SC’s Old 96 District: 12 Hiking/Biking Trails in 6 South Carolina State Parks

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Did you know South Carolina’s Old 96 District has six South Carolina state parks? That’s a lot of opportunity for outdoor adventure—not just for camping and boating, but also for an unbeatable selection of hiking and biking trails.

Choose your adventure from every skill level at difficult, intermediate, to beginner. Challenge yourself to a blood-pumping ride on the Lakeview Trail loop, or set a slower pace through the British Encampment Trail while reflecting on Revolutionary War history. A bonus: the breathtaking views of the Sumter National Forest serve as a backdrop for many of our trails in the Old 96 District. So get to planning your hiking getaway on South Carolina’s Freshwater Coast!

Here’s a list of our TWELVE state park trails:


Mountain Bike Trail

Trailhead: 33.88034, -82.36470

Difficulty: Moderate

Surface: Natural, rugged in places

Length: Up to 10 miles of connecting loops

Steep and leafy, the yellow-blazed trail beckons you downhill and deeper into the forested hills surrounding the creek, which makes its final splash into the placid waters of Lake Thurmond.  A very nice scenic trail with a little adventure.

Wild Mint Trail

Trailhead: 33.88034, -82.36470

Difficulty: Easy

Surface: Natural, rugged in places

Length: 0.7 loop

Studded with brilliant wile blossoms of dogwood each spring, the hillsides of Baker Creek State Park stand out in their new cloak of spring green leaves. This is a trail that is a delight to walk, a fine introduction to the oak hickory forest topping these rugged hills.


Cedar Bluff Trail

Trailhead: 34.10798, -82.62623

Difficulty: Moderate

Surface: Natural, rugged in places

Length: 1.5-mile loop

The Cedar Bluff Trail showcases the slopes above Lake Russell with views of the lake and many bridges to cross over creeks draining into the lake. It’s a very pretty trail.  

Mariner Trail

Trailhead: 34.10042, -82.62623

Difficulty: Moderate

Surface: Natural with numerous bridges and steps

Length: 0.25 mile linear

This is a short connector trail between Campground #2 and the park store and docks, and it provides great scenic views.  The trail provides unique perspectives on Lake Russell and the forest sloping down to the waters.


Beaver Run Trail

Trailhead: 33.87888, -82.43176

Difficulty: Easy

Surface: Natural, optimized for mountain bikes

Length: 2.5 miles

The Beaver Run Trail is a linear trail between the skeet shooting area parking lot and the lodge at Hickory Knob State Resort Park. The 2.3-mile Beaver Run Trail provides an easy mountain bike ride for beginners or the perfect setting for a morning jog.  The trail stays close to Lake Thurmond for much of its length and loops around the historic Guillebeau Cabin.

Lakeview Trail

Trailhead: 33.88240, -82.41377

Difficulty: Difficult

Surface: Natural, optimized for mountain bikes

Length: 7.2 miles

This trail is thought by many avid outdoor experts to be one of the best bike trails in the Old 96 District. The name Lakeview Trail says it all! A beautiful view. It is a loop with technical spots that’ll give an adrenaline rush to cyclists and is well-maintained.  For mountain bikers, this trail provides technical challenges and views of Lake Strom Thurmond.

Turkey Ridge Trail

Trailhead: 33.88262, -82.41348

Difficulty: Moderate

Surface: Natural, optimized for mountain bikes

Length: 1.7-mile loop

This trail is a short loop, which means when cyclists stay away, hikers can play. This walk in the woods offers steep ups and downs and switchbacks as it traverses the oak-hickory forest so common in the uplands.


Lake Greenwood Nature Trail

Trailhead: 34.19686, -81.95248

Difficulty: Easy

Surface: Natural

Length: 0.7-mile loop

Beneath the deep shade of asks and hickories, this trail descends to a cove along the lake’s edge before climbing up to the crest of a peninsula that juts out into Lake Greenwood.


Hamilton Branch State Park Connector

Trailhead: 33.75128, -82.19700

Difficulty: Easy

Surface: Paved service road

Length: 0.3-mile one way

This short section of trail is just a connector to the much longer trail, the Stevens Creek Trail, which follows Stevens Creek. 

Paleo Trail

Trailhead: 33.75205, -82.211091.5

Difficulty: Easy

Surface: Natural

Length: 1.5-mile loop

Enjoy the scenic view of this short hiking trail. Following the trail markers on the trees, you will wander up and down through a thick forest of oaks and elms. All through this area you may encounter a variety of birds, deer and other wildlife. You may also be lucky enough to sight a Bald Eagle that nests in this area as you make your way back to the Gift Shop. 


Battlefield Trail

Trailhead: 34.35540, -81.51256

Difficulty: Easy

Surface: Unpaved

Length: 1.5-miles linear

This trail begins at the ADA boardwalk, which leads to the overlook at Horseshoe Falls. The trail leaves the overlook and goes out to the battleground area. Along the way are interpretive waysides that explain the American Revolutionary War Battle of Musgrove Mill, which occurred on August 19, 1780.

British Encampment Trail

Trailhead: 34.35540, -81.51140

Difficulty: Easy

Surface: Unpaved

Length: 1 mile linear

This easy one-mile loop starts in the parking lot and runs along the Enoree River much of the way. The trail has interpretive waysides that educate about the homestead of the Musgrove family, and the British Encampment in the summer of 1780 during the Battle of Musgrove Mill.

Category : 
Hiking Trails, Outdoor Adventure
Author : 
Old 96 District
November 14, 2018
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