Lazy Man’s Guide to Northern Greenville County Hikes
I’m a lazy hiker. There I said it.
If I can see it from the car I’m very content. I don’t have a problem maneuvering the car just right and putting the window down for a clearer view. But if I have to get out of the car, the view better be worth the effort. Thankfully I’ve got some “hikes” that fit me perfectly.
From the Car
From Greenville SC, take Hwy 276 north through Travelers Rest, Marietta, and Cleveland. Four or five miles past the Cleveland Post Office you can pull over to see a waterfall from your vehicle. Wildcat Wayside Falls literally pours out right at the highway and runs beneath it into the Middle Saluda River. Waterflow strength depends on rainfall but I’ve never seen it dry. (address: 5325 Geer Hwy, Cleveland SC 29635)
Continue on from there but take Hwy 11 in a few hundred yards when it splits from Hwy 276. Go to Table Rock State Park (158 E Ellison Ln, Pickens, SC 29671) and use the North Entrance across from the Headquarters. Shortly after entering the park (you will need a park pass or paid entry) you will see a log cabin, built during the mid-1930’s, that offers a great view of Table Rock. In fact, the view is so good it may entice you to park the car and take the handicap accessible walkway to the backside of the cabin. Awesome views of the rockface and lake await you regardless of the season. Back in the car, drive a short distance, and you get another pullover view of Table Rock. Great place for a family or furbaby pic. From there you can continue to the large parking area by the lake.
Out of the Car
From the lake parking lot, you may choose to stretch your legs and walk the Carrick Creek Trail. It’s moderate but worth doing the first 100 yards for the view of the waterfall. On my super-energetic days, I might take the trail that goes around the lake—very easy and provides more great views of Table Rock including reflections in the lake. Once, in my younger days, my son and I took the Table Rock Trail to the top of Table Rock. Tremendous views! Painful knees. Careful you don’t step in any Black Bear poop! Check that off the bucket list.
Back in your car, head back North on Hwy 11, take Hwy 276 North to Caesar’s Head State Park (8155 Geer Hwy, Cleveland, SC 29635). It’s a steep drive up the mountain but once you are there you can drive to the top of the parking lot, walk 20-30 yards, and look out on an amazing view. On a clear day, you’ll see Glassy Mountain, Paris Mountain, and downtown Greenville as well as Table Rock and miles and miles of peaceful beauty.
Now head back to Travelers Rest or Greenville for some great restaurant experiences. You earned it without hardly breaking a sweat!!