Table Rock State Park (South Carolina)

Table Rock State Park
Table Rock Mountain
Nearest cityPickens, South Carolina
Coordinates35°02′09.2″N 82°42′21.3″W / 35.035889°N 82.705917°W / 35.035889; -82.705917Coordinates:35°02′09.2″N 82°42′21.3″W / 35.035889°N 82.705917°W / 35.035889; -82.705917
Area3,083 acres (12.5 km2)
Camp sitesBoth regular and RV campsites[2] Mountain cabins are also available in the park[3]
Hiking trails
  • Eastern trailhead of the Foothills Trail
  • A trail to the summit of Pinnacle Mountain
  • A trail to the summit of Table Rock
Other informationLeashed pets are allowed everywhere except for cabin areas.
WebsiteTable Rock State Park

Table Rock State Park is a 3,083-acre (12.48 km2) park at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Pickens County, South Carolina. The park includes Pinnacle Mountain, the tallest mountain totally within the state.[4]

Park Features

The park features a lodge built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) that includes a kitchen and a 72-seat dining room.[5] There are two park lakes that accommodate seasonal swimming and hiking trails that lead to Mill Creek Falls, the Pinnacle Mountain summit (two routes), and Table Rock summit. A nature center offers educational programs, and there are picnic shelters and a playground.


The 1.9-mile (3.1 km) Carrick Creek Nature Trail loops around two creeks with small cascades and waterfalls and displays wildflowers in season.[6]

The 3.5-mile (5.6 km) Table Rock Summit Trail is moderately strenuous, rising 2,000 feet (610 m) above the trailhead and includes a shelter built by the CCC. At approximately 2.5 miles (4.0 km), the trail forks, the left fork following a ridge trail to Pinnacle Mountain and the right fork to the summit at 3,124 feet (952 m). The trail ends at an overlook with a view of Table Rock Reservoir and Caesars Head.[7]

The park is the eastern trailhead of the 80-mile (130 km) Foothills Trail through the Blue Ridge Escarpment.

A waterfall on Carrick Creek Nature Trail


Prior to the signing of the Hopewell Treaty of 1785, the land now encompassed by Table Rock State Park was part of the Lower Cherokee Nation. The Cherokee called the area, "Sah-ka-na-ga," the Great Blue Hills of God, and they established many hunting camps in the area.[8] According to folklore, Table Rock Mountain received its name from a Cherokee legend in which the flat-topped mountain served as a table from which the Great Spirit ate his meals.[9]

Europeans moved into the Oolenoy River Valley soon after the signing of the Hopewell Treaty, settling at Pumpkintown—named for the unusually large pumpkins grown there. William Sutherland and James Keith operated a wayside lodge for visitors and in 1845, they built the twenty-room Table Rock Hotel, which prospered until the Civil War. Visitors increased again after Reconstruction, and Stephen Keith reopened the Table Rock Hotel. In 1899, Keith's family built a new hotel on a new location on the mountain but by 1912 had abandoned it.[8]

Table Rock State Park Historic District

Table Rock State Park Historic District
U.S. Historic district
Table Rock State Park (South Carolina) is located in South Carolina
Table Rock State Park (South Carolina)
Table Rock State Park (South Carolina) is located in the United States
Table Rock State Park (South Carolina)
Nearest cityPickens, South Carolina
Area2,860 acres (1,160 ha)
ArchitectJ.W. Linley
Architectural styleLate 19th And Early 20th Century American Movements, CCC construction
MPSSouth Carolina State Parks MPS
NRHP reference No.89000478[10]
Added to NRHPJune 15, 1989

In 1935 approximately 2,860 acres (11.6 km2) of land was donated to the state of South Carolina by Pickens County and the city of Greenville.[11][12] The park was created in the 1930s, first by two companies of World War I veterans employed by the Civilian Conservation Corps.[1] The veterans were apparently too old for the strenuous labor necessary to build a dam and otherwise work in mountainous terrain, and in 1936, they were replaced by two junior CCC companies. One of these two companies (5466) constructed a concrete dam and spillway to create the twenty-three acre Pinnacle Lake. The other (5465) built miles of trails, roads, a bathhouse, a concessions building, fish-rearing pools, eight cabins, picnic shelters, and houses for the park superintendent and warden. Most notable was a lodge constructed of logs, an L-shaped building with a great hall on the main level and a dining hall, sun porch, and kitchen on the basement level. The CCC also landscaped the park using natural vegetation from the Pinnacle Lake bed. The park opened to the public with a ceremony on April 4, 1938.[13][8]

The Table Rock State Park Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.[10] Also listed in 1989 were the related Civilian Conservation Corps Quarry No. 1 and Truck Trail, Civilian Conservation Corps Quarry No. 2, Roper House Complex and Table Rock Civilian Conservation Corps Camp Site. It is also a South Carolina Heritage Trust Site.

Table Rock Mountain, as seen from Visitors' Center


  1. ^ a b "About This Park - Table Rock State Park - South Carolina State Parks". 14 October 2007.
  2. ^ "Table Rock State Park - (near) Pickens". 14 October 2007.
  3. ^ " "About This Park - Table Rock State Park - South Carolina State Parks". 14 October 2007.
  4. ^ "South Carolina - Naturally!". 9 May 2007..
  5. ^ SC State Park website
  6. ^ SC Hiking Trails website
  7. ^ "Table Rock State Park Map" (PDF). 10 October 2010..
  8. ^ a b c Table Rock State Park sign (May 30, 2009).
  9. ^ Tara Mitchell Mielnik, New Deal, New Landscape: The Civilian Conservation Corps and South Carolina's State Parks (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2011), 133.
  10. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  11. ^ Sims, E. Thomas; Julie Turner (February 1, 1989). "Table Rock State Park (CCC) Camp Site" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  12. ^ "Table Rock State Park CCC Camp Site, Pickens County (off S.C. Sec. Rd. 25, Pickens vicinity)". National Register Properties in South Carolina. South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  13. ^ Mielnik, 133-35.

External links

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Table Rock Mountain from Lake Oolenoy, within Table Rock State Park, Pickens County, South Carolina.
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Table Rock Mountain, as seen across the lake at the Visitor's Center of Oolenoy State Park
a water fall on Carrick Creek Nature Trail, Table Rock State Park, South Carolina, USA