Bearwallow Valley Trail

Gorges State Park - Bearwallow Valley & Bearwallow Falls Trails

Gorges is quickly becoming one of my favorite afternoon haunts. Not only is it an easy 10-miles from our home outside of Lake Toxaway, it offers a unique opportunity for me to see a state park in development. Barely a decade ago facilities here consisted of a couple roadside dirt parking lots. Now, a paved loop road, numerous maintained trails, picnic facilities, and a soon-to-be-opened visitor center (October 2012) are all available amenities. On this particular day I didn't have all that much time so I thought I'd do a quick recon of two of the parks shorter trails; the Bearwallow Valley and Bearwallow Falls Trails.

Each are around a half-mile one way and their names tell you what they're all about. The Bearwallow Valley Trail winds uphill from the parking area to a nice view of the Bearwallow Valley stretching away to South Carolina. The Bearwallow Falls Trail leads to an overlook with a rather restricted view of Upper Bearwallow Falls. I wouldn't rate these trails as the 'best of the park' but I hadn't hiked 'em yet, so I had to go...

Trailhead GPS Coordinates:  35.101243, -82.945566

Mileage Hiked: 2.0 miles

Trailhead Temp: 73'F

Min. Elevation: 2,950'

Max Elevation: 3,300' 

Trails Used (blaze color/shape):  Bearwallow Valley (red triangles), Bearwallow Falls (blue triangles)


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