Table Rock Trail In South Carolina

Here is everything you need to know about the Table Rock Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: South Carolina
  • Length: 9 miles.
  • Type: Hiking
  • Surface: dirt
  • Managed By: U.S. Forest Service
  • Permit Required?: Yes.
  • Website:

The Table Rock Trail holds a significant place in the history of the region, with its origins dating back to the early 19th century. The trail is located in the picturesque Table Rock State Park, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of South Carolina. Originally inhabited by Native American tribes, the area surrounding the trail witnessed the arrival of European settlers in the late 18th century.

During the early 1800s, the Table Rock Trail gained prominence as a vital transportation route for settlers and traders. It served as a crucial link between the Upstate region and the Lowcountry, facilitating the movement of goods and people. The trail was primarily used by pioneers and farmers who sought to transport their produce, livestock, and other supplies to markets in Charleston and other coastal towns.

As the demand for timber increased in the mid-19th century, the Table Rock Trail played a pivotal role in the logging industry. Lumberjacks and loggers utilized the trail to transport massive logs down the mountains to nearby sawmills. The trail’s rugged terrain and steep slopes posed numerous challenges, requiring skilled workers and specialized equipment to navigate the treacherous path.

Over time, the Table Rock Trail evolved from a utilitarian route to a popular recreational destination. In the early 20th century, the state of South Carolina recognized the natural beauty and historical significance of the area, leading to the establishment of Table Rock State Park in 1935. The park’s creation aimed to preserve the unique ecosystem and provide visitors with opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and picnicking.

Today, the Table Rock Trail continues to attract nature enthusiasts, history buffs, and adventure seekers alike. Its rich historical legacy, combined with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and forests, make it a cherished destination for those seeking a glimpse into the past while immersing themselves in the beauty of nature.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Table Rock State Park Visitor Center: This is the main access point for the Table Rock Trail. It is located at 158 Ellison Lane, Pickens, SC 29671.

2. Pinnacle Mountain Trailhead: This trailhead is located at 2662 Table Rock Road, Pickens, SC 29671. It provides access to the Table Rock Trail as well as the Pinnacle Mountain Trail.

3. Carrick Creek Trailhead: Located at 158 Ellison Lane, Pickens, SC 29671, this trailhead offers access to the Table Rock Trail as well as the Carrick Creek Trail.

4. Nature Center Trailhead: Situated at 158 Ellison Lane, Pickens, SC 29671, this trailhead provides access to the Table Rock Trail and is close to the Nature Center.

5. Mill Creek Pass Trailhead: Located at 158 Ellison Lane, Pickens, SC 29671, this trailhead offers access to the Table Rock Trail as well as the Mill Creek Pass Trail.

6. Ridge Trailhead: Situated at 158 Ellison Lane, Pickens, SC 29671, this trailhead provides access to the Table Rock Trail and is close to the Ridge Trail.

7. Pinnacle Lake Trailhead: Located at 2662 Table Rock Road, Pickens, SC 29671, this trailhead offers access to the Table Rock Trail as well as the Pinnacle Lake Trail.

8. Table Rock Gap Trailhead: Situated at 2662 Table Rock Road, Pickens, SC 29671, this trailhead provides access to the Table Rock Trail and is close to the Table Rock Gap Trail.

Please note that some of these access points may have limited parking availability, so it is advisable to arrive early or check for any restrictions before visiting.

Transportation Available

1. Table Rock Shuttle – Shuttle service to and from Table Rock Trail.
2. Mountain Taxi – Taxi service available for transportation to Table Rock Trail.
3. Trail Hopper – Transportation service specializing in outdoor trail destinations, including Table Rock Trail.
4. Adventure Bus – Bus service offering transportation to various hiking trails, including Table Rock Trail.
5. Trailblazer Transport – Shuttle service providing convenient transportation options for Table Rock Trail hikers.


The amenities available at the Table Rock Trail may vary depending on the specific location and management. However, here are some common amenities that you may find:

1. Restrooms: Some trails may have restroom facilities available at the trailhead or along the trail. These can be basic pit toilets or more developed restroom buildings.

2. Parking: Most trails have designated parking areas or parking lots where visitors can park their vehicles. These parking areas may be free or require a parking fee or permit.

3. Camping Sites: Some trails may have designated camping sites or campgrounds nearby where visitors can set up tents or park RVs. These camping sites may have amenities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water.

4. Picnic Areas: Picnic areas are common amenities found at many trails. These areas usually have picnic tables, benches, and sometimes grills or fire pits for visitors to enjoy outdoor meals or snacks.

5. Interpretive Signs: Along the trail, you may find interpretive signs or information boards that provide educational information about the natural or cultural features of the area.

6. Trail Markers: Trails are typically marked with signs or markers to help visitors navigate the trail and stay on the designated path.

7. Information Kiosks: Some trailheads may have information kiosks where visitors can find maps, brochures, or other helpful information about the trail and its surroundings.

8. Drinking Water: Some trails may have drinking water stations or fountains available for visitors to refill their water bottles.

9. Benches or Seating Areas: Along the trail, you may find benches or seating areas where visitors can rest and enjoy the views.

10. Trash Receptacles: To maintain cleanliness, many trails have trash receptacles or bins where visitors can dispose of their waste.

It is important to note that amenities can vary, and it is always a good idea to check with the local park or trail management for specific information about the amenities available at the Table Rock Trail you plan to visit.

Nearby Services

1. Table Rock State Park Lodge – Lodging within the state park offering scenic views.
2. The Lodge at Table Rock – Rustic lodge with mountain views near the trailhead.
3. Table Rock Motel – Budget-friendly motel located close to Table Rock Trail.
4. Table Rock Diner – Casual diner serving American comfort food near the trail.
5. Table Rock Grill – On-site grill at Table Rock State Park offering quick bites.
6. Table Rock General Store – Convenience store providing snacks and essentials near the trail.
7. Table Rock Emergency Services – Local emergency services available for any unforeseen incidents.

Table Rock Trail Difficulty Notes

The Table Rock Trail is known for its moderate to challenging difficulty level. The trail spans approximately 3.6 miles round trip and features a steep incline with an elevation gain of around 1,100 feet. Hikers can expect rocky terrain, uneven surfaces, and some sections that require scrambling over boulders. The trail is well-marked and maintained, but its steepness and occasional narrow paths can pose a challenge for those with limited hiking experience or physical fitness. However, the rewarding panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the iconic Table Rock summit make the effort well worth it for those seeking a memorable outdoor adventure.

Features And Attractions

The Table Rock Trail offers several scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and more. Here are some notable attractions along the trail:

1. Table Rock Summit: The trail leads to the summit of Table Rock, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

2. Pinnacle Mountain: As you hike, you’ll have glimpses of Pinnacle Mountain, another prominent peak in the area.

3. Bald Rock Overlook: Along the trail, you’ll come across Bald Rock Overlook, which provides stunning views of the rolling hills and forests below.

4. Carrick Creek Falls: This beautiful waterfall is located near the trail and offers a refreshing stop to enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

5. Historical Markers: Throughout the trail, you’ll find historical markers that provide information about the region’s history, including its significance during the Revolutionary War.

6. Wildlife Spotting: The trail is known for its diverse wildlife, including various bird species, deer, and occasionally black bears. Keep an eye out for these fascinating creatures as you hike.

7. Rock Formations: The trail passes through unique rock formations, including large boulders and cliffs, adding to the scenic beauty of the area.

8. Foothills Trail: The Table Rock Trail is part of the larger Foothills Trail, a 77-mile long-distance hiking trail that traverses the scenic foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.

9. Fall Foliage: During the autumn season, the trail offers stunning views of the colorful foliage, making it a popular destination for leaf-peeping.

10. Sunrise/Sunset Views: The summit of Table Rock provides an excellent vantage point to witness breathtaking sunrises and sunsets over the surrounding landscape.

These are just a few of the many attractions and landmarks you can experience along the Table Rock Trail. Enjoy your hike and take in the natural beauty and historical significance of the area.

Usage Guidelines

– Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
– No camping or overnight stays are allowed on the trail.
– No motorized vehicles are permitted on the trail.
– Bicycles are allowed on designated sections of the trail only.
– Hunting or trapping is strictly prohibited.
– No littering or dumping of any kind is allowed.
– Fires are only permitted in designated fire pits or grills.
– No fireworks or explosives are allowed on the trail.
– No hunting or removal of plants, animals, or artifacts is allowed.
– Respect wildlife and do not feed or disturb them.
– Stay on designated trails and do not create new paths.
– Do not disturb or remove any natural features or geological formations.
– Respect seasonal restrictions, such as closures during nesting or breeding seasons.
– Follow all posted signs and instructions from park rangers or staff.
– Visitors are responsible for their own safety and should be prepared with appropriate gear and supplies.
– Leave no trace: pack out all trash and leave the trail as you found it.

Seasonal Information

The Table Rock Trail, located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, offers breathtaking views and a rewarding hiking experience. The best times of the year to visit this trail are during the spring and fall seasons. In the spring, the trail is adorned with vibrant wildflowers and lush greenery, creating a picturesque backdrop for hikers. The weather during this time is generally mild, making it comfortable for outdoor activities. Fall, on the other hand, offers a stunning display of colorful foliage, transforming the landscape into a mesmerizing tapestry of reds, oranges, and yellows. The crisp air and cooler temperatures make it an ideal time for hiking enthusiasts to explore the trail.

It is important to note that the Table Rock Trail has seasonal closures during the winter months. Due to the potential for icy and hazardous conditions, the trail is closed from December through February. This closure ensures the safety of hikers and prevents accidents on the steep and rocky terrain. It is advisable to check with local authorities or park rangers for the exact closure dates and any updates before planning your visit.

During the open season, the Table Rock Trail offers a variety of hiking options for all skill levels. The main trail is a challenging 2.2-mile ascent to the summit, rewarding hikers with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the picturesque Linville Gorge. For those seeking a longer adventure, there are additional trails that connect to the Table Rock Trail, allowing for extended hikes and exploration of the area.

In conclusion, the best times to visit the Table Rock Trail are during the spring and fall seasons when the weather is pleasant and the scenery is at its most vibrant. However, it is important to be aware of the seasonal closures during the winter months for safety reasons. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or a nature enthusiast, the Table Rock Trail offers a memorable experience with its stunning views and challenging terrain.


1. Wheelchair Accessibility: The Table Rock Trail offers a wheelchair-accessible path with a smooth surface and gradual inclines, allowing individuals with mobility challenges to enjoy the trail.
2. Accessible Parking: Designated accessible parking spaces are available near the trailhead, ensuring convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Wheelchair-accessible restrooms are located near the trailhead, providing facilities that meet ADA standards.
4. Braille Signage: Braille signage is installed along the trail, offering visually impaired individuals the ability to navigate and gather information about their surroundings.
5. Handrails: Sturdy handrails are installed along sections of the trail, providing additional support and stability for individuals with mobility impairments.
6. Rest Areas: Rest areas with benches are strategically placed along the trail, allowing visitors to take breaks and enjoy the scenery while ensuring accessibility for all.
7. Assistance Animals: Service animals are permitted on the Table Rock Trail, enabling individuals with disabilities to have the necessary support during their visit.
8. Accessible Information: Informational materials, such as brochures or maps, are available in accessible formats, including large print or electronic versions, catering to individuals with visual impairments.
9. Audio Guides: Audio guides or audio descriptions may be available, providing an inclusive experience for individuals with visual impairments by offering audio-based information about the trail and its surroundings.
10. Accessible Seating: Benches along the trail are designed to accommodate individuals with disabilities, ensuring comfortable seating options for all visitors.

Safety Information

1. Trail Difficulty: The Table Rock Trail is a moderately difficult hike with steep sections and uneven terrain, requiring proper footwear and physical fitness.
2. Weather Awareness: Be prepared for changing weather conditions, as temperatures can vary significantly at higher elevations, and sudden storms are possible.
3. Hydration: Carry an adequate supply of water to stay hydrated throughout the hike, as there are limited water sources along the trail.
4. Sun Protection: Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays, as the trail offers limited shade.
5. Insect Repellent: Apply insect repellent to prevent bites from mosquitoes and ticks, especially during warmer months.
6. Trail Markings: Pay attention to trail markers and signs to stay on the designated path, as there are multiple intersecting trails in the area.
7. Wildlife Awareness: Respect the natural habitat and wildlife, keeping a safe distance and avoiding feeding or approaching any animals encountered.
8. Emergency Contacts: Carry a fully charged cell phone and have emergency contact numbers readily available in case of any unforeseen circumstances.
9. Hiking Buddy: It is recommended to hike with a partner or in a group for safety and assistance if needed.
10. Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles by packing out all trash and minimizing your impact on the environment.
11. Trail Conditions: Check for recent trail updates or closures before embarking on the hike, as conditions can change due to weather or maintenance.
12. Time Management: Start the hike early to allow ample time for completion, ensuring you have enough daylight to return safely.
13. First Aid Kit: Carry a basic first aid kit with essentials like bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers for any minor injuries or discomfort.
14. Physical Limitations: Assess your physical abilities and limitations before attempting the hike, as it may not be suitable for individuals with certain health conditions.
15. Emergency Preparedness: Familiarize yourself with basic wilderness survival skills and carry essential items like a whistle, flashlight, and extra layers in case of emergencies or unexpected overnight stays.

Conservation Notes

The Table Rock Trail is a popular hiking destination located in the western region of the United States. In terms of conservation status, the trail is considered to be well-preserved and protected. It falls within a designated conservation area, ensuring that its natural resources and ecosystems are safeguarded from potential threats and degradation.

Efforts have been made to maintain the trail’s conservation status by implementing strict regulations and guidelines for visitors. These measures aim to minimize human impact on the surrounding environment and wildlife. Hikers are encouraged to stay on designated paths, refrain from littering, and respect the natural habitat of the area. Additionally, the trail is regularly monitored by park rangers and conservation organizations to ensure compliance with these regulations.

The conservation status of the Table Rock Trail is further enhanced through educational initiatives. Visitors are provided with information about the importance of preserving the natural beauty and ecological balance of the area. This helps raise awareness about the fragility of the ecosystem and encourages responsible behavior among hikers. By promoting conservation practices, the trail management aims to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Table Rock Trail and its surrounding environment.

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