25+ Fabulous Things to Do During a Day Trip to Pickens, SC

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If you’ve never spent a day exploring Pickens, SC, you should add it to your bucket list. Pickens County is home to some of the most naturally beautiful locations in South Carolina, including Table Rock and Lake Jocassee. You can also find excellent shopping at the Market at the Mill and local antique shops. There is just so much to do in Pickens, SC! We went on a search for fun in this beautiful area of the Upstate and came back with a long list of things to do on a day trip to Pickens, SC any time of year.

Day trip idea for Pickens, SC

This article includes:
Summer: Pickens, SC
Fall: Pickens, SC
Winter: Pickens, SC
Spring: Pickens, SC
Where to Eat in Pickens, SC
Shopping in Pickens, SC

Are you looking for a not-too-far-away place to escape to this week with your kids? Possibly a place or two where they can run free and explore without a care in the world (well almost). One of the things that are incredible about the Upstate, is that there’s always something new to discover. Just when we think we’ve covered everything there is to do locally, we discover more. 

There are so many unique things to do in Pickens, SC, so I decided to split this up into a seasonal guide. Most of the outdoor activities that don’t include getting in the water can be done at any time of year, weather permitting. 

Lake Keowee
Warpath Landing

A Summer Day In Pickens, SC

One of the best times of day to enjoy the state parks in Summer is in the morning (fewer crowds for the win!). So head out early and grab breakfast at You Drive Me Glazy. You can get a dozen mini cake donuts with custom toppings to take on your adventure. Then choose one or more of the following places to cool off in the summer sun. Pickens County has so much natural beauty, you can fill an entire day with outdoor fun!

  • Laurel Fork Heritage Preserve
    A lost GPS signal on the way to Twin Falls is how I found one of my new favorite places to get away to. The beautiful Laurel Fork Heritage Preserve is worth the drive, even if you never intend on getting out of the car, although I encourage you to. There are several hiking trails and roadside waterfalls. Depending on recent rainfall, one might be sufficient to splash around in. The over 1,300-acre preserve is an easy place to get away from everything.
  • Beech Bottom Falls 
    Not far from Laurel Fork H.P. and on the way to Sassafras Mountain, you’ll see the trailhead parking lot for the falls. This is an easy two-mile round-trip hike to an observation deck that overlooks Beech Bottom Falls
  • Twin Falls
    This is where I was headed when I got lost and found Laurel Forks H.P. This is an easy hike that is only a ¼ of a mile. There are places to splash in the water, but please use caution. While these Twin Falls are beautiful, they are also dangerous if you are trying to climb up on the rocks. 
  • Warpath Landing
    Typically used for boat launching, Warpath Landing was also another one of my accidental finds. It’s one of our favorite places to launch a kayak because the backside of the landing is calm and quiet. You could easily pack a cooler and spend all day in the water here.
  • Nalley Brown Nature Park
    Seeking a forest adventure a little closer to home? Nalley Brown Nature Park is located near Easley and offers three miles of trails divided into loops of various distances. One of those loops is even ADA-accessible! Enjoy exploring a forest of towering hardwoods and winding creeks without an hour’s drive.
  • The Happy Berry
    This local farm offers a u-pick selection of figs, blueberries, grapes, blackberries, and more – June through September. In season, they also offer pussy willow branches at The Happy Berry.
  • Saluda Outdoor Center
    Spend a sunny summer day tubing the Saluda River with the Saluda Outdoor Center in Easley. The season opens in late May, and it’s $24/person for a tube rental, life jacket, and shuttle ride back up the river once you’re done floating.
Kayaks on Lake Jocassee

Other Popular Places For Summer Fun In Pickens, South Carolina

“Fall” In Love With Pickens, SC

Once the weather cools off a bit, and doing things outside is a little more hospitable, Pickens has plenty of trails and other things to explore

  • Pumpkintown Mountain Opry
    On the weekends, get there early on Saturday morning to enjoy the market that is set up in the parking lot. Or you can grab some lunch to go from the restaurant and head out on an adventure after you visit the Pumpkintown Mountain Opry.
  • The Doodle Trail
    Similar to the Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville, the Doodle trail is a 7.5-mile repurposed train track-turned-hiking path in Pickens County. This path is a partnership between the Cities of Easley and Pickens.
    Learn More About the Doodle Trail From Our Review

The playground at the Pickens end of the Doodle Trail is so much fun!!! We Even took my daughter before she could walk since there’s a structure for babies. Plenty of fun for babies, toddlers, and big kids.

Heather H.
  • Town Creek Bike Park
    If you have a future X-Games champ in your family, this Upstate off-road bicycling park is a must-see. Town Creek Bike Park, which is open to the public and free to use includes these cool features:
  • 8’ wide paved trail that provides a multi-use and ADA-accessible path between the Pickens Recreation Center and the Playground of Promise.
  • 4,000′ FlowCoaster
  • Berm turn wall rides
  • Dirt Jumps
  • Earthen Rollers
  • Wooden Rollers
  • Apex Over-Under Bridges
  • Raised Half Log Trails
  • Wooden Banked Turns
  • Pump Track and Earthen Bowl
  • Single Track

    The park is sometimes closed if there has been a lot of rainfall. Please call ahead to confirm if it’s open before heading out. 

Other Popular Places For Fall Fun In Pickens, South Carolina

Things To See During The Winter In Pickens, SC

  • Table Rock Tea Company 
    You can visit and tour a working tea farm and grab some of their tea to keep you warm on those cold nights. Table Rock Tea Company is the perfect place to grab some gifts to send people out of state! You can also take tours.
  • Soapstone Baptist Church Cemetary
    This slavery-era cemetery was almost lost forever, consumed by overgrowth. It was accidentally discovered and cleaned up so that the public could visit it. Soapstone is one of the oldest African congregations in South Carolina!

Spring Time Fun In Pickens, SC

  • Jumping Off Rock 
    This easy hiking trail will provide you with beautiful views of the gorges and a chance to see some wildlife. Once you arrive at Jumping Off Rock have your camera ready, for a spectacular view of Lake Jocassee down below!
  • Lake Jocassee 
    If you’ve never been kayaking across Lake Jocassee, rent one and head out across the lake. The lake is listed by National Geographic as a natural wonder and, one day out on the water will make you wish you were a mermaid. Because it’s most popular in the summer months, the springtime is a great time to get out on the water if you are new to paddle sports.  
  • Nine Times Preserve
    Spend the day on the trails of Nine Time Preserve, a nature preserve near Table Rock State Park that has a biodiversity like no other! The late spring and early summer will give rise to tons of native wildflowers are they bloom. There are 1.7 miles of trails to explore, with easy and difficult trails intermixed.

Other Popular Things To Do During Springtime In Pickens, South Carolina

moos creamery ice cream
Moos Creamery

Places To Eat In Pickens, SC

  • Moos Creamery
    This ice cream parlor not only serves up delicious ice cream and milkshakes, but they also have ice cream tacos on the menu! The ice cream flavors at Moos Creamery include sugar-free and dairy-free options too!
  • Big Cliffs BBQ
    All you need to know is they have BBQ.
    Ok, I lied; you also need to know they make tacos with bbq meat too.
    Just Go To Big Cliffs and thank me later.
  • Yoder’s At Meece Mill
    This place is worth planning a trip to, especially for! Yoder’s at Meece Mill is only open on the 3rd Saturday of each month from 9 am-4 pm. Bring money, and a box to bring stuff home to hold you over for the next several weeks!
  • Good Karma Ice Cream
    For a sweet treat at the end (or beginning, no judgment) day trip, head to downtown Easley’s Good Karma Ice Cream for some yummy ice cream. With sixty flavors, specialty milkshakes, and a variety of sundaes, there is something to satisfy the sweet tooth of everyone in the family.

Shopping in Pickens, SC

Pickens, SC is loaded with antique shops and refurbished mill spaces that have transformed into the ultimate shopping experience. If you are heading to Pickens, SC, then add these local places to shop to your day trip list!

  • Market at the Mill
    The Market at the Mill is an old textile mill that has been transformed into a fun shopping destination. The mill has dozens of vendors with crafts, antiques, books, and services available. You can also find Happy Kids Playhouse inside the mill, perfect for shopping and then letting your kids get their wiggles out. The Market at the Mill is currently open Wednesday through Saturday, so check before you go!
  • Pickens Bargain Exchange Flea Market
    If you are looking for a good old-fashioned flea market, then the Pickens Bargain Exchange Flea Market is just the place. This outdoor market is humongous and has literally everything you can think of, including antiques. It is like one giant yard sale! It is only open one day per week, Wednesday, so keep that in mind.
  • Finders Keepers Antiques & Collectibles
    Antique shopping is exciting and a wonderful way to add unique pieces to your home. Finders Keepers Antiques and Collectibles has tons of antiques to browse through, including unique items and one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture.

Looking for something fun indoors during your day trip? Check out our Indoor Things to Do guide for Pickens County!

Go on an adventure to one of these
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Have you found other magical places to play or eat in Pickens?

About the Author
Melanie is a native New Yorker, who landed in the Upstate by way of Florida. She is the mom of two awesome kids, and the three of them love going on adventures!

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