Bill Kimball - Coldspring Branch Loop

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Caesars Head State Park

Bill Kimball - Coldspring Branch Loop is a 5.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Cleveland, South Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.2 miles Elevation Gain: 1,351 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

rocky

scramble

hiking
5 days ago

Tough trail! Very rewarding though. Saw some cool rock faces and vista views. Deserving of a hard rating but a good time.

hiking
13 days ago

Great trail! This was our first time hiking this and with a group of five, we made it through successfully. It was a bit strenuous at times but such a beautiful trail. Thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it!

hiking
2 months ago

Intended to hike Raven Cliff Falls but was extremely busy so chose Cold Spring instead. Went right at the fork to stay on Cold Spring and turned back before reaching Bill Kimball (pink) trail. This was a perfect moderate hike of about 4 miles with barely any people, lots of stream crossings and still got plenty of exercise on the uphill back. Great hike may try Bill Kimball another time if we're feeling brave :)

hiking
4 months ago

at times, pink blazes were hard to locate. ascent is steep and narrow

hiking
6 months ago

Good trail but definitely strenuous. Had a lot of up and down parts within the trail. I liked how it crossed the water a few times but it was a tougher hike and took longer than expected. We had to back track at one point because the trail was not marked well but it ended up taking us 3.5 hours to finish and my watch said about 6.5 miles total. Was definitely a hike worth remembering!

Cold springs branch was nice, but Bill Kimball trail was very overgrown in sections and not well marked. Went off the trail on several occasions. Bill Kimball trail was a well deserved hard rating, but managed well with a middle aged dog. Plenty of places available for the dog to to in the water during hot weather.

hiking
muddy
over grown
scramble
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

This trail is definitely strenuous, but scenic with plenty of steam crossings, woodland views, and a large rock face. Funnily enough, my family (husband, 7yo son, 9yo daughter) did this loop on accident thinking it lead somewhere else. We also went counter clockwise which is apparently more difficult. Beware it’s very steep in places. You’ll get a good workout that’s for sure.

hiking
10 months ago

Somewhat strenuous hike with a couple good views and runs along a river.

hiking
10 months ago

Very well marked, the Bill Kimball loop is a little overgrown but passable. My 2 teenage daughters and I went clockwise and it was challenging! Counter clockwise would have been drastically more difficult. Beautiful scenery but no waterfall as advertised. This app says 5.3 miles my gps fitbit said 6.95 miles I'm not sure which is more accurate but it took us 2:30.

hiking
bugs
over grown
10 months ago

I took the advice of another reviewer and went clockwise. I am so thankful! I cannot imagine doing it the opposite way. This is not for the faint of heart. This trail challenged me far more than I anticipated. We have recently had a large number of storms, which could be why it was harder too. There were quite a few downed trees, and the path was overgrown and hard to find at times. You cross the creek a good bit. If we’ve recently had a lot of rain, I could see how crossing it could become very tricky in some places. I fell crossing it and hurt my hand, but it was my own fault - Poor judgement on my part. Don’t go later in the afternoon. It’s a heavily shaded trail, and it got dark very quickly. We lost the trail twice, and thankfully had this app to guide us back onto it. We never passed a single other hiker, so it’s great if you don’t want a heavily trafficked trail. Overall, a great trail, but be sure you are physically up for the challenge.

hiking
11 months ago

My husband and I and our 8 year old hiked this trail in mid-June. Took Bill Kimball out and Coldspring back. Challenging and fun. Lots of ferns overhead to keep the sun off you. Beautiful rock faces in clearings along the way. No lookout views - this is an interior forest hike. Scrambled in some spots and lots of uphill walking but doable for families used to hiking. Trail is in good condition.

11 months ago

HEED THE WARNING, PEOPLES. THIS IS A DIFFICULT TRAIL. Gorgeous views and well worth the strenuous climb. DO NOT LISTEN TO ANYONE WHO SAYS TO TAKE THIS TRAIL LOOP COUNTER CLOCKWISE. I swear these other posts must be pulling our legs! Go down Bill Kimball first and then come back out the Coldspring Branch, so clockwise if you enter from the Coldspring trail head. The climb back out clockwise is a more gentle sloping climb. If you go counter clockwise, you will be climbing straight up a rocky cliff and it is pretty miserable since you are already pretty tired at that point. Again, very beautiful trail and we will definitely be there again, but we will climb down Bill Kimball next time!!!!

hiking
blowdown
over grown
rocky
11 months ago

Great trail, just not for the squeemish

hiking
bugs
over grown
rocky
Thu May 30 2019

DO NOT HIKE UNLESS IN INSANELY GOOD SHAPE AND VERY EXPERIENCED. very rocky, steep, narrow, overgrown with brush. only a 5.2 mile hike and it took me and my friend (we're young and hike pretty often) 3 hours abd it was VERY DIFFICULT. didn't even know if we'd make it back we were so exhausted.

hiking
over grown
rocky
Mon May 27 2019

I would recommend this trail for hikers looking for a challenge. We hike quite a few times a month during the warmer months so we r experienced but this one was difficult. We did it with our kids who are 4 and 7. But before you jump to the conclusion that we shouldn’t have put our kids on a hard trail, we have done many in the past and our girls can run trails that are considered moderate level. But this one is different. There is about 30 minutes of bear crawling on all four to make it up the rocks without sliding. I can’t imagine it being passable with a pet or kids not used to hiking. My girls were able to hike the entire 5.2 miles with only my 4 yr old being carried a short distance. So definitely heave the warnings of a tough hike. But otherwise well marked the majority of the way and good fun.

hiking
over grown
rocky
Sat Apr 27 2019

hiking
Mon Apr 15 2019

LOVED this trail! We randomly chose to do Bill Kimball trail first so we descended down that trail, and we're glad we made that choice! With no dogs or no kids, it was not too bad and absolutely magical. it is a bit slippery so wear good shoes. we took Coldspring branch up, the ascent is not that bad at all, and gorgeous scenery to reward you along the way. trails are well-marked with colors representing the trails, so you don't get lost! Enjoy!

hiking
Mon Jan 07 2019

Wow! We parked at the lot for Raven Cliff Falls as we intended on doing that hike. It was a busy day so we took a less populated trail instead. We consulted the park map and decided on Cold Spring Branch trail (orange blazes) to Bill Kimball trail (pink blazes). Cold Spring was beautiful - hilly in spots but filled with a gorgeous stream and mini waterfalls, along with huge Rhodedendrums (I think?). We had a tough time crossing the creek a few times as the trail crossed it but it was very fast and full. The Bill Kimball trail is ROUGH if you come at it uphill. We had our Golen Retriever with us and at a few spots my husband had to use his harness to lift him onto the rocks we were climbing on and traversing. Very cool rock face and an amazing trail overall. But lets just say you will definitely have earned your pizza and beer at the end of the day :)!

hiking
Mon Oct 01 2018

We did this starting Coldspring going counter clockwise. I am glad we did because we were able to make the ascent up Kimball instead if climbing down. We took our Walker hound with us and she did great- she was tired as were we- had to give her a hoist one time up a rock. This would be difficult Trail for a smaller dog as one reviewer has already mentioned. Trail was marked well except one point it followed a creed bed and I thought we were going to have to back track. I would do this Trail again which is my highest compliment. It was very strenuous, but worth it.

Fri Jul 20 2018

I took my 2 dogs on a Sunday and saw no humans for the first 3 hours. Unfortunately, I got lost, and ended up on some sort of road, passed a house, heard 276 traffic and knew I was near civilization. Thankfully, I had plenty of water. Got to the hwy. and then had to try to figure out which way to Raven Falls parking lot, yes, I had no paper guides and just tried to use common sense, following the sun. I was struggling with the walk toward my car, as the road is very busy, and the narrow shoulders were scary. Finally, I figured I'd better save down a car, which I did and a very sweet guy stopped, said Yes, we WERE heading in correct direction, about 3/4 of a mile ahead. At first I turned down the ride he (and 4 other men) offered, then thought I'd certainly better take him up on that ride, as walking the road was treacherous. Got safely to car. Unlocked vehicle, DEAD BATTERY! So, I waited. 2 other cars were parked there. Mind you, it was no 7:30, park closing at 8. A nice solo hiker and his dog appeared and he kindly jumped my car, and my dead battery came on, whew. Forgot to mention, that, of course, NO cell service going on here... Let me make a suggestion, too, that the trail blazers NOT be red and orange, so close together, makes for some confusion. We were hopelessly lost for a good while. I DID see 3 hikers on trail, after the initial beginning where several folks were around, but for most part, my 15 lb rat terrier, and 55 lb mixed-breed Norwegian Elk Hound had the forest to ourselves. Passing by the Lieutenant sheer rock faces was beautiful and, surprisingly, the dogs navigated those rocks well. I suggest having paper guides on hand. I won't go in those woods again without them, as it's way too easy to lose your way. I am in decent shape, but, seriously, I was starting to wonder if I could keep going. My legs began feeling like rubber, it was wild.

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