Take a Trip to Caesars Head State Park this Fall

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Dramatic views over the Upstate along with easy access and ample parking make for a winning combination at one of our favorite SC State Parks – Caesars Head!

About Caesars Head State Park

Caesars Head and Jones Gap State Park form the 11,000-acre Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, and are connected by several hiking trails including the popular Rim of the Gap Trail and Jones Gap Trail. Less than a mile from the Caesars Head Visitor Center is another favorite trail – Raven Cliff Falls Trail, taking you to a platform that looks across the gorge at the 420 foot waterfall.

However, you can get the grand views without the hike by heading to the Visitor Center, where it is only a couple hundred feet from the parking lot to the overlook. This time of year you’ll probably meet members of the Hawk Watch program documenting the annual hawk migration; the past few years the numbers of hawks counted peaked a little after mid-September, while large numbers of turkey vultures were seen into November. Bald eagles and even peregrine falcons can be seen during these months! To get an idea of how the migration is progressing this year, check the daily tallies; those can be viewed on the Hawk Count website. Also see our article on the Hawk Watch at Caesars Head for additional information and educational resources.

Autumn is a great time to visit for another reason, as the fall foliage in the foothills can be spectacular while cooler temperatures allow for increased visibility. Views extend over Table Rock reservoir all the way to North Carolina and Georgia. Remember to bring layers, as it is often 10 degrees cooler on Caesars Head than it is down in Greenville.

From the overlook don’t forget to walk the trail around to view “Caesar’s Head” in profile! The trail descends through “Devil’s Kitchen,” a crack in the granitic gneiss rock, and circles around to a viewing area from the side of the outcrop. If you cross US 276 from the Visitor Center you’ll find the trailhead for Frank Coggins Trail, which mostly serves as a connector to many of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area trails, but is also an easy hike in a less crowded section of Caesars Head.

Amenities at the State Park include restrooms, picnic tables and the Visitor Center, which houses exhibits, hawk displays and a variety of souvenirs. For those looking for a longer hike, or reservations at one of the 18 backcountry campsites, check in at the Visitor Center for trail maps and information.

Plan your own trip to Ceasars Head

Directions: From Greenville take Hwy. 276 W for about 30 miles. The parking lot and Visitor Center is located at the top of the mountain, 3 miles before the NC border.

Hours and Admission: Trail access cost: $3 adults; $1.50 SC seniors; $1 ages 6-15, ages 5 and younger are free

Days and Hours of Operation: 9 am – 9 pm, daily during daylight saving time. 9 am – 6 pm, daily, the remainder of the year. Trails close one hour before dark, year round.

Visitor Center Hours: 10 am – 5 pm Monday – Thursday and 9 am – 5 pm Friday – Sunday. The Visitor Center and gift shop are closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, however the park remains open on these days.

Pets are allowed in most outdoor areas provided they are kept under physical restraint or on a leash not longer than six feet. Owners will be asked to remove noisy or dangerous pets or pets that threaten or harass wildlife.

This article was originally published on Femme au foyer.

Does your family love Caesars Head as much as mine does?

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Liene
About the Author
Mother of four young boys, Liene is constantly on the move since returning to Greenville in 2012. Whether she’s exploring the state parks and natural areas of the Carolinas or teaming up with other moms to organize activities for the kids, she’s always searching for the next adventure in the Upstate. For everything from hiking, travel, cooking and crafts to multicultural & global education posts, visit her blog, http://FemmeauFoyer2011.blogspot.com.

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