Hike through a Revolutionary War Battlefield

By:Marie McAden


On its way from the mountains to the Carolina coast, the Palmetto Trail winds through the state’s hilly Piedmont and the site of a Revolutionary War battlefield that put the wheels in motion for the epic Battle of Cowpens.

William Blackstock’s plantation would serve as the stage for a decisive Patriot Victory — one of the most significant among the 200 battles and skirmishes that took place in the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution.

The Blackstock Battlefield Passage of the Palmetto Trail offers four miles of moderately difficult nature trails through a beautiful forest featuring several species of hardwoods, pines and wildflowers, including the crane-fly orchid. The main trail skirts the site of the battle that pitted Patriot General Thomas Sumter against Lt. Banastre Tarleton, nicknamed “Bloody Ban.”

You can read about the battle at a kiosk located in the trailhead parking area. As you begin your walk into the woods, the path is mostly flat. But after a few minutes, you’ll descend along switchbacks to the high bluffs overlooking a remote section of the scenic Tyger River.

To the left, where the river intersects with Hackers Creek, are primitive campsites. Take the right fork to continue along the loop trail. You’ll have the chance to enjoy wonderful views of the river for about a mile before the trail heads back up the hillside to the clearing where the battlefield lies.

If you’re not up for a hike, you can drive right to the historic site. Follow the road past the trailhead parking area until it loops around a circular stand of trees with a historic marker in the center. It is here the Battle of Blackstock was fought on Nov. 20, 1780.

About 100 British soldiers were killed and several others wounded in the battle. The Patriots suffered 16 casualties. Despite its bloody history, the setting couldn’t be more peaceful with its gently rolling hills framed by towering evergreens.

To download a brochure on the Blackstock Battlefield Passage, click here.

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