Small waterfall along the Carrick Creek nature trail

The Upper westernmost portion of the state of South Carolina, referred to as the “Upstate,” is situated amidst the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains. The region is home to some stunning scenery, including lush forests, peaceful flowing streams, and dozens of towering waterfalls. The lovely Carrick Creek trail within Table Rock State Park offers a vast array of natural features, making it a favorite of area hikers and nature lovers.

The hike to the summit of Table Rock

Table Rock State Park is a small 3000 acre park, most famous for its’ landmark mountain and associated hiking trail. The rugged, intense hike up to Table Rock draws fitness buffs from all over. The tough 3.5 mile out-and-back trek climbs 2000 feet, offering grand views in return for the effort. Although adventurous hardcore hikers love this trail, it’s not the best hike for those seeking a peaceful nature experience.

If you want to keep it a bit simpler…

Carrick Creek may not be the longest, nor the most popular trail within the Table Rock trail system. Nevertheless, it is a very picturesque hike with several small waterfalls, numerous small streams, and pretty views of a mix oak/hickory/pine forest. Hiking Carrick Creek is a tranquil nature experience. Although this trail is not home to the largest waterfalls in the area, the peaceful creekside views make it the perfect nature hike.

Peaceful forested scenery along the Carrick Creek Nature trail
Waterfall along the Carrick Creek nature trail at Table Rock State Park

Like most trails in the region, fall is a great time to get out there on the trails. Autumn offers the perfect setting for hiking. The air is crisp and cool, crowds are basically non existent, and leaf peeping opportunities abound basically everywhere.

Mid-November 2018 fall foliage

Fall foliage along the Carrick Creek trail in Upstate SC
Beautiful fall foliage along the Carrick Creek Nature trail
Fall foliage along the Carrick Creek nature trail

Due to the ease of this short trail (the entire loop is just 2 miles), almost anyone can enjoy the journey – as opposed to the lengthy (and treacherous) climb up Table Rock. Multiple waterfalls, relaxing creek, lush forested views, a quiet escape from congested cities nearby…what’s not to like? A refreshing half day out in nature may just be the ticket if you are coming from a nearby congested, growing city like Greenville or Asheville.

If you are staying in the Greenville area, Table Rock is a nice easy day trip just an hour away. Hiking is a great way to get out and explore the natural surroundings of the region. Instead of spending your entire trip endlessly dining & shopping in downtown Greenville (because really you can do that everywhere else, take the time to explore the natural wonders you cannot see everywhere else).

Hiking Details

Location: 158 E Ellison Ln, Pickens, SC 29671 Hours: 7am-7pm (9pm on weekends). Admission fee: $5 per person

Distance: 2 mile loop

Elevation gain: 360 feet

Difficulty: Easy