Sitting at the edge of the Blue Ridge, Table Rock State Park is a popular place to visit and stay. Besides having a campground there are cabins to rent. I’ve stayed twice in the cabins and have fond memories of those weeks. The rock faced Table Rock Mountain gives the park its name and is a feature one can’t miss driving along SC Highway 11.
The park consists of 3,000 acres and has two lakes, creeks, and waterfalls. One can access the 80-mile Foothills Trail or hike to other near by state parks, but for those, like me, who wish a shorter hike, there are several available ranging from .7 miles (Mill Creek Pass) to 4.1 miles (Pinnacle Mountain). A trail even leads to the summit of Table Rock. The last time I went, I took a walk along the roads every morning. My favorite hike was Carrick Creek Trail which went along the creek and featured several waterfalls. When hiking, you must complete a trail registration form at the kiosk by the nature center. Note that the the trails close ½ hour before dark.
Besides nature, there are historical structures in the park, buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. The CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) built many of the cabins and other structures as well as the pond.
Table Rock features two lakes. One can rent paddle boats and kayaks and there’s seasonal swimming. When visiting check out the programs being offered especially if you stay a few days and you should because there’s so much to do and see. We’ve been a kayak tour around the lake, learned what to do in case we got lost, did a scavenger hunt, played bingo (and won!), went on a guided nature walk, plus more. There are picnic shelters and a playground.
Table Rock and its surroundings was once part of the Lower Cherokee Nation. Europeans came, settling in Pumpkintown a few miles away. The town is so named for the large pumpkins grown in the area. Around 1840 a hotel got built to serve the tourists. In 1935, Pickens and Greenville Counties donated land for the park. The CCC went to work building a dam, a lodge, an office, roads, and shelters. They also landscaped the park. The park opened in 1940.
There is a fee to enter park.
Table Rock is located in Pickens County along the scenic route SC Highway 11. the Cherokee Foothills National Scenic Highway.
What’s close by:
SC11 Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway
Caesar’s Head State Park
Jones Gap State Park
Jocassee Gorge Management Area
Keowee-Toxaway State Park
Campbell’s Covered Bridge
Poinsett Bridge in Poinsett Bridge Heritage Preserve