Parsons Mountain Tower and Lake

Trail Activities: t

  • Hike


4.00 miles





Difficulty: Moderate

Trail Features: t

  • Information Sign
  • Parking
  • Pets
  • Fee
  • Camping


Parsons Mountain Recreation Area is located in the northern portion of the Long Cane Ranger District. The area offers relaxation and solitude as well as easy access to a variety of recreation activities. The Parsons Mountain Lake Trail and Parsons Mountain Tower Trail incorporate the upstate’s rich history and diverse wildlife habitat.

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Parsons 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 Parsons 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 Parsons 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 Parsons 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.

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.


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.

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Sumter National Forest | Long Cane Ranger District | 810 Buncombe Street, Edgefield, SC 29824 | (803) 637-5396 | Email

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KML file Trail Segments (Paths)
Trail Features (Points of Interest)
Lat: 34.09252712314557
Long: -82.36013766671921