A day at Table Rock starts at the Visitor Center on the south side of State 11. Here, on the banks of 67-acre Lake Oolenoy — which is stocked with bass, bream, and catfish — staff can answer any questions you have about the park.
The main part of the park, including all the trailheads, lies directly across State 11. Some 12 miles of trails lace these state lands, ranging from an easy 1.9-mile loop around Pinnacle Lake to the challenging 3.6-mile (one way) trek to the top of the granite mass of Table Rock. When you reach the 3,124-foot summit of Table Rock — a hike that takes about two and a half hours — and look down across the breathtaking patchwork of land below, you’ll understand why the Cherokee called this place “Sah-ka-na-ga,” meaning “the Great Hills of God.”
If you’ve got the family in tow, check out the seasonal swimming hole at Lake Pinnacle, where you can relax on the small strip of sand while the kids splash in the water. Or rent a pedal boat and take a turn around the lake. Pack a picnic to enjoy at the shelter here before you hit the trails. Just across the road is the head of the Foothills Trail, which stretches 77 miles down to Oconee State Park (be sure to register at the trailhead kiosk).
Exploring Table Rock State Park is a day well-spent, but if you want to stay longer, lodgings include tent and RV campsites as well as 14 renovated cabins.
Table Rock State Park
158 Ellison Lane, Pickens
Aunt Sue’s Country Corner
107 Country Creek Drive, Pickens
Two miles east of Table Rock on State 11, Aunt Sue’s serves up home-style Southern cooking at a restaurant and ice-cream parlor.
Victoria Valley Vineyards
1360 S. Saluda Road, Cleveland
In season, enjoy a panini or a salad on the terrace overlooking the vines at this 47-acre winery off State 11.
6809 State Park Road, Travelers Rest
A wide variety of tasty sandwiches on house-baked bread — not to mention the terrific brownies — make perfect picnic provisions worth a stop on the way up to Table Rock State Park.