Hike plans and photos are regularly updated, posted, and continuously available on this site. Expect weekly hike plans to be posted by Sunday evening and updated, if needed, by 7AM on the day of each hike.
Tuesday January 16: PANTHER CREEK & FALLS IN GEORGIA
This popular 7 mile round trip hike travels rolling (mostly easy or moderate) terrain past a series of waterfalls to the multi-tiered, Panther Creek Falls which spills into a deep pool. There is a $4/vehicle fee and facilies at the trailhead.
Gather, pool and depart at 8:30AM from KKEPA and/or from Warthers in Walhalla at 9AM. (directions)
CLICK HERE for details and directions.
Thursday, January 18: BURRELL’S FORD to SPOONAUGER and KING CREEK FALLS
This easy to moderate 5 mile hike takes you along the Chattooga river to two spectacular waterfalls.
Gather, pool and depart at 8:30AM from KKEPA and/or 9:00AM from Walhalla (directions).
CLICK HERE for details and directions.
Special Outing Feb 6-8: CONGAREE NATIONAL PARK
Here is something different… Let’s hike in the Congaree National Park, the only National Park in South Carolina. It's a little southeast of Columbia, about 160 miles from Salem.
Date: Feb 6 - 8, 2018 (with Feb 27 - March 1 as the rain/flood date)
Hotel: La Quinta Inn - (803) 783-5410 7333 Garners Ferry Rd. Columbia, SC 29209
Congaree National Park: Congaree has the largest intact expanse of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the southeastern United States. The flora and fauna are very different from those in our area, and the 18 miles of trails are FLAT. There are many cypress and tupelo trees. The Park spreads over 22,000 acres of flood plane forest, and floods 8-12 times a year. Thus the need to avoid going during or soon after a storm. If there are significant floods, we may have to postpone the trip. https://www.nps.gov/cong/index.htm
Dogs are allowed on Park trails, including the boardwalk (new policy). They must be leashed (max 6’ long).
Directions to the Park: I-26 south to I-77. East on I-77 to exit 5 (SC-48, Bluff Rd). South on Bluff Rd following signs to the Park.
Itinerary: It’s too far to try to all caravan together. Arrange carpools if you want. We’ll meet at the Park’s Harry Hampton Visitor Center at noon on Tuesday, February 6, eat our lunches together and see the excellent educational exhibits at the Visitor Center. In the afternoon you’ll have the option to take a short hike on the Boardwalk trail (2.4 mile) or a longer hike on the Oakridge trail (6.6 mile), which branches off the Boardwalk trail (and is a ranger’s favorite for its old growth forest). We’ll spend the night at the La Quinta hotel.
The next day we’ll offer options for a shorter and longer hike. The shorter hike is a combination of the Bates Ferry Trail (2 mile) + Fork Swamp Trail (.6 mile). The longer hike will be the River trail (10 miles) or most of the Kingsnake Trail (8 miles) if it has been cleared of fallen trees by then. The Kingsnake trail can also be hiked from start to finish with a car swap making it only 6 miles.
On Thursday, we will go canoeing/kayaking on Cedar Creek through the Park and then head home. Feel free to only stay one day if you don’t want to go canoeing/kayaking.
Hotel - La Quinta Inn: We’ll stay at the LaQuinta Inn Columbia SE/Ft. Jackson, which is 11 miles from the Park. We have a group rate under the Blue Ridge Ramblers: $73 per night. Contact the hotel directly or the Group Desk at 1-800-642-4239, Option 1 and ask for the special rate for The Blue Ridge Ramblers, property #6130. Reservations must be made no later than 1/16/2018 in order to guarantee this special rate.
Hot breakfast is included. The rooms all have refrigerators. Dogs are allowed at no extra cost. You can cancel up to 24 hours before check-in for a full refund.
Restaurants & Meals: Breakfast is provided by La Quinta. For lunch, you will have a small refrigerator in your room so you can bring the fixings for lunch each day. There are no restaurants in the Park. For dinner, there are a number of casual restaurants near the hotel: Longhorn, Shoneys, Applebees, Ruby Tuesday.
Kayaking/Canoeing: For those who want to see the Park from the water, we plan to go canoeing/kayaking on Thursday, Feb 8. Cedar Creek is a slow moving creek that runs through Congaree. We will launch the boats at the South Cedar Creek landing, paddle down river, and then up river. It is not difficult to paddle upriver on Cedar Creek. Total length of time will be approx 3.5 hours.
You are welcome to bring your own kayak/canoe. And for those want to rent, Adventure Carolina will provide a 12’ sit-in kayak for $35 or a canoe for $40 (that is $20per person). There is an additional fee of $100 + gratuity for delivering the boats that we will split. Wait until February 1st to make your reservation because there are NO REFUNDS. Call Adventure Carolina directly to make your reservation at (803)447-3327.
Happy Hour: Of course we will have happy hour each afternoon in the breakfast area of the La Quinta! BYOB and snacks.
Solo Woman Hiker: Any solo woman hiker that would like to share a room with Nancy Carkoff should contact her directly at email@example.com before January 5 or after January 23.
Questions: Contact Susan Hehir at (917) 597-2281 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let Susan know if you are planning to attend and if you are interested in renting a kayak or canoe so I can keep you and Adventure Carolina informed.