Discover Fall Foliage
Fall is a favorite season of many, and for good reason. The weather finally feels comfortable, the air is crisp, and most notably, the landscape resembles a vibrant sea of auburns, crimsons, and ambers. It seems magical, with hills and mountains carpeted in glorious fall color.
South Carolina’s Upstate holds some of the South’s most captivating fall foliage. State parks with overlooks see an influx of visitors, known as leaf-peepers. For up-to-date leaf info, travel to
southcarolinaparks.com/see-and-do for Wednesday fall foliage reports this year, and to get a live look at the colors on their Table Rock webcam.
Our suggestions for seeing fall color:
Scenic Driving Routes
Cherokee Foothills Scenic Byway (SC 11)
Named for the Cherokees whose home the byway courses through, this road travels along the Blue Ridge Mountains foothils. Passengers can appreciate the cascading waterfalls, towering mountains, and miles of open road. The byway runs past a number of state parks, including Jones Gap Park, Caesars Head State Park, Table Rock State Park and Keowee Toxaway State Park.
Falling Waters Scenic Byway (On SC 107)
For a more secluded ride, journey down this hidden gem starting at Walhalla in Oconee County and into Sumter National Forest. The entrance to Oconee State Park is also off this road at 624 State Park Rd. Mountain Rest.
Oscar Wigington Scenic Byway
This winding connector route takes passengers through pathways lined with rich hardwoods and distanced rolling hills between SC-107 and SC-103. Enjoy a quiet and vibrant trip all the way through. Make sure to stop at the Wigington Overlook, located on SC 413 off of SC Highway 107 near the state line. Here observers can take in the stunning Lake Jocassee and Blue Ridge Mountains in the autumn light.
What better place to see the complete autumn countryside than from the highest summit in South Carolina? Standing at 3,553 feet tall, Sassafras Mountain in Pickens County allows visitors to see vast stretches of Georgia and the Carolinas. Before the new tower opened in the spring of 2019, the high point on the mountain was difficult to access and the views obstructed by trees. With the new perch, visitors can see 30-50 miles in virtually every direction on a clear day. Take US Highway 178 north to F. Van Clayton Memorial Highway for 4.7 miles to the top. Gravel parking lot.
Pretty Place Chapel
Known as the Pretty Place or Symmes Chapel in Cleveland, SC. This open-air chapel positioned on the top of Stone Mountain is a state treasure, showcasing endless hills covered in an array of brilliant hues. Call the YMCA Camp Greenville ahead of time or check online to see what times the chapel is open to public visitation https://www.campgreenville.org/visitation-schedule.
100 YMCA Camp Road. Cleveland, SC
Bald Rock Heritage Preserve gives onlookers premier panoramic displays of the state’s foothills. Close to Caesars Head State Park, the attraction is found on a pull-off off US Route 276. This gigantic slab of rock allows travelers to admire the extraordinary foliage changes from a prime vantage point.
Note, guests should call parks before visiting to check current capacity, as well as any park safety requirements. Admission to parks varies, but all charge something.
Caesars Head State Park
Sight-seers from near and far come to Caesars Head to experience fall and its entirety atop the Blue Ridge Escarpment. Viewers can see the rainbow landscapes of Greenville, North Carolina, and Georgia. Explore the Raven Cliff Falls trail to reach a wonderful gorge where hikers can take in the rushing waterfall and foliage. Hours: Opens at 9am 864-836-6115
8155 Geer Hwy Cleveland SC 29635
Jones Gap State Park
Take a casual stroll or a strenuous undertaking on these trails this season! Rainbow Falls is a 4.4 mile trail that features a delightful waterfall at its base. The Jones Gap Falls is a more kid-friendly trail that gives access to a smaller waterfall at its end.
Opens at 9am 864-836-3647
303 Jones Gap Rd Marietta SC 29661
Devils Fork State Park
Opens at 7am 864-944-2639
161 Holcombe Circle Salem SC 29676
Keowee Toxaway State Park
Opens at 9am 864-868-2605
108 Residence Dr. Sunset SC 29685
Musgrove Mill Historic Site
Musgrove Mill has two trails that detail the history of the Battle of Musgrove Mill, the Musgrove family, and the Revolutionary War. On both trails hikers can see bursts of orange and scarlet foliage. Benches. Lounge on a rocking chair at the Visitor Center to enjoy the sights and fresh air. Also handicap accessible.
Opens at 9am 864-938-0100
398 State Park Rd. Clinton SC 29325
Oconee State Park
The park has 7 trails it offers its visitors, which are ideal for fall ventures, whether you are a novice hiker or a pro.
Opens at 7am 864-638-5353
624 State Park Rd. Mountain Rest SC
Table Rock State Park
Hikers will love Table Rock for its variety of trails and difficulty levels. Each trail provides hikers with diverse wildlife, plantlife, and striking fall features.
Opens at 7am 864-878-9813
158 Ellison Ln Pickens SC 29671