15 Apr Musgrove Mill State Historic Site
Musgrove Mill State Park and Historic Site is located just off of I-26, on the northeast edge of Sumter National Forest. There are 2.3 miles of walking trails winding their way through this historic site, immersing the hiker in Revolutionary War history, providing an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the South Carolina piedmont. The trails are awash in color, particularly in the Fall and Spring, and provide ample photo-ops. Retracing the steps of the Patriot Soldiers gives you a fair appreciation for the earliest days of our nation’s existence.
The history of the birth of our nation is just one of the tales recounted here. There’s lore and legend to be found in every corner of Musgrove Mill State Park. The Enoree River rushes through Musgrove Mill State Park, providing the score to a thousand different stories still waiting to unfold.
Horseshoe Falls is a lovely and refreshing break in your hike. Legend claims that Mary Musgrove, daughter of the landowner, hid a Patriot soldier in th cave adjacent to the falls. A blacksmith by trade, thus the name “Horseshoe”, the soldier gathered intelligence which helped win the Battle of Musgrove Mills. Horseshoe Falls’ 10 foot cascade is gentle enough to wade in, but at your own risk.
The first hiking trail at Musgrove Mill State Park, called British Camp Trail, is an easy 1 mile path, beginning at the park office, and traversing the property once owned by the Musgrove family. As you enjoy your self-guided tour, you’ll find panels of information peppered throughout the trail. Many points of interest pertaining to the history of the property are marked on your route, and it’s not unusual to spot wildlife along your hike. You’ll experience spectacular views of the Enoree River while ambling onward.
A second, effortless, 1.3 mile trail begins at the parking lot of Horseshoe Falls. This hike takes you through the more wooded area on the north side of Musgrove Mills State Park, and leads to the site of the battlefield. This trail is referred to as Battlefield Trail.
The Old Mill Site and Battlefield
Visitors to Musgrove Mill State Park mustn’t miss the Musgrove Family Home and Mill Site. Musgrove, who was also a farmer, made his home on this acreage, living a fairly quiet life among the settlers in the Old 96 District, until the the British Army arrived at his door in the summer of 1780. At that time, Musgrove, who was well into his 60’s, was led to believe his property would be used as a hospital. Whatever the original plans, the British Army took over the Musgrove land, creating an encampment and utilizing Musgrove’s mill for food.
The Battle of Musgrove Mill occurred in August of 1780 when a small group of militia men fought against more than double the number of British soldiers and loyalists. The smaller-numbered Patriots won the battle, paving the way for victory at Kings Mountain, a decisive victory for South Carolina and the southern colonists. Admission to the Battlefield site, and Musgrove Mill State Park, is free, and programs and tours are offered regularly, but be sure to check with the Musgrove Mill State Park office first.
Musgrove Mill State Park welcomes visitors, year round, from 9am-6pm. Plan to spend the entire day as there’s much to see. Pack a picnic lunch and idle awhile, or tour the Musgrave Mill State Park interpretive center and find out how to handle a musket like the militia men. Whatever your pleasure, Musgrove Mill State Park in Clinton, SC, is a wonderful getaway in Old 96 District.