The 15 Best Hiking Trails in South Carolina!

Mountains, midlands, creeks, coastlines, and every type of terrain in between, Mother Nature has served South Carolina a heaping helping of beautiful vistas.  But you’ll never get the full experience flying by it at 60 miles per hour. Landscapes like these are best encountered on foot. Here’s where you’ll find the 15 best hiking trails in South Carolina. 

Swamp Rabbit Trail, Greenville, SC

Greenville’s famed Swamp Rabbit Trail winds its way along the Reedy River through downtown, city parks, and an old railway line, finally reaching its terminal in Traveler’s Rest, South Carolina. It’s 21 miles of sightseeing in the city without the middle-of-nowhere atmosphere, so pack a lunch and enjoy not sitting in rush hour traffic.

Rainbow Falls Trail, Cleveland, SC

Beginner hikers might want to seek more level ground. Rainbow Falls Trail in Jones Gap State Park has some pretty steep terrain and is 3.9 miles in length, but the gorgeous waterfalls at the end make it worth the climb.

Pinnacle Pass Loop, Marietta, SC

Another great trail partially inside Jones Gap State Park, it’s been touted as one of the toughest hikes in South Carolina. Steep inclines abound, but plenty of scenic waterfalls and streams keep you motivated to finish. Careful though, there are lots of connecting trails intermixed with this one, so keep a close eye on your map.

Coldspring Branch Loop, Cleveland, SC

Thankfully this one’s also a loop, which means any difficult obstacles you encounter, you’ll only have to survive them once. Part of Caesar’s Head State Park’s plethora of hiking trails, this one doesn’t offer as much eye candy as other trails, but does provide plenty of challenges for a non-running workout.

Huntington Beach State Park, Murrell’s Inlet, SC

You’ve got your pick of three short and sweet trails here. The Boardwalk and Kerrigan Nature Trail take you over a saltwater marsh, where you’ll see birds and sea life (and maybe an alligator). The Sandpiper trail takes you along a boardwalk to a salt water pond, where observation towers give you the perfect perch to bird watch.

Table Rock Trail, Pickens, SC

Part of Table Rock State Park’s 12-mile network of hiking trails, this one takes you straight to the top of the table-esque rocks that gives it its namesake. It’s not an easy trek (actually, it’s extremely the opposite) but the view from the top is a well-earned reward.

Palmetto Trail Awendaw Park, McClellanville, SC

If you don’t have the time (or energy) to traverse the entire 425 miles of the Palmetto Trail, you can hit up this seven-mile passage of the trail at Awendaw Park. Snaking alongside¬ Awendaw Creek, you’ll travel around a salt marsh and through the forest before ending at the intercostal waterway.

Brissy Ridge Trail, Greenville, SC

Part of Paris Mountain State Park, the Brissy Ridge Trail offers the perfect balance of saunter and strain to your walk in the woods. A few steep, bumpy inclines will get your legs screaming, but there are plenty of level stretches to help you recuperate. Deer and snakes have been known to frequent the area, so stay camera ready.

Twin Falls, Pickens County, SC

It’s a hike so easy, you can literally call it a walk in the woods. A short distance from the trailhead opens up to a double waterfall. While it’s called Twin Falls, the waterfalls aren’t identical: One of the falls drops straight down, while the other makes a slight detour over some rocks. This trail is the perfect introduction to hiking for small children, plus they’ll be ultra-impressed by what awaits them at the end.

Yellow Branch Falls Trail, Walhalla, SC

Like most of South Carolina’s trails, this one also terminates with a waterfall. This is a great trail for hikers of all skill levels, including the family dog.

Oconee Station Trail, Walhalla, SC

Take a tour of Oconee Station’s historic buildings, then hit the trail toward the 60-foot waterfall that has become a favorite of the locals. Wildflowers decorate the area in the spring, along with beaver ponds, an alder swamp, and rare plant life.

Midlands Mountain Trail, Columbia, SC

If you’re in fairly decent shape, then Midlands Mountain Trail shouldn’t be too difficult. It links with other trails and can become confusing, but stick to the trail map and you’ll do fine. Bikes and dogs are welcome here.

Falls Creek Waterfall Trail, Marietta, SC

It’s comparatively short to the other trails in the area, but it makes up for its length with its higher-than-average difficulty rating. It’s an uphill battle right from the start, but beautiful waterfalls wait to meet you before you get too exhausted from your climb. Dogs are welcome here, but given the intensity of the trail it might be best to let Fido sit this one out.

Congaree Swamp, Gadsden, SC

Plenty of quick, easy trails abound at the swamp. Complete with elevated boardwalks, sloughs, and bodies of water, you’ll find more than enough flora and fauna to fill your camera’s memory card.

Harbison Loop Trail, Columbia, SC

Running, walking, mountain biking, you name it: Harbison Loop Trail is the perfect locale for those who love the great outdoors. While there aren’t any amazing landmarks to write home about, there are plenty of easy and slightly difficult trails to keep you active.

View more South Carolina Hiking Trails.
Share your favorites!
South Carolina Search
Find Hiking Trails Near You
Find Hiking Trails Near You
100 National Park Road, Hopkins, SC
Known for its giant hardwoods and towering pines, Congaree’s floodplain forest includes one of the highest canopies in the world. The park pr... Read More
The Congaree floodplain is rich in cultural history. Prehistoric foragers hunted the area and fished its waters. The Congaree claimed the floodpla... Read More
9564 Two Notch RD, Columbia, SC
Sesquicentennial State Park, affectionately known to locals as "Sesqui", is a spacious, green getaway in the heart of the Sandhills region. Once yo... Read More
Lost Creek Dr, Columbia, SC
The Firebreak Trail is a great beginner trail for mountain biking newbies and families traveling with kids. Read More
Hwy 6, Lexington, SC
Peachtree Rock off S.C. 6 near Edmund in southern Lexington County is a geological wonder: It has stood for millions of years and is a natural test... Read More
6660 Poinsett Park RD, Wedgefield, SC
In the High Hills of Santee, where the South Carolina Sandhills of the Midlands region meet the coastal plain region, you’ll find Poinsett St... Read More
881 State Park RD, Winnsboro, SC
Lake Wateree fishing and boating can meet the needs of anyone looking for fun on South Carolina lakes. Numerous Lake Wateree fishing tournaments ar... Read More
3677 State Park RD, Prosperity, SC
Dreher Island State Park spans three islands, 348 acres and provides access to 12 miles of Lake Murray shoreline. Visitors will find recreational w... Read More
1145 State Park RD, Windsor, SC
Located in Aiken County, Aiken State Park sits nestled along the South Edisto River in an outdoor-lover’s paradise. Aiken’s most notabl... Read More
487 Loop RD, Bishopville, SC
Fishing Information: Fishing for sunfish, redbreast, catfish and bass may be enjoyed from the banks of the Lynches River. The Artesian Lake, which ... Read More
325 State Park RD, Ehrhardt, SC
Rivers Bridge State Historic Site marks the site of one of the Confederacy’s last stands against General William T. Sherman’s sweep acr... Read More
23734 U.S. Highway 1, Mc Bee, SC
Carolina Sandhills NWR was established in 1939 as a federal refuge for indigenous wildlife and game management demonstration project. The South Car... Read More
444 South Boundary Avenue SouthWest, Aiken, SC
Mission :The mission of the Hitchcock Woods Foundation is to:protect and preserve the Hitchcock Woods in a natural and ecologically healthy state, ... Read More
196 Andrew Jackson Park RD, Lancaster, SC
Andrew Jackson State Park combines history, art and community activities into a setting that has made it one of the S.C. State Park Service’s... Read More
113 Langley Dam Road, Langley, SC
Langley Pond Park is a nationally recognized park and venue in Aiken County, where it is known for its fantastic facilities and events. Having host... Read More
746 Givhans Ferry RD, Ridgeville, SC
A natural retreat in the Lowcountry woods, Givhans Ferry State Park sits at the end of the 21-mile long stretch of Edisto River kayaking paradise k... Read More
East Richardson to YMCA ballfields, Summerville, SC
You can walk or ride this flat 10 ­foot wide out and back paved trail within the Town of Summerville.Length: 6.1 milesType: Round TripSurface: ... Read More
The Anne Springs Close Greenway operates a trail system that is 40 miles and growing. Trail maps are posted at all entrances to the Greenway and us... Read More
Show More
Select a South Carolina town to find
the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you
Cherokee County