Bill Kimball - Coldspring Branch Loop is a 5.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Cleveland, SC that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until October.
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.
love the rocks... great trail
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!
Hard tough trail. Be prepared on this one. One of the hardest descents I have done.
I accidentally hiked this trail with a friend and it was exhausting but well worth the hike!
What an excellent find. By far one of my favorites. It is technical and challenging but well worth it. It's a beautiful trail.
This is what we were looking for! Intense vertical climbing, streams to no end for crossing, and not much to look at. Just an intense trail that kept us on our toes!
Great hike...Jones Gap Park was filled and couldn't get in...wen't to Caesar's Head and picked this on a whim.
It's a descent/ascent and the Bill Kimball section of it has it's brutal moments if you take that trail last. As well, with some of the steep grades and rocky portions of the loop, there's no way I'd do this on a day that calls for rain.
Did bill Kimball loop from ceasers head overlook parking lot. back side of loop has a fast grade increase with short switch backs. was pretty hard. but manageable. great views lots of crossing creek.. love this trail.. not very many people on major plus.. will be back.. make sure you have waterproof boots..
I took the look From Coldsprings Branch to Bill Kimball Trail loop. It was at likes like a obstacle course and the second half of Coldsprings Branch you cross the creek several times so I would recommend waterproof boots and above the ankle boots. Lots of routs, logs, and steep sections the squiggle down on Bill Kimball I slipped a few times for it is January and the dry leaves ares slippery. At one point I could hear the ice cracking from the mountain top and had to cross over ice. I shared that photo because it is hard to believe for some given the locations. I when off trail many times to get to views of water falls/cascades and it was worth it.
My son (11 years old)and I hiked this loop on a beautiful Saturday. A fun, technical trail- huge upside for us- we were around 3 hours in before we saw another person! :) lots of spiderwebs and stinging nettles to dodge, but a great hike. El Lieutenant is beautiful. My son said it is his new favorite trail!
Beautiful landscape and water falls
If you are past middle age, this is one tough hike. Taking Coldsprings Trail from the trail head, there is a fork in the trail about 0.7 miles in. If you are one who prefers the easier uphill grade on the last leg of a hike,take the Bill Kimball trail down. It is strenuous even on the downhill, portions are very narrow. In a few places there is more than a 2 foot drop from one step to the next, but some of the rock formations you end up hiking next to are amazing. There are only a few places that the trail markings are not clear, the majority of the trail is very well marked. Once you make it down to the spring, the undergrowth along Bill Kimball Trail is fairly thick in places, but the trail is still well marked. Lots of spider webs crossing the trail, so use a stick to sweep the air in front of you if you hike when the trail is empty. Once Bill Kimball meets up with Coldsprings, the hike up Coldsprings is a steady uphill most of the way back (2 mi.) A good workout.
I hiked this loop on march 10,2012. This is a very strenuous, but rewarding hike. I started with the Bill
Kimball trail (going down) and finished with the Coldspring Branch (going uphill). On the Coldspring
portion the trail crosses the river a number of times, and being springtime the water was really moving
and made it difficult to cross in a few spots, but that just adds to the fun right? Total hike time was right
at 5 hours--enjoy it!!
It was a good hike I went one day after work. I rated it moderate but there were a couple spots that were difficult due to steep elevation changes but overall it was a good workout but not a killer!
I am looking forward to going again.