We hiked with Upstate Hiking to Jumping Off Rock today. It’s off Horsepasture Road in the DNR land north of Highway 11. No photos for me today as I forgot to charge my camera battery. No problem. It gave me more time to enjoy the winter mountain views and conversation. Other people took some pictures so I’ll post the link at the bottom and you can check them out there.
We started off a back road in the Eastatoe Valley. Eastatoe Valley is a remote place with a mix of fancy homes and old mountain houses, mostly of the latter variety. It is quite beautiful in the summer. Twin Falls, also known as Eastatoe Falls, is not too far from where we started our hike by road and is a short 15 minute or less walk from a good parking lot. A very nice waterfall for the effort.
The neighbors’ dogs were not there to greet us this morning so it was pretty quiet. We immediately started out down an old forest road just past a red gate taking the left branch. There were lots of small branches over the road bed but nothing that you couldn’t walk around. About 3/4 of a mile in we had to cross a small, gurgling creek. The water was a little higher today but everybody made it over fine after some rock hopping. The balance of this road follows the creek so we could hear the pleasant sound of water as we went along. This road hooks up to the main road, past a second red gate, and from here it is pretty much a continuous up until you hit Horsepasture Road. We did not feel the cold as we walked uphill in the bright sunshine and it was a good thing we were wearing layers because I, among others, was down to my shirtsleeves for awhile. The road condition was good. The last time we hiked on this road the DNR had just laid down some rock but it seemed pretty crushed by this point from hunter’s vehicles. No hunting on Sundays in the DNR though.
There are a few decent valley views off this road one of which is by the powerline. You can get a good view of Lake Jocassee looking down the line that runs down to the dam.
The view at Jumping Off Rock was very pretty. It was a little hazy today but still well worth the walk. We ate lunch by the rock overlook, took photos, and enjoyed the scenic view. It is said by some to be one of the most beautiful views in South Carolina by far in the mountains. We would have liked to stay longer but after sitting for a little while the cool air at the top of the ridge was starting to make it a wee bit uncomfortable for much more sitting.
After posing for a group photo, we made the hike back to our cars. It was much easier as it was mostly all downhill going back. We saw a few interesting roads on the side that would be fun to explore. Maybe another day.