Hiking Trail

Parson’s Mountain Tower and Lake

(Parson’s Mountain Recreation Area)
(Abbeville County)


: Parson’s Mountain Recreation Area just south of Abbeville is home to an 800-foot summit and a moderately difficult four-mile loop trail. You don’t have to climb the mountain to enjoy the mostly clay-surfaced Parson’s Lake Trail. The forest around this recreation area includes woods overflowing with flowering flora such as sparkleberry, redbud, wild ginger, and dogwood. You can see many of these by merely following the loop around Parson’s Mountain Lake. If you’re up for a tougher hike, a spur branches off at the westernmost portion of trail and you will climb past Civil War-era gold mines to the summit of Parson’s Mountain. The mountain is neither terribly high nor dramatic, but it offers compelling views of the surrounding countryside. Geologists call this type of hill a “monadnock,” which is a technical term for a mound of hard rock left when all the surrounding land erodes away. Restrooms and drinking water are available at the campground.

Length: Four-mile loop.

Fees: $3 per vehicle per day, or $25.00 annual pass.

Directions: From Abbeville, drive southwest on SC 72 for approximately two miles, then turn left (south) onto SC 28. Drive for approximately two miles and turn left onto Abbeville County S-1-251. The entrance to Parson’s Mountain Recreation Area is 1.5 miles ahead on the right. Enter the recreation area and continue to the trailhead at the boat ramp parking area.

Hours: Open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Camping: Parson’s Mountain Recreation Area has 23 campsites ($7 per site, per night) and primitive camping is available at nearby Fell Hunt Camp.

Information: Sumter National Forest, Long Cane Ranger District, 810 Buncombe St., Edgefield, SC 29824, Telephone: 803-637-5396.  


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 South Carolina State Trails Program
South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism
1205 Pendleton Street :: Columbia, SC 29201 :: 803-734-0173 
Updated: November 17, 2004
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