The South Carolina Mountains
This summer, cool off and climb a little closer to heaven. Take in the fabulous mountain scenery of Upstate South Carolina while you breathe deep the refreshing mountain air. Do some trout fishing. Take a hike. Visit darling Travelers Rest on US 276 for lunch along the way. 130 miles away (2 – 2.5 hours) via I-26, I-385 and US 276.
Travelers Rest Lunch: The Cafe at Williams Hardware: Sample their Southern cuisine with hints of the delightfully unexpected, then browse their upscale gift shop. Open for lunch Sunday – Thursday 11am – 3pm and Friday and Saturday 11am – 4pm 13 South Main St., TR | 864.834.7888
Travelers Rest Lunch: Hungry Drover: Local farm fresh foods, local dairy, and homemade BBQ. Menu has a southern influence, with daily specials of soup, a seasonal featured deep dish, and BBQ. They also sell work by local artisans – everything from pottery to woodworking. Open Tues – Thurs 8am – 2pm; Fri 8am – 2pm and 5pm – 7:30pm and Sat 7:30am – 12pm. 2601 Tigerville Rd, TR | 864.834.4707
Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area: Caesars Head State Park connects to Jones Gap State Park in what is known as the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, an 11,000-acre area of pristine southern mountain forest.
Caesars Head State Park: For the view: If you’re not in the mood to hike, this is a great park to visit for an easily accessible panoramic view that extends from North Carolina to Georgia (see photo right). Park your car towards the far end of the parking lot past the visitors center. Take an easy walk to an observation outcropping, complete with complimentary viewing binoculars. Picnic tables. Free admission. Open 9am – 9pm, daily during daylight saving time. 9am-6pm, daily, the remainder of the year. 8155 Geer Hwy (US 276) | Cleveland, SC 29635 | 864.836.6115
Jones Gap State Park: For the fishing: Enjoy fishing in the Middle Saluda, Matthews and Julian creeks for brook, rainbow and brown trout. The state’s first designated scenic river, the Middle Saluda River, runs through the park and offers some of the best trout fishing South Carolina has to offer. Picnic tables. Admission $5 adults / $3.25 Seniors 65+ Open 9am-9pm, daily, during daylight savings time and 9am-6pm, daily, the remainder of the year. 303 Jones Gap RD | Marietta, SC 29661 | 864.836.3647
For a Hike: One of the most popular trails at Caesars Head is the two-mile Raven Cliff Falls trail. This hiking trail leads to 420-foot Raven Cliff Falls, where a suspension bridge offers one of the two publicly accessible overlooks to the falls as they plunge deep into the mountain cove below. Trails close one hour before dark, year round. Register with the park ranger at Caesars Head or Jones Gap park office to take a hike – you pay $2 per person to hike the trails and are provided a trail map. Trails range from easy to strenuous and from under a mile to 10 miles in length.