My photo-posting efforts continue to be stymied at all turns, but here’s a follow-up on the new trail report:

  • We’ve improved the trail marking with additional survey tape, and also done a little trail maintenance, so it should be easier to find your way around.
  • Here is a description of how to follow the three segments of new trail.  Obviously you can travel in either direction, and put together whatever route you choose.
  1. Starting at the top of the campground, there is an entry into the woods along Table Rock Road, immediately adjacent to the old farmhouse foundation.  The trail begins with a rise up a steep embankment, then twists through dense forest.  At one point there is an umarked junction with a spur to the powerline right of way.  The marked trail twists around, and exits on the field.
  2. Continue along the edge of the field, and you will find the entry point to the second segment as you get closer to the old barn.  This segment leads through an open, airy stretch of wood, and then through a rhododendron thicket.  The first half of the trail is not well worn, as there is a lush low-growing groundcover blanketing the forest floor.  Please try to stick to the marked trail as best you can so that we wear in a single pathway, and keep that natural groundcover on either side.  This segment ends at the historic cemetery.
  3. There is no particular path recommended for crossing the cemetery.  You can choose the obvious route, but please be very careful about not getting too close to the gravestones.  Bikers probably ought to dismount as you cross the cemetery, to avoid any accidental damage to the stones.  If you explore the area, please be aware that there may be additional stones hidden in the undergrowth.
  4. The existing Snell’s Trace Trail, which connects the cemetery and the picnic shelter, is marked for those trying to connect with the final segment of trail.  Follow the markers along Snell’s Trace until the markers turn off in the direction of the river.  (Coming up from the shelter, you would not see any markers until you reached the junction.) This trail winds through a variety of terrain as you slowly work down towards the river.  The path is uneven, but it is not steep — it is specifically designed to keep a relatively mild grade.  This segment switches back and forth until you reach the river frontage trail.
  5. From the exit of the switchback trail onto the river frontage trail, go upstream to reconnect with the swimming area and the walkway to the picnic shelter and camping area.

Some more general considerations:

The new trail is more difficult than the Snell’s Trace, river frontage, and river walk trails.   The paths are narrow, at times uneven, and contain both visible and not-so-obvious obstacles.  As hiking trails go, these are quite comfortable compared to other trails in the region; but they are true hiking trails.  For mountain biking, these trails are very technical at certain points, though we did make a few modifications recently to improve the ride-through ability.  The average rider should expect to need to dismount once or twice.

These trails are shared with the bears.  As is the whole campground, of course, which is why it is so important to keep food and garbage properly stored.  But do know that there is definite evidence of black bear activity along the new hiking/biking trails, and that you should therefore use the same level of caution as you would hiking anywhere else in the SC mountains.

Please stay on Palmetto Cove Property.  The river frontage trail continues onto our neighbor’s lands in either direction.  These are privately owned homes, and as you can imagine, most people don’t care to have strangers traipsing through their backyards.  The river is a public waterway, but the adjacent land is not. There are concrete boundary stones at either end of the river frontage trail marking where our property ends.  Campers should feel welcome to explore our woods, and to fish, swim, or picnic anywhere along our property, but please stay within the bounds of the campground.  If you are boating or tubing in the river, make plans to enter and exit the river at a public access point, or at some place where the landowner has given you, personally, explicit permission to do so.