Connecting with nature can be a powerful thing. Many of us seek it out almost instinctively to ease our minds and escape the daily grind of urban life. Hiking, biking, and even walking– the art of simply travelling from one place to another– is one of the most simple and enjoyable ways to get ourselves out there. Over 250 miles of trails wind through South Carolina’s Old 96 District, with striking views and historic landmarks aplenty. With so much ground covered, a trail exists for every type of mover. Here, we’ve compiled a list of “Best Of’s” for every occasion, whether your perfect hike is a tough mountain climb or an easy family outing
Lakeview Trail-Hickory Knob State Resort Park
Length: 6.7 Miles
This is a trail optimized for mountain bikes, but for those who are up to the challenge the reward is oh so sweet. From promontories on the hillsides, experience panoramic views of Lake Thurmond. Because Hickory Knob is the only resort State Park in South Carolina, there’s plenty of places right nearby to crash for the night.
Lake Rabon Park
Length: 2.5 miles round trip
This hike has lots of outdoor activities nearby, including a boat ramp and fishing pier. Eat in a picnic shelter or on the grass by the lake, and take advantage of everything the lake has to offer to make your picnic your own!
Best for Endurance Training
Forks Area Trail System (FATS)
Length: 34 miles total (made up of different loops)
A short trail introduces the terrain of the FATS before splitting into different loops, each a different length ranging from 4 to nearly 7 miles, or 34 miles total. Hikers can pick which loops they feel most equipped for, adding distance as their endurance grows. This system makes it easy to build your chops without having to find several different hiking trails.
Best Town Trail
Ten Governors Rail Trail
Length: 1 mile linear, 2 miles round trip
Starting with a boardwalk over Slade Lake, the Ten Governors trail invites visitors to wander past historic homes and monuments to each of the ten SC governors that hail from Edgefield county.
Best for Plant Lovers
Stevens Creek Heritage Preserve
Length: 1.9 mile loop
A companion to a much longer and more difficult hiking trail, the Stevens Creek Heritage Preserve homes fifteen rare and several endangered flowers and plants. The area’s unique bedrock makes it one of only two places on Earth (the other being the Florida panhandle) the Miccosukee Gooseberry grows natively.
This, naturally, is just a sample of what Old 96 District’s trails have to offer. Between 6 South Carolina State Parks, three lakes, and a national forest, there’s a lot of ground to cover (literally!) Check out the full list and learn more about us here. When the time is right to travel again, we’d love to have you come visit us!