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Showing posts from 2014

Dargans Cascade loop hike

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I planned to visit several waterfalls on my recent visit to Jones Gap State Park, but due to time constraints I missed seeing one: Dargans Cascade. Yesterday I went on a loop hike to visit Dargans Cascade. Last time, I was pressed for time because I let the weather clear up first. This time I left nice and early with a gray overcast, but that was forecast to clear out shortly.

Instead of parking at Jones Gap State Park, this time I parked at Raven Cliff Parking, just past Caesars Head State Park:

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Part way up Caesars Head on U.S. 276, the fog became thick making the twists and turns even more "fun" than usual.

The visibility was so bad I had to depend on the navigation software on my tablet to help find me the parking entrance. I'm loathe to rely on GPS for something I should be able to see for myself, but in this case I'm thankful I had it or I would have missed the turn.

In the short time it took me to park, pay the fee, and get my backpack out, the …

To Toll Gate Falls and Back

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Yesterday I had other things I could be doing, instead I paid a visit to Jones Gap State Park in northern Greenville County to see some waterfalls. I had already loaded my trusty tablet with locations of the park's waterfalls, but just in case I added a paper copy of directions in my backpack before leaving.

The sky was mostly cloudy, but no rain was expected during the time of my visit.

The parking area was rather empty, and the trail proved to be rather empty of hikers too. I stopped to take a photo from the bridge over the Middle Saluda River leading to the trailhead, where many have taken a photo before.


All my waterfalls today were very near Jones Gap Trail. Jones Gap Trail mostly parallels the Middle Saluda River, and the many boulders will trip you up early and often if you don't slow down and watch your step.

A short distance down the trail, I noticed a waterfall off to my left. I had to check it out. I climbed up the hillside following a trail paralleling a creek. Tr…

Veterans Day outing

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On Veterans Day, or November 11th, I returned once again to northern Greenville County to visit more old buildings from the past. Here are my highlights.
Ballenger Mill Ballenger Mill is located on Old Ballenger Mill Road a few miles north of the Highland community.


According to a MillPictures.com section dedicated to the mill, the mill was built in the 1820s by Lewis H. Dickey. After the Civil War, the mill was known as L. Green's Mill. The name changed to Ballenger Mill in 1960 when it was purchased and restored by J. L. Ballenger. The current owner, Willow Creek Conservatory, uses the site to host weddings and other events.

A pretty photo from December 2010 by Flickr photographer Donnie Bagwell shows a mill race that's been removed since.

The covered bridge is a 20th century creation.

The grounds also has a tiny chapel converted from a one room schoolhouse. The place is beautiful and is obviously well suited to hosting weddings.
Waldrop Stone Cottage I heard about this co…