Hikers: Please register at the trailhead kiosk or Nature Center at 620 Table Rock State Park Rd., Pickens, SC. Fill out one card per group. Hikers must be off trails before sunset. Camping is prohibited within the park trail system. Park gates lock each night. Please keep dogs on a 6-ft. maximum length leash at all times.
Overnight Parking for Foothills Trail/Palmetto Trail
Hikers must display a valid parking permit on cars parked overnight. The permit may be purchased at the Visitors Center during normal business hours. Foothills Trail hikers permitted to camp after trail blaze turns from yellow/white to WHITE ONLY.
The extensive trail system leads hikers by streams, waterfalls and scenic views along the way to the top of Table Rock and Pinnacle mountains. When hiking the trails, you enter the natural habitat of wildlife. Please respect all animals and plants by not disturbing them in any way. Local wildlife includes black bear, white-tailed deer, raccoon, gray fox, bobcat, wild turkey and many other species of smaller mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Stay on the trail avoiding shortcuts to prevent erosion and the risk of injury.
Length: 1.9 mile loop
Description: This trail is marked with purple blazes and offers a bit of history, great views of the mountain, and a family friendly alternative to hiking up the steeper mountain trails. The Civil Conservation Corps started this trail in the mid-1930's and the loop was completed in 2011. The east section around Pinnacle Lake is .75 mile and begins near the boat house and leads hikers past an old stone boat landing, below the historic Lodge, and by the dam and spillway, all of which the CCC constructed. A small parking area serves as an optional trail access at the dam. The trail drops down below the spillway to where a bridge crosses the creek. From the bridge, the newest section around the west side of the lake is more level and leads .8 mile to the parking area near the picnic shelters. The walk between the two main trail heads located at the shelters and the boat house is .3 mile and passes through the main day use parking area and by the swimming beach to complete the entire loop. Completing a hiking registration card is not necessary for this trail.
Carrick Creek Trail
Length: 2 mile loop
Type: Hiking Trail
Description: This 2 mile trail loop provides some breathtaking views of Table Rock State Park. A circuit of the Carrick Creek Trail will take you about one hour to complete, and is clearly marked with green blazes on tree trunks throughout the trail. You begin your hike at an elevation of 1,160 feet at the Nature Center, and rise to 1,520 feet with numerous views of cascading waterfalls as you pass through a forest that includes a dominant oak-hickory forest, scattered pines, and hemlock. An observation deck less than 100 yards up the trail at Carrick Creek Falls allows outdoor enthusiasts to be a part of the great South Carolina outdoors.
Mill Creek Pass Trail
Length: 0.6 miles
Type: Hiking Trail
Description:Mill Creek Pass does not begin at the Nature Center. It is a connector trail linking Pinnacle Mountain Trail with the Ridge Trail. If you ascend Pinnacle Mountain Trail a half mile above the spur trail to Mill Creek Falls, you can turn right and follow Mill Creek Pass to Ridge Trail. Follow blue blazes as you wind through rhododendron thickets on this lightly traveled path. You will intersect with Ridge Trail about midway between Pinnacle Mountain summit and Table Rock Trail. You can turn left at the junction and climb to the summit or go right and hike one mile to the next intersection from which you can access Table Rock Mountain or return back to the Nature Center. Mill Creek Pass provides hikers with various options for longer loop treks using Pinnacle Mountain, Ridge, and Table Rock Trails.
Pinnacle Mountain Trail
Length: 4.2 miles one way
Type: Hiking Trail
Difficulty: Very Strenuous
Description: You will follow yellow blazes on this less trodden trail with several creek crossings and small footbridges amid the hardwoods and rhododendron that line the steep mountain slopes. The Foothills Trail follows the same route indicated by white blazes.You will encounter a small waterfall to the right and pass beneath a giant rock ledge, before you reach the junction of a 0.4 mile spur trail that leads to Mill Creek Falls. The spur ends at a wooden bridge where you can view the falls. Return to the junction and continue towards Bald Knob Overlook. After a steep ascension, the trail levels and joins the Mill Creek Trail. Continue hiking uphill to the huge sloping Bald Knob outcrop. Your reward is the view as you look out over the distant mountains to see Greenville and beyond. To continue to Pinnacle Mountain, walk uphill to the top of the outcrop and turn right into the forest. At 4 miles, the Foothills Trail will branch off sharply to the left marked by white blazes only. Going straight, you will ascend steeply to the tree-enclosed apex of Pinnacle Mountain. You can return the way you came, or follow the less strenuous, wooded Ridge Trail, to the Table Rock Trail and back to the Nature Center.
Length: 1.9 miles
Type: Hiking Trail connecting Pinnacle Mountain and Table Rock Trails
Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous
Description: The Ridge Trail does not begin at the Nature Center as it is a connector trail linking Pinnacle Mountain summit to the Table Rock Trail. If you ascend Pinnacle Mountain Trail to the summit, the Ridge Trail offers an alternate descent. Follow the orange blazes along the winding, narrow path for a quiet walk along this less used trail. Reaching the summit of Pinnacle Mountain is .2 mile shorter going up Table Rock Trail to the Ridge Trail but it involves many more staircases along the way. About half way along the Ridge Trail you will see Mill Creek Pass Trail that connects to the Pinnacle Mountain Trail at 3 miles from the Nature Center.
Table Rock Trail
Length: 3.6 miles one way
Difficulty: Very Strenuous
Description: The red blazed, 3.6-mile Table Rock Trail is a very rugged hike within the scenic and popular Table Rock State Park in the northwest corner of South Carolina. There are over 12 miles of trails in the park, but only the Table Rock National Recreation Trail ascends 2,000 feet to the summit of the imposing granite dome, Table Rock Mountain (3,124 feet). The hike begins at the Nature Center and ascends steeply through an open forest strewn with boulders. Along the way, you will see vegetation typical of the Southern Appalachians: dominant oak and hickory trees with scattered pines and hemlock. As you might guess, the strenuous hike offers the reward of spectacular views from the higher rock outcrops.