Big Rock Mountain - A Hidden Gem in the South Carolina Mountains
Updated: Sep 12, 2022
Big Rock Mountain is the perfect hike to add to your list for some street cred. Your hiking buddies may have a few impressive trails under their belt, but odds are they don't know this one. Mileage:1.1 one way Difficulty: Moderate Why It's Cool: Big boulders and great views If you don't already know where this place is, it can be hard to find. You'll want to park in a gravel lot where Nine Times Rd intersects with E Preston McDaniel Rd in Pickens, SC. The trail head is across the street from the parking area, so unless you're trying to meet the Lord, look both ways before you cross the street. Safety first, y'all. The Nine Times Forest and Preserve road sign (pictures below) is on the same side of the road as the trail head.
At this point the trail forks, and the quickest way to the summit is on the right side of the fork. It'll look a little wrong because it takes you into a field underneath giant power lines, but you'll see trail signs guiding you to the top. While you're there, take a moment to stop and listen to the buzzing of the power lines above. It's not exactly the "sounds of nature", but it's kinda neat!
From here, the rest of the trail is pretty easy to find. There are a few more signs like this one that point you in the direction of the summit. The first 0.3 miles or so of the trail are fairly steep, but the rest levels out onto a ridge until you reach the top. Speaking of the top... it is BEAUTIFUL up there. The spirit of John Muir himself would love the top of this little mountain. There are hundreds of large boulders that make up the top of this mountain, which is a unique feature in South Carolina. The views are amazing up here, so take it all in, breathe the mountain air, and enjoy!
Remember to practice Leave No Trace wherever you wander. Take only pictures, and leave only footprints. There are endless places to explore in Appalachia, so get out and enjoy wandering!
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