South Carolina State Parks and Hiking
South Carolina State Parks
Devil’s Fork State Park
This state park was opened in 1991 and is one of the least developed lakes in South Carolina. The park offers four boat launch areas to the 7,500-acre lake, as well as two walking trails, three picnic areas, and two covered picnic shelters. This beautiful park is a camper’s paradise, with a main campground with 84 sites, an area for tents and RV’s, plus 20 two and three bedroom villas for rent.
A fishing license is required in South Carolina state parks, and the angler in you will enjoy catching the smallmouth bass, rainbow and brown trout, as well as crappie, catfish, and bluegill.
Oconee State Park
In the wooded foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this state park includes almost 1,200 acres and two mountain lakes. One of the first state parks, Oconee opened in 1937 and was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
This park is very popular and attracts visitors who want to enjoy camping, fishing, swimming, hiking, and picnics in the great outdoors. In addition, there are many planned activities in the summer months and a camping area with 140 sites, all with water and electrical hookup. Near the campgrounds, you’ll find heated bathhouses and many picnic tables and shelters.
You can also rent fishing equipment and boats at the park store year around.
Keowee-Toxaway State Park
Once the home of the Keowee and Cherokee Indians, this one-thousand acre park includes a museum with artifacts dating to 1753. In this park, you’ll find hiking trails, picnic shelters, and fantastic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. On Lake Keowee, you’ll enjoy fishing for catfish, bass, and crappie.
Table Rock State Park
This state park has three campgrounds and mountain cabins spread out on over 3,000 acres. You’ll find beginner hiking trails here, plus two private lakes for a variety of water sports. There is a restaurant that is open to the public and includes Southern country cooking on the weekends.
Fort Sumter National Park
The site of the first battle of the Civil War in 1865, this state park is a wonderful piece of America’s history. You’ll find many interactive programs to learn more about how and why the Civil War started here. Because the park is small, the recreational activities are limited. However, you can still take part in kayaking, fishing, boating, and bird watching.
South Carolina Trails
Bad Creek Spur
- Moderately strenuous
- Must see in the early Spring
- Guided tours available
- Connects to the Coon Branch Trail, the Foothills Trail, and Lower Whitewater Falls Trail
- Moderate to difficult trail
- Runs along the side of the Chattooga River
- 15.5 miles long
- Not advised for beginners or children
East Fork Trail
- Easy 2.5 + hike
- Much plant life and views of the Chattooga River
- Most anyone can handle this trail
Foothills National Recreational Trail
- The ultimate back country experience
- 28 miles long, one way – total length of trail is approximately 80 miles
- Not a trail for beginners
- Entrances at several locations
- One of the best beginner trails
- 75-foot waterfall can be seen on the way
- At the end of this 3.5 mile trail are two more waterfalls
- One of the best hikes in Oconee County
Trails in Devil’s Fork State Park
- Hilly & slightly rugged
- Three mile loop
- Scenic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains & Lake Jocassee
- Pets on leashes OK
Oconee Bells Nature Trail
- Easy one mile loop – great for beginners and children
- Starts at the bottom of the hill behind the park office
- Much scenery along the way in the spring
Trails of Oconee State Park
- Easy walking dirt & grass loop trail
- Leisurely one-mile walk
- Pets on leashes permitted
- Moderate 1.6 miles
- Winds around and through chasms
- Start at the amphitheater located in the center of the park’s campground
Disclaimer: We love suggesting activities that you may enjoy. But please note all activities are at your own risk and NCMountainLife.com and any of its representatives are not responsible should you partake and injuries result from any activities that are seen or discussed on our website. All activities have some risk, so always be careful. Hike with a friend and always let someone know what trail you are taking. Cell phones do not always work in the mountain, so you can't always rely on them in an emergency situation. Be smart and advise others of your whereabouts. The forest is massive and directions are sometimes hard to determine. Stay on the trails...Wet rocks can be very slippery so proceed with extra caution in streams and waterfalls. Do NOT get too close to the edge on waterfalls. Deaths have occurred where people take one step too far. Mother Nature has blessed us with some of her best landscapes. Enjoy it and respect it.