Day Trip: Spend a Fabulous Day in Pickens, SC

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If you’ve never spent a day exploring the town of Pickens, South Carolina, you should add it to your bucket list. We sent Kidding Around’s Melanie on a search for fun in this Upstate town and she came back with a long list of stuff to do on a day trip to Pickens any time of year.

Looking for more places to spend the day with your family? Here’s our list of Day Trip Towns, just a short drive from the Upstate.

Child in a kayak on the water.
Warpath Landing

This article includes:
Summer Things to Do in Pickens, SC
Things to Do in the Fall in Pickens, SC
Winter Things to Do in Pickens, SC
Things to Do in the Spring in Pickens, SC
Where to Eat 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. 

I’m always amazed when I see people complain that “there’s nothing to do” in the Upstate. My list of things to do and see grows longer every day, and there’s never enough time to do all the things I want to! One of the things I love is just heading out with a desire for adventure and heading out into the mountains to see what I discover. Recently, I did just that and a lost cell signal brought me to a magical place by accident. 

There are so many unique things to do in Pickens, 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. 

A Summer Day In Pickens

In order to enjoy the State Parks right now, you need to be an early bird. 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. 

  • 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 the hour 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 only $6.00 for a tub rental, life jacket, and shuttle ride back up the river once you’re done floating!
Girl in rainbow dress looking up at a waterfall
Laurel Fork Heritage Preserve

Other Popular Places For Summer Fun In Pickens:

“Fall” In Love With Pickens

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. 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 864.898.8155 to confirm if it’s open before heading out. 

Other Popular Places For Fall Fun In Pickens

Things To See During The Winter In Pickens

  • 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. One of our writers, Kristina, and her family recently visited the lovely tea farm for a tour and to learn more about the tea-making process!
  • Soapstone Slave Cemetery
    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

  • 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.  
Children playing in water next to a sandy beach with a red boat.

Other Popular Things To Do During SpringTime In Pickens

Ice cream dessert in a blue taco shaped waffle cone
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 the bbq meat too.
    Just Go To Big Cliffs and thank me later.
  • The GateHouse Restaurant
    If you are looking for homestyle country cooking, this is the place. They offer steak, burgers, fried things, wings, and more on the menu. Save room for dessert because The GateHouse restaurant makes it in-house!
  • 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.

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

Have you found other magical places to play or eat in Pickens? Let us know in the comments!

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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