hiking

views

forest

walking

waterfall

birding

nature trips

wild flowers

wildlife

dogs on leash

trail running

river

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.

If you stick to the trail, this is a moderate but do-able hike. But, as mentioned, there are many places where the trail breaks off and if you lose the main trail following the river (like I did), it is EXTREMELY strenuous getting back. Stick to the main trail (purple tree markers) and you're in for a great hike. Challenging, but the payoff of reaching the falls is worth it.

Great trail! Easily marked, went left down Dismal which was steep and a pretty challenging descent, and up Natureland trust, which was a tough steady incline. Came across multiple downed trees blocking the trail which made some scrambling necessary. Great trail, about 9 miles on our devices

Great and challenging trail, but because of Irma, there are many large and even more small trees down. It was most challenging on the Pink #14 Natureland Trust trail. We lost the trail several times because the downed tree had the blaze or the trail was completely obscured. We never encountered the cable crossing - but we did cross one creek by walking across a downed tree - perhaps that had been it. Still a fun hike, but the downed trees increase the difficulty.

Good hike for exercise but no good lookouts / vantage points along the trail. First 2-3 miles were technical and fun but the remainder of the hike was lackluster.

Took about 6 hours to complete, which included a quick dip in the river and lunch.

It's only an overlook of the waterfall and it's pretty far away so can't exactly enjoy it. The trail however is nice and pretty easy. This trail I'd heavily trafficked.

Lots of people and families on this trail on a beautiful Saturday in September. A good bit of up and down but nothing overly strenuous. There are stairs in several areas and a man made shelter and deck at the end. The view of the falls were beautiful.

One of my favorite trails. I've done it many times. It's hard but very adventurous. It's usually closed but.... nothing dangerous. I take my dogs..just be prepared to carry them down a latter.

My husband and I hiked to the end of the Gum Gap Foothills Trail with our puppy and camped overnight. Great camping spot with a fire pit right next to Matthews Creek. Reconnected to Naturaland Trust Trail in the morning and up the Dismal Trail to Raven Cliff Falls Trail where we started. There are some great spots on these trails that are for the true adventurers. With the hike totaling more than 9 miles with all our camping gear and the dog, it definitely put our abilities to the test. We will definitely be back!

This trail was actually 8.8 miles from the overflow parking lot not the 7.5 miles as listed. Lovely waterfalls, 4 ladder climbs, and a swinging bridge. Unfortunately there was a lot of trash on this trail left by disrespectful ppl of nature all along the trails. We suggest to take the blue mark trail turning right, then the pink marked trail to the purple ascending trail back to the red unlike some of the other suggestions to go left. The trail is located across from the parking lot and isn't marked very clear FYI. This trail offers everything that I look for in a hike and I highly recommend it for the highly skilled trekker definitely not a walk in the park. Be sure to wear good boots because your in for ride.

Parts of this trail are pretty steep; need to use hands to get over bigger rocks. I would not recommend baby wearing or taking kids younger than 5 or 6 on this trail. The trail breaks off at several places, and sometimes it's hard to know which is the path (purple markings on trees). We took a detour to the base of the falls and it was narrow and steep, but beautiful. There are little pools of water at the falls for wading- a perfect spot for a rest and snack. Will do again for sure.

The first part on the Blue markers was great...
The yellow marker trail was a poorly designed trail, and easy to lose your way. The trail was not well taken care of with lots of thorns, brush, and low hanging branches as well as drainage issues throughout its travel. It was also lacking in lookouts when you reach the strenuous hike to the top of the ridge. I would advise to avoid yellow trail in JGSP.
Notes: Actual miles was close to 11 miles. 7 hours hike with children.