Ashmore Heritage Preserve
Trail Activities: t
Trail Features: t
- Scenic Observation
- No Fee
- No Camping
The trail begins along a wide jeep road through open forest, crossing a small stream in a very short distance. Once across the stream, the wide forest road you are following bears to the right, with a narrower, single track hiking trail bearing to the left. Going right will take you along the Wattacoo Lake Loop. Bearing left will take you along the Mountain Bridge Passage Trail.
The Ashmore Heritage Preserve is a 1,125 acre area located in Greenville County, South Carolina, several miles southeast of Caesar's Head State Park. A hiking trail, called the Mountain Bridge Passage trail, now links hiking access from SC Hwy 11 to the mountain trails within Caesars Head State Park. The trail, constructed in the spring of 2007, is the result of a partnership between Naturaland Trust, SC Department of Natural Resources, and SC Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
Access from SC Hwy 11 is at Camp Spearhead, acquired by Naturaland Trust. The trail head is behind the gate at Camp Spearhead (do not block the gate) and it follows the first roadbed to the left before reaching the camp (do not enter the camp). The hiking trail is blazed in a yellow-orange color. The trail runs parallel to Persimmon Ridge Road and enters Ashmore Heritage Preserve; 0.94 miles of the trail are within the preserve. The trail crosses West Fork Creek and then bears north and west along the creek. Visitors will enjoy long spurred violets, and a bridge crossing West Fork Creek sheeting over a large outcrop within the preserve. Just north of Ashmore Heritage Preserve, the trail passes beside a small waterfall and then ascends Campbell Mountain. Note this is NOT a loop trail.
In addition to hiking through on the yellow-orange blazed Mountain Bridge Passage Trail, visitors can elect to hike a loop trail around the pond called Lake Wattacoo. That loop trail is blazed in a pink-purple color. Portions of that trail follow old roadbeds. The segment of the trail that winds around the dam offers a splendid view of outcrops and a water slide. A beaver pond is below the dam.
The preserve also features a natural bog which creates favorable habitat for rare plants and other species, such as orchids, sundew and ferns. If you visit Ashmore Heritage Preserve during the ideal time of year, the marsh is a wonder ground of pitcher plants which are rare enough in this part of the world, but here there are thousands of them in various states of bloom.
The area is open only during daylight hours.
Difficulty: Easy to ModerateDirections:
From where S.C. 11 joins U.S. 276 (near Cleveland): Travel west on S.C. 11/U.S. 276 3.9 miles to Persimmon Ridge Road on the right. Go north (right) on Persimmon Ridge Road 0.9 miles to a parking area on the right. The trails start just up the road on the right.
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources | 311 Natural Resources Drive, Clemson, SC 29631 | (864) 654-1671