Explore the most popular camping trails in South Carolina with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Climbed Table Rock 3/16. Good and strenuous climb. Nice weather day

Trail is well marked, easy to follow and well maintained. The views are amazing, and plenty of places to stop and enjoy the views.

The reward at the end is definitely worth the hike! My children (ages 6-13) and I completed this in November. I would give this a "moderate" instead of difficult rating for anyone who hikes even as little as bi-monthly.

Very hard not an easy trek for beginners

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

Not as hard as you might think. Pick a nice clear day to enjoy the views. Great trail.

Great hike. Dogs and humans enjoyed it very much!

Two years ago- went in late March
Hike the the suspension bridge is moderate with some navigating over huge rocks on the trail. The bride is fun but going down the ladders that are directly beyond the bridge now that’s fun. Face to the mud, narrow trail to place my rather long feet- hey no sweat! Maybe a little. After the bridge we went down down down.. then came the Cathedral Wall. which was releasing chunks of ice upon our heads. If the ice inland melted off the cathedral wall or be prepared to deal with icy slippery conditions - had to inch our way across the wall or army crawl on a downward ice covered hill.
I’m too old for this!
Followed the pink trail to the bottom the shimmy cables were out at the bottom so we rock hopped across the river, well I hopped and slipped got a tad wet. THEN the dismal trail was exactly that DISMAL, I swear my life flashed before my eyes because when that sun dipped behind the tress it got dark fast.
Then my hip flexors stopped working. Yep sat on the dark for 3 hours until Wren and the crew showed up! The guy they call Mule, he was carrying a large plastic boat or stretcher wanted to take me back down to the river where I had recently baptized myself. I just couldn’t do it. So the whole crew just walked with me one miserable step at a time ALL THE WAY OUT, took 3 hours, I should have jumped in Mules boat!
Anyway- make sure your hips and knees are piled up- it’s not for those of us who spend too much time sitting at a desk
BY THE WAY- I thought Dismal was closed, like gone washed away. Anyone know for certain that it’s open?
UPDATE: I left my office job joined the gym and I know I won’t be needing Mules help in the future. Nice big bearded fella tho- and if your offered a ride in his boat, #justdoit.

My dad and I did this hike today. We took others’ advice and did the blue to pink to purple, but honestly next time I’d probably go the opposite! I agree with other hikers- dog friendly, but the three ladders could be an issue-only one was for us (we had to hoist up the heavy fur child for one as it was too steep for her to even go around). Otherwise, an awesome hike. Worth the time. For my dad and I (my dad is 65) we still completed in just over 5 hours and we took plenty of breaks. Do it!

Very nice hike. Look forward to seeing it in the late spring.

Great hike, take snacks and plenty of water! Took us just shy of five hours but we stopped at the bottom for a lunch break. This is major workout and your muscles will feel it the next day. I stopped at the visitor center and bought an "I survived dismal loop" t-shirt!

Wonderful walk

uphill almost the entire way with some rock scrambling ... great hike with amazing views!

Easy for its length. Not even bad in the rain. Not the most entertaining hike though

I’d like to give this trail a 3.5. It was a great trail and a fun adventure but it was REALLY muddy. But we still had a great time! Our dogs did too!

My dog and I set out on this trail with no real clue what we were getting ourselves into besides the warning sign at the trail head. If you are NOT in decent shape, don’t have on hiking shoes/boots or don’t have a will power to push you through; I would try another trail first. It’s views are amazing and totally worth it, but be ready for steep inclines and rapid descents. The trail has three ladders (for you dog people), several skinny points and some wide points as well. Hide sight I would recommend going red to blue to pink to purple then back to red. It’s a burner but worth it! Fitbit stats: 24,411 steps, 11.8 miles, 256 stair cases, 3400 calories, 3:15 hours.

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.

The trail was demanding but rewarding from the view

This park is a great alternative to crowders mtn, which can become very crowded on certain days. I’ve never done the whole loop but the portion that I do is one of my favorites in the area. I start out at the equestrian parking lot and pick up the trail from there. If you have dogs they will love this trail since it follows a creek for a couple miles before splitting away from it. Just be cautious of the snakes in the warmer months. I encountered 3 harmless black snakes but also 2 water moccasins in the time I spent on the hike (about 5 miles) so if your dogs have “choosey” listening skills and are as curious as mine are, it might be better to keep them on a leash in spring and summer. Other than that, the trail is really nice and the water is always cool in the summer which is something my furry buds appreciate.

28 days ago

It is not as bad as you think but it is totally worth it

29 days ago

Would not suggest for first time hikers. Beautiful small waterfalls, and the top of Table Rock was well worth the workout. 10/10

29 days ago

This trail includes sections of the Coquina, Hilltop, Laurel, as well as the named Knot and Splice Trails. Hiked it during the winter in February; might be a better spring hike when everything is in bloom.

A lot of steep climbs. Very, very strenuous. I enjoyed several small water cascades, giant boulder formations and other interesting things from nature, along with some great overlook views. Highly recommend this hike.

Great trail! Very challenging especially when going back up. bring plenty of water and a snack or two to keep you going

This is a great trail and wonderful falls. The road back to the trailhead is dirt, but well graded. Make sure you look for the trailhead sign when you park as there are several places that look like they could be the trailhead. We got a great surprise when we ended up down by the river. We will definitely go back when the weather is warmer so we can enjoy the river. We saw kayakers on the river. Make sure you go all the way to the falls. Once you get down by the river, you need to look for the trail that leads back to the falls. It is a fairly steep climb back up from the river, but the rest of the trail is a nice hike.

1 month 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

This is not a loop!
If it is, the trail is now heavily obscured by downed trees and growth. It looks like the loop was meant to head back north at Secret Falls, but I could not find the trail. I recorded and loaded our trip as Winding Stairs Trail which maybe you can find and compare.
Still, this is a nice trail with three waterfalls, Upper and Lower Miuka, and Secret Falls. You do have to go off trail for the falls and this can be difficult.
3.6 down and 3.6 back up, never too steep unless you're off trail.
You could also start from the bottom at Cheohee Road, or do a shuttle.

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