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Eastatoe Creek Heritage Preserve

Eastatoe Creek Heritage Preserve/Wildlife Management Area is a 374-acre preserve in Pickens County, managed by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.  The preserve located within the larger Jocassee Gorges Natural Area, also managed by SCDNR.  The preserve consists primarily of the steep mountain gorge of Eastatoe Creek.  Three smaller streams flow into Eastatoe Creek within the preserve - Laurel Branch, Side of Mountain Creek, and Rocky Bottom Creek.  Eastatoe Creek drops 600 feet in elevation as it flows through the preserve, culminating at The Narrows, a narrow waterfall near the southern end of the preserve.

Directions:

Take US-178 north approximately 8 miles from the intersection with SC-11 and turn left on Horsepasture Road.  In about a quarter-mile, turn left into the parking area for the Foothills Trail.  Hike 1/8 mile further up the road and turn left on the spur trail to enter the preserve.

Map:

Hiking:

Eastatoe Gorge Spur Trail:

Length: 2.5 miles
Difficulty: Moderate

The Eastatoe Gorge Spur Trail is a spur of the Foothills Trail that runs through the foothills of North and South Carolina.  The trail begins just past the parking area and follows an old roadbed along a ridgeline above Eastatoe Creek.  After about two miles, the trail leaves the roadbed and heads down into the gorge.  Although the trail is very steep, a number of switchbacks reduce the slope a bit.  Once in the gorge, there is a split in the trail.  Left leads to a clearing for backcountry camping (check the preserve's website or signs at the parking area as camping may be prohibited at times).  Right leads to an wooden overlook with views of The Narrows.  The trail extension and overlook were built in 2010.

Waterfalls:

The Narrows:

The Narrows is a waterfall on Eastatoe Creek, where the creek flows through narrow and rocky channels.  To visit the falls, follow the Eastatoe Gorge Spur Trail into the gorge and turn right at the fork to reach the overlook.

The Narrows

External Links:

SC DNR website: https://www.dnr.sc.gov/mlands/managedland?p_id=10

Photos: