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Lakes, Links and Bucket Lists: South Carolina’s Little River Blueway

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Located within the Sumter National Forest where Little River and Lake Thurmond converge in Northern McCormick County, South Carolina’s Little River Blueway offers outdoor adventure and vacation options for everyone. Featuring diverse hiking and biking trails, paddling and canoeing, camping and even a golf resort, the Little River Blueway in South Carolina’s Old 96 District is a hidden gem.

Hiking and biking trails abound, with options for all skill levels. Those looking for leisurely paced trails will enjoy the Savannah Valley Railroad Trail and hundreds of miles of unpaved Forest Service roads, which provide wide and mostly obstacle free off-road riding and hiking on packed grass and gravel. The Southern Off-Road Bicycling Association has invested in building over 21 miles of some of the world’s best single track trails between the two state parks in the Little River Blueway. The Lakefront Loop trail at Hickory Knob State Resort Park features advanced obstacles including jumps, dips and gullies as views of Lake Thurmond entertain riders. The region’s draw for mountain biking extends nearby, with the Forks Area Trail System, an International Mountain Biking Association designated “Epic Trail”. IMBA Epics are the mountain biking bucket list for riders seeking the best single-track experiences around the world.

If you prefer paddling over pedaling, the Little River Blueway features over 51 miles of water trails. Use the Blueway Water Trail map to plan your route and identify the closest outfitter or campsite. Some routes allow you to end your day at a waterfront campsite, while others allow totally secluded paddling experiences. The most central starting point is Baker Creek State Park, also known as Blueway Base Camp. Launch your water adventure from Baker Creek or nearby Hickory Knob Resort, which offers canoe and kayak rentals.

For those seeking more amenities, Hickory Knob State Resort Park features various accommodations, a full-service restaurant, swimming pool, playground and gift shop. Whether you are an expert mountain biker seeking to check trails off your bucket list, or simply hoping for a quiet weekend by the lake, South Carolina’s Little River Blueway is the answer. Plan your getaway now and experience all this beautiful area has to offer.

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