Explore Long Shoals Wayside Park

By:Marie McAden


If you’re driving the Cherokee Foothills​ National Scenic Highway this fall and feel the need to stretch your legs, make a stop at Long Shoals Wayside Park, a few miles east of Keowee​-Toxaway State Natural Area.

I’ve driven past the park sign a dozen times in the last five years, unaware of the little treasure that awaited beyond the trees. This October, during a fall foliage road trip to the mountains, I finally turned the car into the gravel driveway to see what I was missing.

Part of the Poe Creek State Forest, the 10-acre park overlooks Little Eastatoee Creek. In the summer, locals and visitors enjoy sliding down the flat, gently sloping shoals into the cool creek waters. It’s also a favorite with anglers looking for that elusive trout. The South Carolina Departmen​t of Natural Resources stocks this portion of the Little Eastatoee on a regular basis with 9- to 12-inch brook, brown and rainbow trout.

Several picnic tables can be found in a shaded area above the parking lot. Trail signs mark the path down to the scenic Long Shoals. You can amble along the rocks by the water or take a mostly-flat trail that loops through the forest alongside the creek back up to the parking area.

If the kids are restless, let them play on the rocks at the water’s edge while you sit and relax on a bench by the shoals. When it’s time to get back in the car, everyone will revived and ready for more sightseeing.

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