Palmetto Trail/Blue Wall Passage
Blue Wall Passage
This passage features the rolling hills of the upstate, the charming town of Landrum, and a very steep ascent through The Nature Conservancy’s Blue Wall Preserve. The Blue Wall Preserve is the easternmost portion of the Blue Ridge Escarpment and provides a breathtaking climb of 1500 ft. elevation gain within three miles. At Vaughns Gap, the trail connects to the Poinsett Reservoir Passage. A loop trail near mile 12 takes hikers to a lovely waterfall that drops 20-30 feet.
The eastern and most northern section of the trail begins in the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (F.E.N.C.E.), a nature education and recreation center. Here you will find beautiful walking paths with a pond and observation boardwalk. Country roads and sidewalks connect the two ends, going through the heart of downtown Landrum and around lovely Lake Lanier. Length: 14 miles Use: Hiking, mountain biking Difficulty: easy 0 - 6 miles; 6 - 12 moderate, 12 - 14 strenuous Restrictions: no mountain biking, camping or fires in Nature Conservancy's Blue Wall Preserve (10.5 mile marker to 14) Trail markings: Yellow blazes in TNC Preserve, posts with decals throughout
The Palmetto Trail is two-thirds complete with nearly 290 miles open to the public.
The trail is being built as a series of “passages.” Each of the passages open are accessible for single-day or multi-day trips. Eventually the trail will form a spine for a network of trails and bikeways in South Carolina. When complete, the entire Palmetto Trail will run for 425 miles across SC, from Oconee State Park in the Upcountry through the Lowcountry near Awendaw.
To access the Blue Wall Passage, take Exit 1 from I-26, SC Hwy 14 west toward Landrum. Turn right, north on US Hwy 176, and turn left at entrance to Lake Lanier. Follow W. Lakeshore Road around Lake and turn right onto Dug Hill Road and follow entrance to trail.