Caesars Head State Park has long been a must-see in the South Carolina Upstate. A granitic gneiss outcropping atop the dramatic Blue Ridge Escarpment, it offers breathtaking views year-round, especially when fall sets the hardwoods ablaze. Another annual highlight is the Hawk Watch program each fall, timed to allow visitors to marvel at the unforgettable sight of hundreds of soaring, swirling migrating raptors hawks, kites, falcons, eagles and more from the park visitors own perch at 3,200 feet above sea level. Hiking trails ranging from easy to challenging circle and traverse Caesars Head and adjoining Jones Gap state parks, which together form the Mountain Bridge Wilderness, about 11,000 acres of pristine southern mountain forest. One of the most popular trails at Caesars Head leads to 420-foot Raven Cliff Falls, where a suspension bridge offers one of the two publicly accessible overlooks to the falls as they splash deep into the mountain cove below. Picnicking and wilderness trailside camping also are highlights. The park, easily accessible with its headquarters on U.S. 276 just shy of the state line, also leads to some prime trout fishing areas in the state-designated scenic Middle Saluda River.
Robert D. on Raven Cliff Falls Trail
Hike was fun but the view at the end was disappointing.
I may be directionally challenged, but this trail was So confusing and got lost/went wrong ways too much on these trails..and the naturland "trust trail" HA! Prepare for a decline, I wound up walking about 2miles past the raven cliff falls bridge on this trail, unaware of its difficulty and had to just turn around and go ALL the way back up the steep terrain, it prob would of been more enjoyable if I knew where I was going, but I "Wing It" on a lot of things lol..
I enjoyed this trail for a morning trail run/hike. There is nothing exceptionally breathtaking on this trail, but there is a very beautiful, huge rock face on the Bill Kimball trail that I stopped to take a few pictures of, and the stream is a nice companion. I chose to do Bill Kimball then Coldsprings, and I liked that route.
A lot of the Bill Kimball trail isn't really "runable" trail--there are some very steep parts where you need to climb or scoot along on your butt. It was slow going, but still a lot fun going down, and I think it would be a lot of fun going up as well--definitely a challenge.
I ran up the Coldsprings trail. It has a gradual incline and a lot of long, straight aways, which were fun for running UP, but it might be a little dangerous running down. There are a lot of small rocks and those round acorns that roll underfoot which were covered by leaves (This was Fall weather) that are fine if you are running up the hill, but would cause a nasty fall if you trip on one on the way down the hill. It would also be easy to get going a little too fast. I would only consider running down Coldspring if you are already familiar with the trail, but walking would be lovely in either direction.
I ran most of Coldspring, but walked a lot of Bill Kimball even where I could have ran because it was so pretty. I also stopped to take pictures at the rock face and a couple of places along the stream and I finished in just under 2 hours. If you don't stop, you could do it faster, but I liked looking around a lot on the Bill Kimball.
This is a good workout loop that runs by a nice branch and a couple of waterfalls (which you have to go off trail to get a good view of -- there are paths already there for you to follow) It is challenging either way you go...if you take the Coldspring Branch trail first from the trail head, it is almost all downhill, but not a drastic descent, and the Bill Kimball is a gruelling gain that seems to go on forever...If you take the Bill Kimball trail first from the trail head, you have the drastic and challenging descent which is worse than going up, in my opinion, then the Coldspring Branch is a lonnnng, but not too drastic, incline out. Either way, as I said, is a workout, but I like to take the Bill Kimball last so I can take the incline, even though it is quite a handful...I had rather take the incline than the descent on that trail, personally. There are several creek crossings and there is a good chance you will get your feet wet, so waterproof shoes/boots are a good idea. There are also several large downed trees you have to go under and some you have to go over, so you have to be fairly agile. I do not recommend this loop for small children or inexperienced hikers/walkers. There are several places that can be dangerous, especially if you have grown fatigued and a little sloppy. It took us three hours to do this loop, but it could be done much quicker if you focused on the task at hand. We took our time and stopped often to make photos and sightsee. We only saw two other people on the trail the whole time we were out and it was a beautiful autumn afternoon (Sunday), so apparently this is not a heavily trafficked loop. It was great to have the place all to ourselves!
This was a fantastic hike. I definitely recommend taking the dismal trail at the beginning of the hike and looping around and taking the easier section towards the end of the hike. I started at 9:45 AM and got off the trail around 2:45 PM, I took a slight detour to take a look at the side of the falls. I will definitely go again and probably take the same route. Today was absolutely gorgeous and perfect day to experience the beauty at Caesars Head! My fit bit told me that I hiked closer to 9 miles.
Beautiful Trail. Significant amount of stairs/steps. Many places to stop and rest and enjoy the quiet. Trail is very narrow at several points. Trail starts off flat, then increases to moderate. After about one mile in, trail changes significantly to hard and strenuous. Allow several hours to get to the end and back out. Not a loop. Enjoy!!!