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Friday, May 19, 2017

Tamassee Knob - Oconee State Park, South Carolina

Length: 4.1 miles / Difficulty: Difficult


Nearing the end of the short fall weather we've had, we hadn't gotten in any scenic views. Mostly the culprit had been the smoke in the area from surrounding fires, which didn't make hiking to any safe. Thankfully, since we hiked to Tamassee Knob rainfall has moved in. Tamassee Knob was a hike I had kept in mind in case I woke up and walked outside to clear air, and a Sunday this past month we did. Despite a slight chill in the air it was just the right temperature for a hike. The hike is near Walhalla, South Carolina. 


The hike starts in Oconee State Park, and the hike wanders out of the park into Sumter National Forest. The Tamassee Knob trail seems to be the newest additions of hikes since it was added to the sign after it was it made. 


A 2.1 mile hike leads to the overlook from the mountain of Tamassee Knob. The round trip, out and back hike is around 4.2 miles and it is difficult. Brandon didn't seem to be as intimidated by the hike as me though, and if you're not as afraid of falling then you might find this hike easier than I did. The hike starts easy. The trail is mostly level and everything is clearly marked. The trail is well marked with black blazes to show where the trail goes. 


After branching off to the trail toward Tamassee Knob the trail begins to get hilly, so there is a lot of travelling down on the way, and the leaves made it feel a little slick to me. Once outside of the park the trail becomes very narrow and has steep drops to the side. I became frightened by the view off the side of the trail if I happened to slip. The way back to the car was not as bad though since I prefer going up hill when I fear slipping downhill. 


The hike was well worth some of the few, fall skies we've gotten to see this season though. We could see the South Carolina and North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains. I wish there had been some details about what mountains we could exactly see, but Sassafras Mountain seems to be visible from this view, which is the highest mountain peak in South Carolina. This trail is lightly trafficked, but there were quite a few groups of people on the trail for this hike. By the time we reached the knob everyone was gone though, so we had the view to ourselves and we rested till we knew we had to head back to avoid the early, dark day. Now it may appear the trail continues past the knob, but we met a group on the way that said they traveled further past the knob, but they didn't find any views and turned around. Basically when you've reached the rock you've reached the attraction of the trail.

There is an admission fee of $2 per adult, $1.25 for seniors, and kids 15 and younger are free to enter Oconee State Park. They are open daily till dusk. 

2 comments:

  1. Glad you got a smoke-free day! The trail actually ends a few feet beyond the rock; there is no need to go down the hill on the opposite side, and doing so helps contribute to erosion on what is a steep slope on the other side of the knob. And it's tricky, isn't it - I love the colorful autumn views, but I'm also a bit unnerved by the slippery leaves...

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    1. Thank you for the information! That is good to know. Continuing past the rock for the little bit of trail left just didn't look like anything I wanted to risk after all the slick leaves and narrow trail we had walked on. The autumn views were well worth it, but next time I'm bringing an extra hiking stick to keep my balance.

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