Sunday, January 5, 2020

Mountain Bridge Wilderness

I love the Mountain Bridge Wilderness in Upstate SC but rarely go there. The terrain is rugged and the trails are great but the trailheads are often crowded and full and the parks are full of regulations so I often just go somewhere I don't need to worry about any of those things but a few weeks ago I finally got around to checking out Raven Cliff Falls for the first time.

It is a short distance to the overlook on Raven Cliff Falls Trail where you can see the mighty waterfall looming in the distance. This waterfall would be perfect for rappelling but it is in SC so that won't be happening. 


I turned around at the overlook and headed to Gum Gap trail and then eventually on to Natureland Trust Trail and the top of the waterfall I had just been admiring. There is a nice swinging bridge that takes you right over the top of the waterfall.



There is a sign on the bridge warning you that it will take 4-6 more hours from there and the next stretch of trail was a game of shoots and ladders as I worked my way down to the bottom of the waterfall.



There was a big rocky cliff face with some spray coming off it that freezing into marble-sized balls as it fell to the ground which was a quite interesting phenomenon.


From that point, I was expecting Natureland Trust to get a little easier but it never did. Ceaser's Head came into view as I slowly worked my way up through the boulders to highway 276.


I'd gotten a late start and was starting to push the sunset but I crossed 276 and heading for Coldspring Branch to round out the half-marathon and complete the loop. Near the end, I was rewarded for my efforts with this tree.


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