Table Rock State Park
By: Dan Gibbs
Table Rock State Park is located in Pickens County, South Carolina and was started in 1935 when over 2800 acres was donated to Pickens County and the city of Greenville. Several companies employed by the Civilian Conservation, one of those companies being a group of World War I veterans. The CCC started work on the Park after this and a dam was built that formed the 23-acre Pinnacle Lake, a lodge was constructed, several miles of trails were built as well as several cabins. One trail leads to the summit of Pinnacle Mountain while another trail leads to the summit of Table Rock. The Park was opened to the public in April of 1938. The Table Rock State Park Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.
Table Rock State Park is also steeped in Cherokee legend. The Cherokee referred to this area of the Blue Ridge Mountains as “Sah-ka-na-ga” which means the “Great Blue Hills of God.” The Cherokee believed that their god used the Table Rock as a table to sit down and feast at, using the other rock as a chair.
Before Table Rock State Park was formed, the area was popular with tourists especially from the lowlands of South Carolina seeking to reach a cooler climate and to see the spectacular views Table Rock had to offer.
I took a trip to Table Rock State Park not long ago and it located only a little over 30 miles from Hendersonville down Highway 25 into South Carolina and onto Highway 11 above Traveler’s Rest, South Carolina. The fee is $6 for entrance to the park but the roads are paved and well maintained. There are several lookout points along the way thru the park to get a great view of the Table Rock. I went late in the fall when there were still some spectacular colors with the leaf season going strong. Views like this give you the opportunity to take some spectacular pictures.
A great website for Table Rock State Park is the scpictureproject.org. It offers some spectacular pictures as well as a great overall history of the park. The Table Rock State Park website offers a great layout of the park.