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October 21st, 2022
As the Upstate’s lush landscape becomes awash in the reds, oranges, and yellows of fall, you’ll likely find yourself itching to head out and take in the sights of autumn’s arrival. From an accessible path close to the city to a rugged trek, these three trails will offer spectacular views of fall foliage and protected lands.
This 38-acre park is just a few minutes from downtown Easley and has 2.5 miles of trails, including a 1-mile ADA accessible trail, and a natural playground constructed of repurposed materials, shelters, sitting areas, and more — perfect for spending a few hours in nature without having to travel to places remote and wild.
This property was part of Catherine Ladnier's family farm for over 100 years. Ladnier was determined to preserve her family's land to provide more opportunities for Easley residents to experience the property’s natural resources. She worked with Upstate Forever to permanently protect the land through a conservation easement.
For more info, visit cityofeasley.com
Unveiled in 2021, Sassafras Trail is a new, 2.3-mile multi-use loop at Paris Mountain State Park. It is rated moderate, with a steeper climb in the beginning and a gentler path throughout most of the trail. It crosses multiple creeks, and the sound of babbling brooks can be heard on your trek. Your experience on this unique trail varies from towering mature forests to younger stands of pine and oak, and even lush rhododendron thickets.
Sassafras Trail travels across a 160-acre addition to the park that was purchased by Friends of Paris Mountain State Park in 2015 and protected through a conservation easement by Upstate Forever in 2018. Funding from the South Carolina Conservation Bank and generous contributions from the community helped make this project possible.
For more info, visit southcarolinaparks.com
From its peak, the view atop Glassy Mountain in Pickens County offers a breathtaking, panoramic vista of the Blue Ridge Escarpment. The rugged, moderately difficult, mile-long trail to the top is steep but not too challenging for most. Dogs are welcome on the trail but must stay on leash.
SCDNR acquired the mountain in 1990 and created the 65-acre Glassy Mountain Heritage Preserve to protect one of the few monadnocks in SC. In 2017, a tract of land at the base of the mountain was slated for a controversial real estate development that would have permanently altered the view from atop Glassy Mountain and the natural heritage of the area. Upstate Forever was instrumental in working with the community and the owners of the proposed development site to instead protect the land through a conservation easement.
Please note that this trail is rugged and unmarked. While it is part of an SCDNR Heritage Preserve, it is not located within an established park — please take appropriate caution if you visit.
For more info, visit sctrails.net