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

hiking
4 days ago

I did this trail on a weekday in early October and it was perfect! I saw only a handful of people so it wasn’t crowded this day. The trail is mainly shaded for the entirety of your journey, although it was still nice and humid. It’s basically a constant incline, featuring lots of rock steps and some just gradual incline. So on the way back you’re at a constant decline which is a nice reward. It’s a pretty long trail but so worth the views. Halfway up the “out” portion of the trail you’ll get your first taste of the views and from there, there were about 3-4 more epic viewpoints. Take lots of water and at least a few decent snacks because the trail is essentially almost 7 miles long in total.

hiking
11 days ago

This is a tough one. Hardest one we've done so far. Bring lots water we ran out coming back down. The views at the end are amazing. There were only a couple of things I didn't care for and neither had to do with the trail. We started at 9:30 and this hike was really busy the whole time. Several people were playing loud music and being loud themselves. It took something away from the experience. I do feel a huge sense of accomplishment though, this one was tough.

beautiful!

hiking
16 days ago

Easily the best hike I’ve done so far in S.C. Plenty challenging with a great payoff at the end.

Great trail. Well marked and easy to follow. Excellent view points over seeing the lake.

hiking
20 days ago

It's been a few years since I hiked this trail, but its a great one. At roughly 700 ft of climbing per mile, it is a tough one but it doesn't take a marathon runner to do it. I did the trail in early September so it was real hot. Do take plenty of water and some food. The trail starts off moderately; then gets steep about 1/2 way up. There is a good overlook at the shelter but it only gets better. You hit a ridge line where you get views facing south that are incredible. After this the hike is not as steep as you hike towards the summit. Once you hit the summit it goes downhill a bit towards the view that overlooks the reservoir. The day I went it was kind of rainy so there was hardly anyone on the back side of the mountain. You can also do a bit of exploring on top of the summit. The backside is facing north and there are not any roads or sounds other than nature. It was really quite serene. I hope to get back and do this hike. I would put this hike in my top 5 in the NC, SC, Ga mountain trails along with Looking Glass Rock hike, Blood Mountain, and Grandfather mountain.

on Carrick Creek Loop

hiking
24 days ago

Tough. 10.4 miles total. Pinnacle to Ridge to Table Rock is the way to go.

Tougher than I expected but was a good workout. Beautiful views along the lake.

One of my favs

Challenging hike. Sometimes All Trails isn't accurate on the level of difficulty, but this was one of the more strenuous ones I've done in SC. At the same time, it's definitely the most beautiful. Lots of waterfalls and wildflowers along the way. The view at Bald Rock was gorgeous. I would suggest starting as early as possible...I started at 7:15am and saw no one on my way up and around 15 people on my way down.

1 month ago

This is by far the most difficult trail I’ve ever done. Going up is basically like 2-2.5 hours of stairmaster. There is a brief reprieve between mile 2.0 - 2.5 and after you reach the summit the last half mile is all downhill on the far side of the summit to the overlook. The hardest part for me was the half mile back to the summit when I started back down the trail from the overlook, probably just because I was so worn out from coming up. The whole trail out and back is 7.2 miles (3.6 each way). There is a lot of visible damage from recent storms, but overall a nice scenic journey. The halfway shelter is so-so, but there is a big boulder just past it that’s perfect for a rest and has A+ views. A little scrambling was required between mile 2.5 and the summit, but nothing tough. Steps have been cut/blasted into some of the steeper rock faces which makes it easy to scale those. The views from the overlook are truly some of the best I have ever seen and really gave me a new respect for the SC upstate area. There were some nice water features on the initial part of the trail also. My legs were complete jelly when I got back to the bottom and my extremities were starting to get swollen and stiff, but it was in the low 80’s and extremely humid. All in all I was glad I did it though, feels like a real accomplishment. I started at 8:30 am on a weekday and didn’t pass a single person all the way up, but did meet a few people on the way down. Seemed like there was minimal park staff around.

VERY strenuous. This hike is a very steep one and you will feel like you’re rock climbing more than hiking at times, especially as you near the end. You will definitely need the two liters of water per person that the state park recommends. I felt the work that the hike required was a bit much for the view at the end. The views were pretty, but I’ve hiked to better overlooks before. I wouldn’t recommend this as a casual hike, but it’s a good one for hiking enthusiasts.

hiking
1 month ago

This was the hardest hike I’ve ever completed. I used to think that the Appalachian Approach Trail was hard. Oh, the bar has been raised. It took me an embarrassing amount of time to reach the 3 mile mark. Perhaps it’s time to increase plyometrics in my workouts.

Follow the advice of bringing plenty of water. Wear grippy shoes, as there are parts of the trail that require you to scramble up boulders. I did this hike in August and didn’t get a single tick on me, which was awesome, considering I forgot the bug spray. Some mosquitoes present but not surprising, given all of the water.

Speaking of which - there are many places to stop and admire the waterfalls that trickle, cascade, and rush down the mountain. If you love waterfalls, this one ticks a lot of boxes.

The geology is beautiful and interesting here too.

The views are gorgeous. I liked the one at Governors Rock the best, though wandering the overlook past the summit was rewarding in different ways.

The plant life at the summit overlook (and Gov’s Rock) is fascinating. I’ve never seen happier moss and lichen. I also spotted a lizard up there, which was odd to me. I didn’t expect to see one.

Very challenging hike. Great views at Bald Knob on the way then its almost straight up the side of Pinnacle Mountain to the summit. No real view from the summit but so worth the challenge. Distance should be about 8.5 miles out and back. You will pass a 4 mile marker well before the summit.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! Watch out for rattlesnakes and bring at least 2L of water!

It's a little steep but well worth the clime.

Walked the two trails on the morning of the 19Aug2018. I started at the Cedar Creek Trailhead, The trail was in decent shape but did need some maintenance. For the most part, the two trails were a good morning hike. You can tell that the trails don’t get much usage. It looked like that some maintenance was done in the early summer. This Preserve is a beautiful area and was well worth the effort in preserving. I really look forward to walking the other trails that are under construction.

This hike is amazing but it’s a tough one. We took some of our students from church. It’s tough and I would recommend not doing it if your out of shape. Do some small trails and build up. It whooped our tail but was amazing. It was raining so the view of terrible once we got up there but it was still decent. It’s strenuous but worth the trip if you can do it

hiking
2 months ago

Loved the rocks, the lake, and all the tree coverage. Would do again. Definitely

hiking
2 months ago

Probably the best hike in the state of South Carolina. Some really cool spots off the beaten path if you know where to look. Make sure you get there early, it does get rather busy.

LOVE this trail!

hiking
2 months ago

Second time on the trail. Did the loop counter clockwise this time and enjoyed it more. Saw. BEAR and CUB scurrying up a tree but watching us closely!!!! Very cool and humbling.

hiking
2 months ago

Such a fun loop! A few places you’ve got to get your feet wet. A little crowded at the trailhead but it opens up as you pass he waterfall. Even a chance to swim in the falls at the end.

on Raven Rock Loop Trail

hiking
2 months ago

I did both loops. Late morning/early afternoon hike, and very few people on trail. There were a few places along the trail where tree branches fell due to recent storms. Forest views with beautiful overlook of lake. Lots of elevation changes.

hiking
2 months ago

Abandoned plan to hike to Table Rock because it seemed to hot for my dog to leave the cooling off creeks behind.
About a third of the way in to Carricks Creek I came around a bend and there was a small black bear right in front of me (about 20 yd), he saw me at the same time and he casually turned around and trotted back direction Carrick Creek
This is a very nice easy loop trail if you want to stay near the water.

hiking
2 months ago

Started around 0800 yesterday morning and had some slippery/muddy trails during the first half mile or so then it dried up. Got to the scenic outlook 2 hrs later. Beautiful views!!! Definitely worth the hike. There were a few tricky parts in places that required hands to climb up but overall it was a lightly strenuous and very rewarding hike. Definitely recommend!!!

Strenuous hike but definitely worth the beautiful views once you reach the top! Feels like you’re on top of the world:)
Like others have mentioned, bring plenty of water to help stay hydrated!
Finished the hike with an immense sense of accomplishment

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