USC Upstate Passage

Palmetto Trail

Trail Activities: t

  • Hike
  • Mountain Bike


1.3 miles





Difficulty: Moderate

Trail Features: t

  • Parking
  • Picnic Area
  • Pets
  • No Fee
  • No Camping


This 1.3-mile passage of the Palmetto Trail begins on the campus of the University of South Carolina Upstate campus in Spartanburg, SC, and dives into a wooded forest on the banks of the Lawson’s Fork Creek.

Loading Trails

From the parking area, follow the yellow blazes as this hard dirt packed trail slowly descends to a "T" intersection at Lawson’s Creek. Turn to the right and you will walk through a wooded area until you reach a tributary of Lawson’s Fork Creek where this section ends. Turn to the left and you will view Lawson’s Fork Creek from a raised corridor, and then pass a rocky knoll and a wooden bridge before looping back along the banks of the creek. Among the many plants you may see, is the federally endangered Dwarf-flowered Heartleaf. Muskrats and beavers are common along the water’s edge and a variety of birds including kingfishers and great blue herons. Picnic areas are available at the trailhead and at the "T" intersection.

This trail is on a floodplain, so sections may be wet and muddy after a heavy rain. Insect repellent is recommended during warmer months. During hunting season (The middle of August to January), trail users should wear bright colored clothing.

Only hikers and mountain bikers may use this section of Trail. The USC Upstate Passage is marked with yellow blazes and a short spur trail is marked with white blazes. Hikers and bikers should wear bright colors during big game hunting season, which is from the middle of August through January. Because portions of the passage are located within a floodplain, some sections may be wet during rainy seasons.

(Contrary to popular belief, there are no cottonmouths in Spartanburg County.)


From Spartanburg, follow Pine Street to Interstate 585. Continue on I-585 to Valley Falls Road (Exit 22 North). Follow Valley Falls Road north to North Campus Blvd. Turn right onto North Campus Blvd. and follow approximately 0.5 miles to a sharp right curve. Turn left here into the Rampey Center parking lot. The trailhead is at the end of the parking lot.

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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: 35.00126100833406
Long: -81.96201746313807