Searching for the Palmetto Trail




The Palmetto Trail (not to be confused with the Foothills Trail) is the South Carolina equivalent of North Carolina's Mountains to Sea Trail. When it's completed it will stretch from the Northwest portion of the state to the Low Country.  Currently only a few sections are completed.

Today I decided to check out one section called the Blue Wall Passage. The entire section is 14 miles so my plan was to hike half of it as an in-and-out today and then hit the other section in a couple weeks.  So I drove to the quaint town of Landrum, where, according to the Palmetto Trail website, there is a large kiosk in the center of town where one can park. Turns out, there is not. Nor are their any signs showing where the trail is.  Fortunately I had printed out the map they have on their website (there isn't one for purchase yet) but I quickly discovered that most of the trail in this section isn't really a trail yet. It's just a walk down the road. 

So from there I decided to drive to another trailhead that is located at the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (F.E.N.C.E) which is a really cool place if you're into horses.  Although not well marked I was able to find the trailhead located here.

From there I followed the trail until it came to what they call a pond. (Most of it was dried up but there are several boardwalks that stretch out through what is currently dry land that are kind of interesting looking.) Unfortunately the Palmetto Trail is no longer marked, so I wandered about the property a bit which has a lot of interesting things to see other than the dried up pond.

Eventually I figured out that the trail actually exits through the F.EN.C.E entrance and turns left down the road.  100 yards or so later it cuts left back up through the woods. So I took that trail about a half mile or so until it came back out to another road. From that point forward it follows a couple of roads back to Landrum but from what I can tell never enters the woods again for several miles.

On one of the roads someone had painted the image to the right, several times. I'm not sure what it was supposed to mean but it made me really hungry for fish and chips. Fortuantely, the Palmetto Trail runs right past an English style pub called The Hare and the Hound, located in the center of downtown Landrum. 

After leaving Landrum I decided to see what else I could find so I headed toward Tryon and then on to Saluda where I stumbled upon a campground at Vaughn's Gap. Vaughn's gap is the western terminus of the Blue Wall Passage of the Palmetto trail. So next time I plan to go from there. In addition the eastern terminus of the Poinsett section of the trail can also be accessed from there. This parking area is located somewhere close to here. (Look for a small RV campground.)




Distance from downtown Greenville: 45 miles.



1 comments:

John Blanton said...

I love hiking, and the trails where I"m from in Asheville are just as good as the ones you're writing about!