Hiking Table Rock (Pickens, SC)

Table Rock is the first major trail that I hiked in South Carolina. It’s located in the the north westernmost part of the state and is about a 4 hour drive from where I live. The trail is highly rated in my guidebook (Falcon’s Hiking South Carolina) and on National Geographic’s co-branded website AllTrails.com.

My friends Merci and Jasmine wanted to explore the area, so one weekend we decided to drive up to Greenville. We stayed overnight and arrived at Table Rock’s ranger station around 11 in the morning. Parking was only a few dollars and the ranger area is well-developed.

Before we started our trek upwards, we signed in and had our picture taken:

Immediately after signing in, there were a few small waterfalls to climb around. This area was surrounded by a wooden patio. It was perfect for beginning and ending our hike.

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After the falls, the trail immediately started gaining elevation. My friend’s dog Max was eager to be out and dragged us upward at a rapid pace. He was a very dedicated member of our group. As you see, the boulders were huge:

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Occasionally, there were breaks in the trees and you could see out for miles. The day we hiked was overcast and about 75 degrees. Perfect for hiking and keeping cool.

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Max brought whomever was handling his leash into warpdrive. Upon grabbing him, my pace increased at least 500 mph.

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The trail was well put together and heavily traveled. We passed a couple dozen hikers on our way up. Some of the more difficult terrain involved us climbing on our hands and knees. There were a few places we had to watch our footing to avoid sliding down the rock faces. It was interesting trying to get through these spots with a dog. Sometimes Max would climb half way up a rock and decide that he wanted to go back down. This was interesting for whomever was holding his leash.

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When I look at this picture, I head Max saying “Are you done resting yet humans? Jeez, we’ve still got a long way to go!”.

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Not only was the trail fun to hike, there was always stuff around us to climb and explore.IMG_0888

Max still isn’t tired. But he does look a little content.

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As we got closer to the peak, there were more openings. This part was named “Governor’s Rock”. The grass / brush the grew through the rock was really comfortable. On a hot day, I would have been happy to stop and relax at this spot.

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Alas, the trail called and Max wanted to move on.

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We reached the Table Rock Summit around 1 in the afternoon. Which meant that it took around 3 hours to climb. When we reach the marker, we stopped and asked another hiker to take our picture:

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After the sign, the trees opened up and the expansiveness of where we were became apparent. We could see miles ahead. For someone who grew up on flat land, this was amazing.

IMG_0959IMG_0966We reached the end of the line when we ran into a pile of other hikers. Everyone was laying around enjoying the view. The sun was blocked by the clouds and the air was perfect. Some of the other hikers threw hammocks on the trees and others ate lunch. We arrived and relaxed. Here’s a picture of Merci and Max enjoying the summit:

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We spent some time climbing around the rocks. There wasn’t a lot of room but we explored the area as much as we could. Here’s a few more pictures of the view.

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The hike down was much more rapid. Overall, the trip was around 4 hours and about 7 miles long. When we reached the trailhead, we enjoyed the waterfall again:

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This was my first major hike in South Carolina and I’d repeat it in a heartbeat. The views were amazing, the trail was well-built, and the experience was awesome. Going with a group of friends made the trek more exciting and I enjoyed going back through the pictures. If you liked this trip and you want to see more, there’s links below. I just started a Snapchat, so if you want, add me @idreamtowakeup. I’m new but I’m posting a lot. Send a snap and say hi!

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