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Parson's Mountain Lake and Lookout Tower

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Long Cane Scenic Area

Parson's Mountain Lake and Lookout Tower is a 4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Abbeville, South Carolina that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 4.0 miles Elevation Gain: 498 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

over grown

Note: As of Dec 02, 2019, users have reported that this trail has not been maintained and there are temporary closures in this area. Please consult the park's website before visiting. The trail begins from the campground, which has a small fishing lake. Within the campground is a convenience center with bathrooms and showers. Also on site are trashcans and water pumps. In each campsite is a fire ring with a partial grill cover.

hiking
over grown
1 month ago

The lake is very pretty but the trail is horribly maintained. It could be a 5 out of 5 trail if they would keep it up

hiking
2 months ago

Has the trail been cleared?

hiking
2 months ago

Due to parks being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the gate into Parson’s Mountain is closed. However, you can still access Parson’s Mountain by two trails that lead into it via the Long Cane Trail. The easiest access is just down the road from the main gate into Parson’s Mountain. Turn onto Parson’s Road off of Cedar Springs Road. Drive exactly 0.6 mile. You will see a yellow horse crossing sign first. Slow down and look for a red gate on your left. Park at the gate. The trail is a few feet up the road. Take this trail for 1/2 mile and it will lead you directly to the lake. Take the road to the boat ramp and the trail to the tower is just a few feet away. Be careful on this trail. There is a tree down so you will have to veer off the trail a few feet. The second way to access the trail in Parson’s Mountain is again using part of the Long Cane Trail. Set your GPS to take you to Candy Branch Rifle Range. As you turn onto Candy Branch Road off of Cedar Springs Road, look for the trail on the right just a few yards down the road. Park and use this trail that will lead you into Parson’s Mountain. I love this trail! One of my favorite sections of the LC trail. After taking this trail in, you may not want to do the PM trail because the view of the lake is enticing to just sit and stay a while before journeying back to your vehicle. Happy trails!

hiking
closed
7 months ago

Trail is closed

off trail
over grown
7 months ago

You'll definitely need the Alltrails map, as the trail was not at all visible through most of the route. As most people mentioned, it's clear the trail is not at all maintained due to lack of funding. However, if you're up for a beautiful adventure, it's worth the journey...

hiking
off trail
rocky
8 months ago

This could be such a great trail, but no one maintains it. If you begin at the boat ramp there are a minimum of 5 downed trees within the first 200yds. If you can get over or around them the trail that leads to the mines and the look out tower are Not marked, but relatively easy to follow. The last few hundred yards (after crossing road) up hill to the sites also has downed trees. If you follow trail around the lake there are downed trees and very limited trail markings...the trail could be great if the USPS would tend to it.

Mon May 27 2019

trail needs some attention.

hiking
Wed May 15 2019

Trail hasn’t been maintained and after the first 2-300 yards, had to turn around. Was very disappointed to be paying for entrance to the park.

Mon Nov 19 2018

The park is not maintained due to lack of funding. I was with a group of people that have been here before and knew how to navigate the trail to the fire lookout and gold mines. I do not recommend going by yourself and should go with someone who has used the trail prior.

Mon Aug 27 2018

parts of trail impassable. lake is pretty. trail from boat ramp to mine is very good and easy. campsite is nice and facilities.

Wed May 09 2018

Granted it just opened for the season six days ago, but the trail that starts at the main picnic area and goes to the right is very challenging to follow. Several fallen trees requiring going off trail and trying to find your way back. Normally not a deal, but the trail is so subtle and overgrown that I had to use the All Trails app to navigate. Easy hike, but not easy to stay on. Once I connected to the trail that takes you to the boat ramp or fire tower, I was good.

Thu Aug 17 2017

In the area on business and found this trail on the AllTrails app. I found it to be clearly marked and in reasonably good shape. There were fallen trees periodically. I made it to the fire tower only to find it fenced and locked. That would have been the payoff. Bring bug spray and give it a chance.

Thu Aug 17 2017

haven't been in years but grow up there mean good memories love that place

Fri Jul 28 2017

I agree needs work, but me and the family still had a great time .

hiking
Sun Sep 04 2016

I see there has not been a review for 2 years. I figure I'd give an update. Well, it can't be a good one. The trail is still in need of maintenance. Not just because of down'd trees, but there are so few markers and no signs leading hikers to the tower at the top, which you cannot go up into. We got turned about along with others, but found our way eventually. (Go where the arrows tell you! The trail around the pound/lake is currently impassable due to over-growth of tall thick reed grass. There were signs of wild hogs in the grass, but saw no actual hogs. The area was quiet however without a lot of people on the trail. Just needs better signs and some tender loving care.

hiking
Wed Aug 06 2014

The mines are kind of interesting and the tower is cool. The swimming spot is nice too. My family and I also went camping there and it was really nice. I love the park, but the trail is not my favorite part.

hiking
Thu May 08 2014

Nice little hike, but the trail needs some maintenance. At one stream crossing, the bridge is washed out and hikers need to figure out their own way across. Some trail markers are difficult to see. The old gold mines are interesting.

hiking
Thu Jun 09 2011

Hiked this with my 10 year old daughter in April 2011. Only saw 1 other couple on the trail 50 yards in then never again. Trail was in pretty good shape just had to scramble over a couple of down trees. The abandoned gold mines were intriguing and worth the hike itself. The firetower at the top of the "mountain" was present but there was no toilet/portolet like the guidebooks said. Also no view, although if it had been winter the view might have better.

hiking
2 months ago

Sat Apr 22 2017

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