Outdoor

Marie McAden

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Park rangers to lead easy fall foliage walks

Posted 10/23/2013 11:50:00 AM

Autumn’s crisp, cool air got you thinking about a trip to the mountains? Stop thinking and get packing. Join a park ranger this weekend for an easy fall foliage walk in the woods. Guided hikes are planned for Saturday at Paris Mountain and Table Rock state parks.

It should be close to the peak of the fall color season when the leaves on the hickories turn a golden color and maples explode in a palate of red, yellow and orange.

At Paris Mountain State Park in Greenville, a park ranger will take a group of fall foliage fans on a leisurely walk to Mountain Lake where you’ll get to enjoy a double dose of the color spectacle in the trees and in the reflection on the still lake water. Along the way, you’ll learn about the different trees and what makes them change colors.

The program fee for the 1 to 3 p.m. hike is just $5 — and the regular park admission fee is waived! Registration is required by Oct. 25 to participate. Call the park office at (864) 244-5565 or email ctaylor@scprt.com to sign up.

Up the road at Table Rock State Park in Pickens, a park ranger will lead leaf peepers through the new trail around Pinnacle Lake, pointing out some of the seasonal changes in the forest ecosystem. The hike takes place from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

The program fee is also $5, but you’ll need to register by Oct. 23 to participate in the autumnal excursion. Call (864) 878-9813 to sign up.

If you’ve got your kids in tow, stay for the day and take them to the Trunk or Treat event taking place at 5 p.m. at the park’s Pinnacle Pavilion. The Halloween festivities will include the traditional dispensing of candy, games, costume contests for children and adults and not-so-spooky stories with a ranger.

Here’s one more tip for your autumn trip to the mountains. During the fall foliage season, Table Rock Interpretive Park Ranger Scott Stegenga provides a color report every Wednesday on the South Carolina state parks website. Click here for the latest information on the changing leaves.

In addition, you can get a real-time look at the landscape on the Table Rock webcam. Click here to check it out.