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We chose this trail as a conditioning trail and the following review is written from the point of view of a backpacker carrying a 30+ lb pack. Fee is now $5.00 per person and you pay at the toll booth, it was early when we arrived and no one was in the booth but they have envelopes to fill out, bring a pen. Started the trails at shelter 5 and 6. Looked like there was a nature walk for kids going on when we started with a Ranger (think this is pretty cool). We walked past them and started up the Sulpher Springs trail. Very shortly the trail came to the first lake we would encounter for the day. Saw a turtle and a lady fall (wear proper shoes guys, there is a lot of rocks and loose debris on the trail). Continuing up the trail we made our way to the waterfall at the dam and the rock tower. Really nice pictures here, the temperature was nice and cool. There are some rock steps that go up to the trail above you that will put you back on track. Once we scurried up those I was feeling good and doubting that this trail was ranked correctly at hard as nothing we had done so far was difficult but my curiosity was soon sated. The incline began and we started up, over rocks, through two streams (very easy crossings), back over rocks, up some more rock steps, leaned against a few trees, and continued on. When I finally came to the top I held up a tree for a good 15 min before the forest sounds finally drowned out the pounding of my heart. (I want to take a moment to mention this trail is very thin at points. Be careful with your four legged pals and children as you go up this section. There is a decent drop on the right side down into a ravine). After a quick break, afore mentioned, we took Fire Tower trail and made our way down this down and back trail. Once we arrived at the burned down fire tower we stopped, had a snack and a decent break. Saw a lizard that was too quick to get a picture of and not much else. Wandered our way back down the trail and picked up Kanuga. Not much here to see until you get to the lake. I do want to mention there are some back country camp sites around the lake. I didn't really venture into them all but there did appear to be enough room for two tents. There is a grated fire pit and a picnic table in the two we did see. As you wander around the lake take a look at the contrast of the evergreens and deciduous trees behind the lake. You are at a vantage point where you can see the difference in colors and it is awesome. The water was really clear as it hadn't rained in a few days but it didn't appear that big fish were not biting as everyone I spoke to only said they were catching a lot of little ones. As you continue over the dam and walk across the little foot bridge (grates) look left down the spillway. There is a lot of debris here and you can imagine the awesome power of water that moved those huge pieces of wood. Walking on around the lake I stumbled upon a couple of more lizards and spotted a duck box, recently put up it appeared, on the far end of the lake. Didn't seem to be much duck activity but maybe I wasn't looking hard enough. Next came Pipsissewa trail then Brissy Ridge. At the trail marker we stopped and had lunch and another breather then chose to do the easier side of Brissy Ridge as energy was beginning to fail a little. Down Brissy Ridge the trail opened up and I did get a couple decent pictures of the vista. These were the only ones I was able to get while on the trails. Down Brissy Ridge we went and were dumped into a parking lot. Saw a nice Subaru WRX (YOHB?) in the parking lot but thought for a minute we had lost the trail. If you feel the same way let me save you a little bit of worry, go diagonally left across the parking lot and you should pick up the Sulpher Springs trail. Wandered down to the next parking lot and kept on going. Down hill we continued, passing a tiny black snake and a bunny. Singing is how we finished the trail off as energy was waning and we needed to keep going. All in all the trail is good, I only gave it a 4 star due to the lack of vista views. I was surprised by the amount of people and would expect this area to be highly trafficked during summer. Take plenty of water. Wear the right shoes. Take snacks. Enjoy the hike.

Clockwise from trailhead. Nice hike. Need this app. Trails are barely marked at all. Got turned around twice. Nice moderate hike though. Full 1/3 elevated trail around the lake. Water crystal clear. No power boats. Minutes from Clemson. If in the area should definitely check it out. About 2 hours around. 5 ish miles.

Rather easy, less than 1000 feet elevation gain trail.
We were here on a weekend , so met some people but it was not crowded.
Beautiful waterfalls.
The whole trail sparkles! You need to witness it in order to understand it.
Be prepared for several water crossings specially in wet season. .

Signs or trail markers would have been super helpful as there are multiple forks. It was pretty though!

Great hike with wonderful views from on top of the wall to below the wall. Good amount of campsites, some with water sources and some without. Only problem is the bears in the area. They will come into your camp and they are accustom to human interaction, so trying to scare them off is a bit more difficult. Just come prepared for bears if you are camping and it should be fine.

Decent views along the trail for a short hike.

hiking
10 days ago

Just hiked to the highest point and back. Great afternoon hike.

Nice trail although the natural bridge doesn’t look that natural.
We camped at devils fork and hike this around mid day, there are some really nice overlooks of the lake.
Enjoy!

I went on this hike with my wife and two younger daughters. We intended to take the trail to the upper falls but strayed right and had to come back after we figured we had gone the wrong way. We eventually made it to the upper falls. I have to say I’m disappointed with this hike as it wasn’t worth the view at the falls. Just our opinion. However, we did the lower falls a few days ago and that one is well worth it. Only .3 miles and the water is much better suited for kids. I’d recommend the lower falls all day any day and will definitely go back during warmer weather with my kids.

Gorgeous trail trail with lots of small waterfalls

This trail was perfectly fine. You have to choose which direction to take several times while signs are there to help about twice. It’s annoying, but not too bad. The upper falls were pretty, but nothing exciting. I would not recommend this because you could find better trails to use your energy on.

Loved it! But...take your phone and this app..markings are very poor and you will get lost. Ran it and it was 5.6 miles per my Garmin watch. Bikers on trail but only a few and were very respectful.
whoopwhoop!
Go runners!

Streams in the way where you cannot cross without waders or getting wet. Trail doesn't look very well-maintained. The incessant dog barking noises indicated that there were hunters nearby.

We had a good time on this hike. It mostly follows logging roads, but it follows near the creek for a lot of the hike and has some pleasant scenery. My daughter and I spotted an owl late in the evening as we were getting close to the end, so that was cool. We really enjoyed the rapids. There are two places where you’ll have to get wet crossing the creek.

backpacking
1 month ago

Through hiked it in 5 days, a lot of elevation change. Not to be taken lightly.

Fun trail! Beautiful lake! I will be making this a regular trail running stop!

The rock ledge overlooking the lake offers some really nice views.

I gave this 3 stars because of the careless dog owners! And the lack of posted leash laws! We have pets and always keep them on a leash! Some people seem to think they are above the rules because it’s a national forest! The rules are posted but in only one place! Not every dog likes every human or other dogs! Two large dogs run up on my little girls with no owner in sight! Not a pretty site! This is really crazy! They could have hurt my dogs or one of us! People need to get with the program or stay home! Forestry people in N.C., you need to enforce your leash laws! Graveyard Feilds has always been one of my favorite places! As of now we will not be returning due to the lack of the lash laws! Some human or their pet is going to end up getting hurt! Remember your dogs aren’t the only pets out there!!! I’m done!

Great winter trail. You can hear the road for the first mile or so but it wasn’t bad. Great winter views and the lake is amazing! Campsites are large and the location is great. Definitely a good workout and lots of climbing. Trail is well maintained and marked.

2 mile walk from gate when it is closed. One small waterfall, one small creek and 2 big creeks each way that I couldn't cross and had to turn around.

Little bit longer than 5 miles. First time walking and the signs were a little bit confusing. Glad I had my phone to make sure I was on the right trail because I probably would have been lost. Took me about 2 hours but I stopped to take pictures. Moderate is a good measurement. Hills, flat grounds, great views. Very light foot traffic but I also went early afternoon on a Friday.

hiking
2 months ago

Loved it. Great views. Perfect intensity for a short 4 miler. Can’t wait to go back and camp there!

have done it end past 2 years. Going again in April

Very nice! The area around the lake was very pleasant. $5/person, many parking areas, well-marked trails.

backpacking
2 months ago

This place is great with multiple campsites along the way. Take every side route because that’s where most of the waterfalls and balds are. The place is beautiful. There is a bald on salt rock that isn’t labeled on any maps I say and it’s a beautiful view must go to that.

This is definitely one of my favorite trails I’ve ever hiked! We did it in 2 1/2 hours with stopping to eat lunch at one of the waterfalls

Great little hike. we brought the dog and she loved it. The bikers live this trail and connecting trails. Lots of beautiful pines, Moss, and rocks. Kinda reminds you of something you would see in the west.

We loved this trail! I definitely recommend taking the loop part counter clock wise, bc the look out is the best treat!

hiking
3 months ago

This is a good trail that has enough up and down to get you sweating if you take it at a quick pace. There are some nice little cascades along the Natural Bridge section. When the trail meets the lake, the views are a bit spoiled by the excessive development on the other side, but once you get to the lookout point, it's absolutely beautiful. Like others, my tracking suggested it was more like 5-ish miles, rather than 4.4.

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