Although the out-and-back Jones Gap Trail is a moderately difficult trail, it delves into some of the upstate's most scenic country. Its easternmost terminus is Jones Gap State Park and the 5.3 mile long trail meanders through lush woodlands towards Caesars Head State Park. The blue-blazed trail ascends almost 1,500 feet and the footing varies from rocky roadbeds to granite outcrops. It closely follows the Middle Saluda River, occasionally crossing the rushing water on narrow logs. You can also expect to cross streams and view many waterfalls. Diverse wildflowers such as foamflower, Catesby's trillium, and wood anemone adorn the trail in spring while the forest is populated mostly by American beech, tulip poplar, and Eastern hemlock. The Jones Gap Trail is also connected to the Foothills Trail and in the future will be part of the Palmetto Trail. Free trailside camping permits for the Jones Gap Trail must be obtained from a ranger at either Caesars Head State Park or Jones Gap State Park.
Directions: From Greenville, To the western trailhead: drive northwest on US 276 to Caesars Head State Park. Two miles beyond the park entrance, and one mile beyond the Raven Cliff Falls parking area, the trailhead marked with a blue blaze, is at a brown pipe gate on the right side of the road.
Distance: 5.3 miles
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South Carolina State Parks, North Carolina
Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 Wildernet.com all rights reserved.
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