My destination was Musgrove Mill State Historic Site in Laurens County, off Highway 56 near Clinton, SC. I began my trip at the canoe launch off Horseshoe Road on the west side of the Enoree River. It was a warm, late summer afternoon, but the light breeze reminded me that the cooler days of fall were just a few weeks away. A small parking area is located less than 25-yards from waters edge and provides easy access for paddlers. The launch area is part of the Enoree River Canoe Water Trail.
The next stop at Musgrove Mill was Horseshoe Falls, which is easily accessible by hiking along the Battlefield Trail for about a quarter mile from the larger parking area off of Horseshoe Road. The falls are handicap accessible and handicap parking is provided. True to its name, the falls are curved like a horseshoe and are approximately 10-feet in height.
My next stop was the site of the 1780 American Revolutionary War Battle of Musgrove Mill where British troops and Loyalists encountered a small detachment of Colonial Patriots. The Patriots were outnumbered but by securing a high ground position and luring the British troops and Loyalists into battle, defeat was very quick.
I learned the site of the battle was the home of Edward Musgrove. At the time of the war he was about 64 years old, and probably didn’t want to have any part in the skirmish. But, his home and land was used as a British encampment and his gristmill provided a source of food for the soldiers.
From the Visitor’s Center, you can access two separate interpretive trails. British Camp Trail is a one-mile leisurely trail that starts at the Visitors Center parking lot and winds along the Enoree River. It offers views of where the old mill and home site used to be which unfortunately washed away in 1852. The Battlefield Trail at Horseshoe Falls is about 1.3 miles and is a little more challenging but takes you along an ancient gully and features sites where the battle actually took place.
Musgrove Mill State Historic Site is open from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. daily. http://southcarolinaparks.com/musgrovemill/introduction.aspx