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. 

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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.

South Carolina Search
View more South Carolina Hiking Trails.
Find Hiking Trails Near You
Find Hiking Trails Near You
16148 Ocean HWY, Murrells Inlet, SC
A sweeping Grand Strand beach, pristine and wide open, stands as one of the most recognizable South Carolina landmarks. Revel in sea-breeze camping... Read More
158 Ellison Lane, Pickens, SC
Table Rock State Park fits the bill for the natural beauty attributed to scenic Highway 11. The towering mountain, which gives the park its name, s... 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
940 Sadlers Creek RD, Anderson, SC
Sadlers Creek State Park sits on 395 acres on a peninsula that extends into Lake Hartwell, one of the Savannah River reservoirs. Camping on Lake Ha... Read More
2401 State Park RD, Greenville, SC
Fishing Information: Enjoy fishing in the park's 8-acre Lake Placid for bass, bream and catfish. Reservoir #3 is a 15-acre lake located on the back... Read More
863 Baker Creek RD, McCormick, SC
Operated seasonally, Baker Creek caters to those looking for fun on Lake Thurmond, a wild ride on South Carolina mountain bike trails or a quick ca... 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
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
Donnelley WMA is named in honor of the late Gaylord Donnelley and his wife Dorothy for the contributions they made to the ACE Basin Project and con... Read More
330 Duckworth Rd, Marietta, SC
Falls Creek Falls is a 100 foot cascade, has two major levels. Over each, the cascades drop in the form of lovely ribbons and streamers of water. A... Read More
330 Duckworth Rd, Marietta, SC
A network of easy to strenuous hiking trails in the Mountain Bridge Recreation Area links Caesars Head and Jones Gap state parks. 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 11, Pickens, SC
This is an 80-mile footpath extending from Table Rock State Park at its eastern terminus to Oconee State Park in the west. Its route takes the hike... Read More
A fascinating walk through a wetland world, this historic, self-guided, interpretive trail traverses embankments built as far back as the 1700s. Th... Read More
SC Hwy 133, Clemson, SC
Starting from the Indian Springs Recreation Area, this moderately difficult out and back ride is close to the lake and offers some beautiful views.... Read More
301-493 Cheohee Valley Rd, Tamassee, SC
: Oconee County; located 200 yards below Foothills Hiking Trail; one mile east of state Highway 107; 80-100 feet high; falls drop in three separat... Read More
Show More
Select a South Carolina town to find
the Best Things-To-Do and Places To Go around you
Cherokee County