A unique South Carolina park with hiking trails, sandstone formations, and a waterfall.
Located in the center of South Carolina, about 30 minutes from Columbia, is the interesting and unique outdoor destination – Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve. Unlike anything you would expect to see in South Carolina, Peachtree Rock is filled with very unusual geological formations that were formed from the sandstone rock that is prevalent in this area. While the preserve’s namesake, Peachtree Rock, fell over several years ago, there are still plenty of other interesting formations including the named Little Peachtree Rock. The preserve also boasts the only known natural waterfall in South Carolina’s coastal plain. It is a wonderful kid-friendly spot to visit with numerous short hiking trails, rich plant life, and varied wildlife.
Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve is located at 883 Peachtree Rock Road in Lexington, South Carolina; right where Peachtree Rock Road meets highway 6. Look for the moderately sized parking area with the sign and informational signboard. This is a popular spot for day hiking and the parking area can fill up but there is plenty of overflow parking on Peachtree Rock Road if necessary. Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve is only about 30 minutes from downtown Columbia or about 1 hour from Augusta Georgia. There are no restroom facilities onsite.
Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve is about 450 acres in total and has numerous hiking trails that lead throughout the park. None of the trails are very long and there is generally good signage throughout the entire park. While the wildlife, plants and unique sandstone formations are scattered throughout the entire preserve, the top destinations inside the park are Peachtree Rock, the waterfall, and little Peachtree Rock. You could enjoy a walk anywhere in the park but a visit to these three points would provide a great overview of what Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve has to offer.
Access to the parks internal trails is via the trailhead to the left of the informative signboards. It is the only trail leading into the park and is well marked. This short trail will descend slightly before reaching a fork where you would head left to reach Peachtree Rock and the waterfall. This short trail to Peachtree Rock is marked with red blazes on the trees.
It isn’t long before you reach the rock for which the preserve was named – Peachtree Rock. This massive sandstone boulder once precariously stood on its tiny base before ultimately falling over in December of 2013. There is an informative plaque that explains all about the rock and how it was formed. While it would have been nice to see Peachtree Rock when it was still standing, you won’t be disappointed by Little Preachtree Rock located just a little further inside the park.
Continuing on the trail about another 50 yards will take you to the waterfall inside the park. While it isn’t much in terms of water flow, it is the only known natural waterfall in this region of South Carolina and is worth checking out. The rock formations around the waterfall are also very interesting.
From the waterfall or Peachtree Rock, you can take the blue blazed loop trail to Little Peachtree Rock which is deeper inside the preserve. The loop starts just west of the waterfall and Peachtree Rock. You could go either way but the right fork is more of a direct route to Little Peachtree Rock.
Whichever way you decide to go, follow the blue blazes and the trail will pass by Little Peachtree Rock. There are also several other interesting sandstone formations but the star of this section of the forest is Little Peachtree Rock. It is definitely an interesting formation that is worth checking out. It, like Peachtree Rock and the other formations in the area, were formed long ago when the waters of the Atlantic Ocean receded and eroded the lower layers of the rock more quickly creating the signature inverted pyramid formations of Peachtree Rock Preserve.
When you have finished enjoying Little Peachtree Rock, there are a number of other trails inside the preserve that you can easily follow to enjoy many of the plants, birds, and wildlife that are present inside the preserve.