South Carolina is known for its historic tourist attractions and gorgeous beaches. But aside from its timeless charms, we think it should be also known for its amazing hiking spots! South Carolina is rich with coastal and mountain areas that are protected through parks and refuges. These parks house hiking trails –there are cumulatively more than 400 trails across the state — that hikers can enjoy. Here, you can hike through beautiful sceneries and unique landscapes.
If you’re heading out on a hiking trip this year, consider South Carolina as one of your must-visit places! Check out why below.
Enjoy and connect with nature
Hiking is where you can really reconnect yourself with nature. To maximize the experience, most South Carolina trails give you a way to enjoy the sights and sounds you will come across on your hike. For one, you can take the Caw Caw trail from the Caw Caw Interpretive Center in Ravenel. Walkers love the trail because it offers various vantage points where you can pause and take in the nature surrounding you. There are strategically placed benches and rocking chairs to help you appreciate the scenery.
Strengthen your mental health
Hiking is an activity that can greatly benefit your mental health. As demonstrated in Cheryl Strayed’s book Wild, going on long-distance hikes can be cathartic for those suffering from grief and agony – both mental and physical. In her memoir, she wrote about her experiences and shared how she reconnected with herself through a grueling hike. Although undertaking a long hike could be hard for some people, you can still improve your mental health and get in touch with your inner self by visiting Raven Cliff and Dismal Trail Loop – a nine-mile loop where you can see a huge waterfall and various rock formations. You might also want to visit The Boardwalk Loop Trail, a swamp trail near Gadsden, for a quieter and more peaceful hike.
Improve your physical health
Going on hikes is a great form of exercise. It can help improve your physical health as well. It is good for your heart and it can prevent osteoporosis and arthritis. Moreover, it will improve your strength and balance because hiking requires you to walk across different types of landscapes. If you’re looking for a great South Carolina hike to add to fit your active lifestyle, head to the Table Rock trail which requires you to challenge yourself with its uphill paths. Brenda J. Wiley shares that the hike to the top is by far the most challenging and rewarding hike she’s done. It’s an eight-mile workout that will help you train your body.
Indulge in adventure
Even though you have read through reviews and checked out the maps, no South Carolina hiking spot is the same. Every trail offers you an adventure that you can’t find elsewhere. Just like we shared in our previous post on Bridal Veil Falls in DuPont State Forest, there are many ways to visit the famed waterfalls. And as such, each trail offers different experiences that anyone can enjoy. One trail will have you walking through art installations while another can have you encountering various animals. Even if you miss a trail, there is always a way to see other sceneries and enjoy the landscape!
Article contributed by Joanne Roffman