Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway + ADD NEW ROUTE
7 in South Carolina South Carolina130 Miles
By Bo Tilly
on April 15, 1998
- Trip Toolbox
From Gaffney SC, take Route 11 north towards the town of Chesnee. Stay on 11 through Gowensville and Cleveland. Route 11 and highway 276 merge and continue heading west. After you pass Keowee Taxoway State Park, Route 11 will intersect Route 130/37. Take 130/37 north (right) and before you cross the South Carolina/North Carolina border, take Route 413 west to Sumter National Forest. You will run into Route 107 (State Park Rd) and want to take that road south (left). Take that south and it will soon merge and become Route 28 heading into the town of Walhalla. After passing through Walhalla, look for Route 11 which you will take to finish out the route by heading down to Interstate 85.
In the northwest pocket of South Carolina, you will find some of the best motorcycle roads east of the Mississippi. This route's beauty has earned it a spot as one of a select group of US Highway Department National Scenic Byways. This route lies in Cherokee Indian country and is found about 30 miles west of Charlotte North Carolina, 200 miles northwest of Charleston and about 120 miles north of Augusta Georgia. The scenery on this route will amaze you. The route takes you through the South Carolina high-country and offers you views of mountains, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, forests and wildlife that will be hard to match on any other motorcycle route I know of.
The roads in this area are near ideal - some of the best motorcycle roads I've ever driven east of the Mississippi. I give them a solid 5 because they have plenty of twists and turns, climbs and dives, and are remote enough to where you can really get on it.
This area is LOADED with beautiful state parks and local parks (six state parks off of the route) that offer anyone interested in hiking or camping, a vacation full of fun.The only reason I gave it a 4 is because it is almost all nature stuff and doesn't have a large selection of the other kind of amenities that some bike travelers like - craft shops, restaurants etc.I'm describing the amenities of the route from the perspective of starting out in Gaffney and heading west.The amenity highlights of the route are as follows: In the summer, the section of state road 11 in and near Gaffney is a great place to pickup some delicious fresh fruit from venders' stands parked along the road. West of Gaffney you will come to the Cowpens National Battlefield where the underdog American colonists staged an upset victory over the British in 1781.If you're into history, don't pass the walking tour offered here. Next you'll need to head to Caesars Head State Park by taking US 276 north.Caesar's Head is one of the most beautiful state parks in all of South Carolina with breathtaking views.The road leading to the park will also give you fantastic views of the surrounding Blue Ridge foothills.The park and local area have over 50 waterfalls.If you take a tough 2 mile hike on a trail in the park to Raven Cliff Falls you'll get to see this fall dive about 400 feet through a gorge. Table Rock State Park is named after the solid granite flat top mountain that according to the Indians was the place where the Great Spirit dined.It is also home of one of lodge built by the depression-era Works Project Administration.It is another fantastic park with plenty of hiking trails, some leading to the summit of the mountain.Near Table Rock you'll find a place called Aunt Sue's Country Corner that looks like an old pioneer village selling odd little crafts and offering places to eat. Keowee-Toxaway State Park - the park has a nice museum and a great 'Interpretive Center/Trail' that tells you about the history of the Indians both before and after Europeans entered the area. Devils Fork State Park - take Rte. 25 north to visit this great park situated right next to the huge Lake Jocassee. Rte. 107 is an official Scenic Byway that travels through the Sumter National Forest.From this section you will see even more impressive mountains and lush thick forests.The Chattooga River is known as one of the best whitewater rafting rivers in the US.If your in to that kind of thing, you will be able to find many companies that provide raft adventure trips in this area. Towards the end of Rte. 107 when it meets with Rte. 28, look for signs directing you to the Stump-house Tunnel Park.In this park you'll find a huge 200-foot waterfall. Lake Hartwell State Park - the park has access to a huge lake and offers access to boating, fishing, swimming as well as trails and picnicking.
- View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather .
Nickname (optional) : Bo Tilly