Poinsett Reservoir Passage

Palmetto Trail

Trail Activities: t

  • Hike


6.60 miles





Difficulty: Moderate

Trail Features: t

  • Trail Head
  • Parking
  • Point of Interest
  • Information Sign
  • Camping
  • Scenic Observation
  • Pets
  • Camping


Poinsett Reservoir Passage travels the mountain ridges along the northern boundary of Poinsett Watershed. This pristine watershed of 19,000 acres contains the headwaters feeding Poinsett Reservoir of the Greenville Water System (GW).

Loading Trails

Yellow blazes mark this moderately difficult section of the Palmetto Trail as you wind through a beautiful and untouched area of the Poinsett Watershed. Although considered moderate, this section does have some steep stair step sections. Starting at Vaughns Gap (trailhead for Blue Wall Passage), hikers travel north for about two miles, turn west and trek along Bushy Ridge (border between the Carolinas), then cross into North Carolina for a short hike to Orchard Lake Campground (trailhead for Saluda Mountains Passage). If you start from Orchard Lake Campground you will continually climb for approximately 6.0 miles to the highest point, which is 3060 feet at the top of Rocky Spur Mountain. This area is very significant for some rare plants and animals found here and habitat for a number of birds.

This section is for hiking only. No bikes or motorized vehicles are allowed. NO PARKING AT VAUGHNS GAP TRAILHEAD.

Trailhead Parking and Kiosk

The parking area is inside a split rail fence just off of Fork Creek Road. At the other end of the open RV camping area is the trailhead kiosk.


To Orchard Lake Campground

From Greenville: Take US 25 North past Hwy 11. Turn Right on Old US 25 for 7.1 miles. Turn Right on Saluda Road for 3.1 miles (the road becomes Mountain Page Road at the NC Line). Turn Right on Mine Mountain Road for 1.3 miles to the junction of Orchard Lake, Fork Creek, and West Fork Creek Roads. Curve Right on Fork Creek Road for .75 miles. Turn Left onto the Orchard Lake parking area. *See Above: Trailhead Parking and Kiosk

From Columbia: Take I-26 West into NC. Take Exit 67 to Tryon for 3.4 miles. Turn Right on US 176 towards Saluda for 4.7 miles (You will see a brown Pearson’s Falls sign). Turn Left on Pearson’s Falls Road for .5 miles. Cross Pacolet River and go under railroad trestle. Turn Left on Fork Creek Road. Go 4 miles and turn Right onto Orchard Lake Parking Area.

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Palmetto Conservation Foundation | 722 King Street, Columbia, SC 29205 | (803) 771-0870 | Email

Download Coordinates
KML file Trail Segments (Paths)
Trail Features (Points of Interest)
Lat: 35.18898202083805
Long: -82.32192051855469