Experience Hiking in Upstate South Carolina 

Top 5 Hiking Trails Near Clemson, SC

There’s nothing quite like a hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains –– one that takes you deep into the heart of the forest, connecting you with nature and restoring the soul. With a mild climate year-round and a variety of trail options, it’s no surprise that many hiking enthusiasts consider the Carolina mountains the ideal location to go out and explore.

One of the most popular hiking areas is the Upstate region of South Carolina. Here, adventurers have the opportunity to explore countless miles of trails that showcase different natural features of the land. From rushing waterfalls to panoramic vistas, let’s look at some of the options to visit near the lively city of Clemson, SC. 

1. Todd Creek Falls Trail

Owned by Clemson University and Duke Energy, Todd Creek Falls Trail is an easy, beginner-friendly hike that showcases rushing waterfalls. After making their way through the short-.7mile trail, hikers will reach 20-foot falls with a swimming hole at their base –– the perfect spot to cool off and take in the scenic views. Nearby you can also explore an old spring and old mill dam before heading back. This trail is pet-friendly, so be sure to bring your furry friends along for the hike too!

Related: Hiking Tips for Pets and People

2. Waldrop Stone Falls Trail

Located in the heart of Clemson’s Experimental Forest, Waldrop Stone Falls Trail is another short hike worth visiting in the Upstate region. This 1.6-mile loop trail is a popular destination for hikers as it takes you to one of the area’s largest falls, a multi-tiered waterfall soaring nearly 50 feet in the air. Throughout the trail, there are informational plaques that teach you about the many plants and trees that call the forest home. 

Learn More: 7 Hiking Essentials For Your Next Carolina Hiking Trip 

3. Twin Falls Trail

Just over a half-hour north of Clemson in the Jocassee Gorges Wilderness Area, hikers can find the Twin Falls Trail, also known as Reedy Cove Falls. About a mile in length, this short trail takes you through the beautiful, rocky terrain to the flowing falls they are named after. For the best view of the falls, be sure to make your way to the overlook at the bottom of the cascade.

4. Issaqueena Lake Trail

For a more challenging, intermediate trail, head over to Issaqueena Lake Trail, located in the Clemson Experimental Forest. This trail is nearly 2 miles and takes hikers along the shores of Lake Issaqueena. For those looking for a longer trail, this section connects to the other trails including the Issaqueena Trail –– so you can increase your hike’s distance at your leisure. 

5. Foothills Trail

With an access point located about an hour outside of Clemson, the Foothills Trail offers hikers more than 50 miles of trails to choose from! Also located in the Jocassee Gorge, this trail is one of the most popular in both North and South Carolina! With more than 80 miles of trails, ranging from beginner to advanced levels, hikers have the freedom to choose their adventure in this section of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s no surprise that this trail was named “one of the best long trails [fifty plus miles] in the country”) by Backpackers Magazine!

Are you looking for more trails to visit in the Blue Ridge Mountains? Read our post, Top 7 Hiking Trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains, for a list of more trails to explore in the region. 

Experience Hiking from Your Backyard at The Cliffs

Located in Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina, The Cliffs private luxury community is the perfect place to make your home base for exploring the region. Comprised of seven gated communities, each offers a one-of-a-kind experience –– and the best part is, when you are a member of one club, you have access to all seven, multiplying the ways you enjoy life in the Carolinas. 

Curious to see the luxury properties currently listed at The Cliffs? Browse available homes and homesites on our online catalog and begin to take full advantage of your new life in the Carolina mountains. Simply click on the button below to get started. 


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