Yesterday we drove up to the beautiful South Carolina mountains for a little fresh air and hiking. Looking for something new, I found the Eastatoe Creek Trail, situated between Table Rock State Park and Lake Jocassee.
This trail drops down into the Eastatoe Creek Gorge, which is noted for its tropical-style microclimate and interesting foliage, including one fern that grows nowhere else in North America.
We arrived at the parking area before 2 pm, with clear skies and low 70s. Perfect for a hike. We loaded our one-year-old into the backpack, and hit the trail. It didn’t take long for me to lament leaving my hiking stick at home, but I found a halfway-decent stick to use for the trip.
The trail is a leisurely up-and-down for about a mile, then it starts dropping quickly to the bottom of the gorge, 500 feet lower. I’d say we descended about 350 of those feet, down makeshift stairs and around switchbacks, when we came to a tricky area. The trail itself became fairly narrow, and the drop-off steep. Soon thereafter we came to a spot where several large trees had fallen down the upper slope and completely blocked the trail. Normally I would’ve just tried to climb over them, but I was leery about doing this with a baby on my back.
I’m not sure how close we got to the end of the trail, but we decided to turn around at that point. Despite not seeing everything, we had an enjoyable hike and a good workout. Next time I’ll bring a chainsaw. :)