I spent two weeks camping at Table Rock State Park and while there’s plenty neat stuff to do at the park itself, I managed to get out and see a few of the nearby attractions. The park has a printed list with directions and more info on what’s listed below as well as other nearby neat stuff that they’ll give you when you check in, including distance to shopping, etc.
Waterfalls are always my favorite things to seek out and it was hard to decide which of the following two were my favorite since both were truly spectacular:
Whitewater Falls – NC
I came across this as a stop while doing part of the Jocassee Gorges Scenic Driving Tour. Located in the Nantahala National Forest, it’s listed as the highest waterfall east of the Rockies. I never did understand this or where the delineation is, but they say the upper falls are located in NC and plunge 411 feet, but the lower falls are in SC, dropping another 400 feet. There is an easy 1/2 mile trail from the parking area (large enough for RVs) and 154 wooden steps that take you to a viewing platform for this gorgeous view. But you can’t actually access the waterfalls from here. USDA info link.
Twin Falls – SC
These falls are actually closest to Table Rock and also an easy hike (less than 1/4 mile, and while narrow in spots, there are no steps). There is a viewing platform here as well, and although it’s not recommended, you can get down to water level to dip your feet in the cool water. I couldn’t resist, but rocks are slippery, though, so be really careful. Link to Pickens County info with directions.
Sassafras Mountain Viewpoint
While on Hwy. 178, if you go past the road that takes you to Twin Falls, you’ll get to another turn to this beautiful viewpoint. Directions from Table Rock State Park: Left on Hwy. 11 from Visitor’s Center; 4.5 miles to right turn onto Hwy. 178; then 7.2 miles to F. van Clayton Memorial Hwy. for 4.4 miles to parking area.
I took a drive to nearby Caesars Head State Park since I’d heard the views from here are phenomenal – so true! The road to get here is very twisty and curvy, so I wouldn’t do it in an RV. There is primitive, back country camping only up here.
On the way up there, I stopped at this pull-off to enjoy the view from Bald Rock as well. Lots of colorful graffiti on the rocks that I would have preferred natural, but it’s obviously a very popular stop and unfortunately, people want to leave their “mark.”
On the way to Pickens for groceries, I came across Hagood Mill. The grounds feature an 1845 gristmill, two restored log cabins, blacksmith shop, cotton gin, moonshine still and nature trails. But I was disappointed that the South Carolina Rock Art Center was not yet open. While they have a large carved soapstone boulder made by Native Americans about 5,000 years ago on display outside, when the center is open, you will be able to view prehistoric Native American petroglyphs that were discovered buried under a 19th century road. These feature 17 human figures and other carvings and are considered to be among the most significant of their kind in SC. Would have really liked to have seen those!
Since Greenville is less than 20 miles away, I couldn’t resist another visit here. Greenville page from my 2011 visit. More pictures of the above Falls Park on the Reedy – a gorgeous area at the end of downtown Greenville.
Waterfalls of Upcountry South Carolina – I was surprised to see how many waterfalls were nearby and so many really easy to get to. I couldn’t do them all, but I gave it my best shot for this visit anyway. 🙂
All Malia’s Miles pages on Table Rock State Park: