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Posts Tagged ‘Hiking’

Inquisitive Kids will Love these Ranger-led Hikes at Paris Mountain

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If you have a child in your life who likes to ask “What’s that?” you might want to check out the ranger-led hikes at Paris Mountain State Park, Greenville, SC. We found the hike to be educational and exciting and think your family will too! Learn more about the Ranger-led hikes and when you can take one of your own. Plus you can find out more about Paris Mountain State Park in our article about the park.

We reviewed Paris Mountain State Park’s ranger-led hikes back in 2018 and we updated this review with current 2022 dates and information. The kids who attended this event back in 2018 still talk about “that time we looked at creek creatures under the microscope.” Their interest, knowledge, and experience with creatures and animals have only increased, yet this hike remains a very fond memory of a truly educational adventure right here in Greenville. If you have the opportunity to attend, we highly recommend it!


Jocassee Gorges: Hike the Blue Ridge Electric Co-Op Passage of the Palmetto Trail

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Looking to explore the Jocassee Gorges area with your family? There are opportunities for families to enjoy the outdoors all over the Jocassee Gorges area. In addition to the swimming, boating and hiking you’ll find at area state parks, you’ll also find great hiking along the Jocassee Gorges portion of the Palmetto Trail called the Blue Ridge Electric Co-Op Passage.

Jocassee Gorges is a spectacularly beautiful area. National Geographic named this area one of the “50 of the Last Great Places” and the South Carolina 7 Expedition has given it the title of the 2nd Wonder of South Carolina. To help you get out and see this beautiful part of South Carolina, we have details on hiking the Blue Ridge Electric Co-Op Passage, plus some opportunities to enjoy the Jocassee area if hiking is not your cup of tea.

Blue Ridge Electric Co-op Passage of the Palmetto Trail
Photos along the Blue Ridge Electric Co-Op Passage of the Palmetto Trail/Photo Credit: Liene Kukainis

Hike the Blue Ridge Electric Co-Op Passage in Jocassee Gorges

The Blue Ridge Electric Co-Op Passage of the Palmetto Trail is a 12+ mile passage. Families can experience the wilderness of the trail by walking only a portion of the trail going down and back as KAG contributor, Liene, did with her family in the video below.

You can find out about the hike along the Blue Ridge Electric Co-op Passage in this video made by Liene, as she hiked this portion of the Palmetto Trail for the South Carolina 7 Expedition. In this video you’ll find:

  • Information on hiking the Blue Ridge Electric Co-op Passage
  • Sights and sounds of the trail
  • Animals you might see
  • Where to find the trailhead and parking

FAQ Hiking the Blue Ridge Electric Co-Op Passage of the Palmetto Trail

KAG’s Liene answers questions about hiking this passage of the Palmetto Trail.

What’s the name of the hike/trail? Blue Ridge Electric Co-Op Passage of Palmetto Trail
What age group can accomplish this hike? The whole thing is hard, but any age can do an in-and-out from Table Rock because you can tailor the length to your family
How difficult is this hike? Length & terrain moderate to difficult
How long did this hike take your family? 3 hours to hike 5 miles of it
What things should people look for on the hike or in the area? Wildflowers, animals. A family saw a momma bear and cubs on the way in!
What was the best part about the hike? or What makes this hike unique? The Jocassee Gorges are remote and rugged areas, with an abundance of native flowers and wildlife, mountaintop vistas, waterfalls, and an impressive
boulder field. According to Native American legend, Jocassee means “Place of the Lost One,” and the Jocassee Gorges were named “One of the Last Great Places” by National Geographic.
Address for the trailhead? What do people need to know about getting there? The passage begins at Pinnacle Pavilion (“The Barn”) in Table Rock State Park and travels through the Wesleyan Camp into the Jocassee
Gorges. There is a fee to enter Table Rock State Park.

Enjoy the Jocassee Area Without Hiking

Want to explore Jocassee without a long hike? There are two state parks nearby where you can swim, wade, creek stomp and enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery.

Visit Table Rock State Park for swimming in Pinnacle Lake or wading at the Carrick Creek trail waterfall.

Lake Jocassee

Or, head to Devils Fork State Park on Lake Jocassee for swimming or boating in the beautiful, crystal clear lake.

Looking for a guide to the area? Check out this Kids Kayak Clinic from Jocassee Wild Child, or this Family Adventure with Jocassee Wild Child.

Guide to Hiking Near Greenville, SC: Trails for Little Kids, Big Kids, and Adventurous Families

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Looking for a great hike to enjoy with your family near Greenville, SC? Check out our Guide to Hiking in the Upstate! You’re sure to find a new hike to try that’s just right for your family. This is your new go-to guide for hiking in Upstate, SC.

Table Rock summit

This article includes:
Trails to Hike Near You, Just Right For Your Family
Family Hiking Trails in Greenville, SC
Hiking in Pickens, SC
Hiking in Easley, SC
Hiking Trails in Mountain Rest, SC
Hiking Trails in Central, SC
Hiking Trails in Marietta, SC
Hiking Trails in Sunset, SC
Hiking Trail in Walhalla, SC
Hiking Trails in Cleveland, SC
Hiking in Clinton, SC
Hiking Trails in Spartanburg, SC
Hiking Trails in Columbia, SC
Hiking Trails in Western North Carolina


The South Carolina 7 Expedition, 2022

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The South Carolina 7 Expedition is once again exploring the state from the mountains to the sea this July! The name South Carolina 7 represents seven natural wonders in our state, including National Geographic-recognized ecological areas and historical sites such as the Jocassee Gorges, Sassafras Mountain, and the Chattooga River.

Kidding Around covered this epic month-long event in 2021; you can find everything about last year’s route in our article See South Carolina’s Top 30 Beautiful Natural Spots! This year the team is following a similar path across the state, with a few new locations – including several in Spartanburg and vicinity!


This Emerald Lagoon In North Carolina Looks Like A Fairy Tale, and You’ll Never Want To Leave

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We heard about a place called Midnight Hole in North Carolina that featured an emerald lagoon, one that would likely have mermaids, or so we hoped.

Are you looking for a romantic day trip for you and the apple of your eye? A new place to take the family for a nature-inspired adventure?

Midnight Hole might be just the place for your next outdoor family quest.


Foothills Trail Guide: Great Family Day Hikes, Backpacking, and More

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Waterfalls, wilderness areas, wildflowers and epic views… No, we’re not talking about a national park somewhere out west, but our very own Foothills Trail! Backpacker magazine rated it as “one of the best long trails (fifty-plus miles) in the country,” and it traverses the Jocassee Gorges, which National Geographic named one of “50 of the World’s Last Great Places—Destinations of a Lifetime”… this isn’t just any walk in the park! Well-suited for a through-hike for families looking for a challenge, yet accessible even for the shortest day-trip ramble, the Foothills Trail is rapidly gaining notoriety as one of the premier trails in the southeast.


Hiking Jones Gap With Kids

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Have you tried hiking Jones Gap State Park? Just a 25-mile ride from Downtown Greenville will place your family in a breathtaking scene of mountain forest greenery. Where boulder-hopping fun, waterfall viewing, trout fishing, primitive camping, and more await as you stare up in wonder at the Eastern Continental Divide. Hiking Jones Gap is fun for all skill levels and groups as there are trails for everyone – usually with a reward of a waterfall find!

Jones Gap parking policies include reserving parking spaces for visiting the park on Saturdays and Sundays before 2 pm. The cost to reserve a parking space is $5. Spots will be held until 2 pm. You can reserve a parking spot at Jones Gap here. No lines will be allowed to form at the gate of the park. Once the park is at capacity the gates will be closed and not opened until 2 pm. Reserve spots by 11:59 am the day before you visit. You can check to see if parking is full before your visit.

hiking with kids at Jones Gap State Park

Want more tips on places to hike in the Upstate? Check out our list of best places to hike with toddlers and young kids.

What to expect at Jones Gap

As you enter the park, you will immediately come upon the beautiful Middle Saluda River as it winds its way through the forest floor, babbling around corners and cascading over boulders. Many strenuous trails lead to waterfalls throughout the park, including the beautiful (but strenuous) trail which leads to Rainbow Falls and it is possible to even hike from Jones Gap to Caesars Head (just not recommended with tots).

Luckily for families with little ones, a popular moderate trail follows the river to a waterfall, allowing hikers to enjoy the river along every step of the way. This trail is a small portion of the Jones Gap Trail and it leads to Jones Gap Falls.

For a round-trip hike of 2.6 miles (1.3 each way), it has a lot to offer! Boulders are strewn about the moderate trail which has always proved very entertaining for my kiddos – hopping, scaling, and launching off left and right. There is, of course, the river. Always available for a cool dip or a nice picnic.

And eventually, there is the waterfall “reward”! A fan waterfall splashes over a 50-foot drop, spilling over a staircase of granite ledges and misting little faces with excitement. Pack a picnic and plan to spend a few hours on this lovely trail with your kiddos. The trail is so beautiful that if your kids couldn’t stick it out to the falls, nothing would be lost alongside that gorgeous river.

Parking at Jones Gap

An important side note about the park is that there is only a small parking area available. The park now requires parking space reservations on the weekends. No line is allowed to form at the gate. Unused spots open at 2 pm. Monday through Friday no reservations are required, though you may have to wait for a parking spot. If I were to haul my kiddos out there and find the parking lot full, I’d plan on hopping over to Table Rock or Caesars Head as a backup plan instead.

hiking Jones Gap with kids

Plan your own trip!

Jones Gap State Park
303 Jones Gap Road, Marietta

$6 for adults; $3.50 kids 6 – 15; kids 5 and under are free

9 am – 9 pm during daylight savings time, 9 am to 6 pm during the rest of the year.

Where is your favorite place to hike with your family? Tell us in the comments?

You’ll Find a Challenging Hike and a Gorgeous Waterfall at Little Bradley Falls

Looking for an adventure including a good hike and a breathtaking waterfall? KAG Contributor Liene has the scoop on Little Bradley Falls in Saluda, North Carolina. Due to lack of signs and the degree of difficulty, the Little Bradley Falls and (Big) Bradley Falls hikes are usually left to those ‘in the know’; however, judging by the amount of traffic on Liene’s visit, these gorgeous waterfall hikes have been discovered and are quickly gaining popularity as short, but challenging and rewarding hikes in western North Carolina.

As of July 2022, the trail to Little Bradley Falls is closed to the public for maintenance.