Palmetto Trail – Alston Trailhead

If you haven’t heard of the Palmetto Trail, it’s an amazing (and free) effort of numerous groups and people in South Carolina.  It winds through the low-country, through the Sandhills, and up to the rolling mountains.  There are more than 350 miles completed on the trail, and the final plan is to have one continuous stretch of 500 miles from sea to mountains!   Numerous stops for parking, picnicking and primitive camping scatter the trail too.

Several years back when we first heard of the project, my husband told the boys they should plan to one day hike the entire stretch.  Now that our youngest is old enough to understand the distance, he doesn’t think that it is a great idea, haha!  Until they are ready for a huge journey, they can take it one section at a time (currently 26 passages to choose between).

One of my favorites legs (of the few I have been to so far) is the Peak-To-Prosperity  stretch.  The passage is ranked as “easy”, and has a nice wide path following former train tracks.  My eldest hiked the 10-mile stretch as a young thing with a group of friends.  It has amazing scenery, and my favorite part – the trestles!  The biggest of them is at Alston Trailhead – the Broad River bridge.  The current bridge was built in 1904, after the original was burnt to the ground by the confederate troops in an attempt to hold Sherman’s forces at bay.   You can see the remains of the original bridge as you cross the bridge.  And if you like bridges, the passage between Peak and the town of Pomaria alone has 14 trestles!

 

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