailheads for the Raven Rock Trail are off of the Natural Bridge Trail, a moderate trail that takes just under an hour to travel. The main feature of the Natural Bridge Trail is, as one would expect, a rock bridge that traverses one of the creeks that can be seen along the trail. Overall, the trail is pretty moderate, although there is a rather strenuous segment near the end to be aware of.
The Bear Hair Gap Trail is part of the network of trails in Vogel State Park, nestled in the North Georgia mountains, part of the Blood Mountain region. This is a trail of moderate difficulty, winding up and around the hills. This trip along the trail was in late fall, and most of the leaves had left the trees, but you could still see splashes of color across the hills, especially when seen from the overlook spur trail that provides a gorgeous view of the park, centered by Lake Trahlyta.