Eastatoe Creek Trail

Pickens, South Carolina

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2 Reviews
4 out of 5
Half a day's hike through a mountain cove to a beautiful, secluded stream. This trail is essentially a big climb down, and then a big climb back up. However, the destination makes it worthwhile. Eastatoe (pronounced “EAST-a-toe-ee”) Creek is a beautiful stream untrammeled by development, whose waters are so pristine that rainbow trout reproduce naturally, making it an exceptional case in South Carolina. Within the Eastatoe Creek Heritage Preserve‘s 373 acres (managed by the Heritage Trust Program of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources), the Eastatoe tumbles 600 feet, concluding between the walls of Eastatoe Gorge. Here, the 15-foot wide creek pours into a rock sluice 3 feet wide, creating both an impressive flume and sufficient humidity for some very rare plants. Three ferns generally associated with the tropics occur at Eastatoe Creek, including the Tunbridge fern, which is found nowhere else in North America. The park-like area at the end of the trail features a spectacular wildflower show in the spring.

Eastatoe Creek Trail Professional Review and Guide

"Half a day's hike through a mountain cove to a beautiful, secluded stream. This trail is essentially a big climb down, and then a big climb back up. However, the destination makes it worthwhile. Eastatoe (pronounced “EAST-a-toe-ee”) Creek is a beautiful stream untrammeled by development, whose waters are so pristine that rainbow trout reproduce naturally, making it an exceptional case in South Carolina.

Within the Eastatoe Creek Heritage Preserve‘s 373 acres (managed by the Heritage Trust Program of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources), the Eastatoe tumbles 600 feet, concluding between the walls of Eastatoe Gorge. Here, the 15-foot wide creek pours into a rock sluice 3 feet wide, creating both an impressive flume and sufficient humidity for some very rare plants. Three ferns generally associated with the tropics occur at Eastatoe Creek, including the Tunbridge fern, which is found nowhere else in North America. The park-like area at the end of the trail features a spectacular wildflower show in the spring."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Pickens
Distance: 3.5
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: Half a day
Season: Year-round.
Trailhead Elevation: 1,750 feet
Top Elevation: feet
Local Contacts: Land Resources Division, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, 2221 Devine Street, Columbia, SC 29205; (803) 734-9108
Local Maps: Heritage Trust Program brochure; Eastatoe Gap USGS quad
Driving Directions: Directions to Eastatoe Creek Trail

Recent Trail Reviews

4/19/2008
3

Our mid-April hike on the Eastatoe Creek Trail into Eastatoe Creek Heritage Preserve was an exhilarating experience! The first part of the hike along the old logging road revealed some nice patches of Woodland Iris and Merrybells, and we were excited to see a few small colonies of the rare Trillium Discolor with its leaves variegated in three shades of green, and its pale yellow, upright, fragrant flowers. The last part on the old logging road is through beautiful mature forest, and the variety of things to see grew ever greater. BUT, the descent into the gorge itself, via switchbacks and well placed wooden steps revealed on of the rare wonders of Appalachian wildflower profusion! As we neared the bottom of the gorge, incredible masses of Trillium Discolor stretched on for acres, in full bloom, filling the air with primrose fragrance! Here and there these beauties mixed in with Foamflower and the also rare giant Trillium Vaseyi. Our photos of the magnificent sight are almost hard for others to believe! The beautiful pristine mountain stream was the icing on the cake. The day started out drizzly, but became partly cloudy and pleasant before we reached the gorge. And though it was a Saturday, we had the entire wonderland to ourselves that afternoon!


2/13/2007
2

When planning your visit to the Eastatoe Creek be sure to include a side trip to Twin Falls. This easy hike is a very short detour and well worth the extra hour (total) in your day. The directions are available from any online SC trail guide for Pickens County. Above the trailhead for Eastatoe Creek conservation area is a network of scenic gravel roads that are designated for Jeep or 4X4. (April thru October). Taking advantage of these other features will add to your enjoyment of the hike suggested here.



Trail Photos

Activity Feed

May 2018