The Best & Most Beautiful Hiking Adventures In McCormick, SC

Few towns in the nation boast access to as many beautiful state parks as McCormick. The town is a paradise for hikers and anyone else interested in the Great Outdoors. So, grab your shoes for hiking and prepare yourself for some fantastic hiking adventures. McCormick is within easy reach of Augusta in Georgia and South Carolina’s capital, Columbia. 

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Baker Creek State Park The closest park to McCormick is Baker Creek State Park, which lays adjacent to Lake Thurmond and right next to the Monticello neighbourhood of Savannah Lakes Village.

The park features 3 excellent trails where you can explore the forest and watch out for wild turkeys, waterfowl, snakes, and deer. Baker Creek State Park is also a great place to access the 71,100 acres of Lake Thurmond for fishing and kayaking adventures.  Mountain Bike Trail

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The longest trail is accessed beside the kiosk near the park office. It is suitable for both hiking and mountain biking. This trail incorporates 10 miles of dirt trails that form 2 connecting loops.

You’ll pass through mature pine and oak woodland and walk alongside Baker Creek. Keep your eyes open for an especially large poplar that is said to be the biggest in South Carolina.

The loops are arranged in such a way that you can choose between a longer or a shorter hike. So, if you’re visiting the park with your family and young kids, you can select the smaller loop.

Walking Trail

This short 0.7-mile trail is popular for sightseeing.

At first, the trail descends into a hardwood forest near Lake Thurmond. Later, the trail ascends into a pine forest and offers panoramic lake views.

Wild Mint Nature Trail

This short 0.8-mile trail is especially popular for families with small children and nature lovers. Bikes are not allowed on this trail, and the pine-needle-coated track offers an easy path if a little steep at times.

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The trail features scenic views of the woods and passage through a dense pine forest. You may meet snakes, birds and other woodland critters.

Elijah Clark State Park

This park is situated on the western shore of Lake Thurmond, which is just over the state line in Georgia. A highlight of the park is a replica of Elijah Clark’s log cabin furnished as it would have been circa 1780. Clark was a frontiersman and hero of the Revolutionary War. Hikers can benefit from the mature pine and hardwood forest and 2 clearly marked trails.

3-Mile Trail

This trail is signposted from the gravel parking lot beside the mini-golf course. It leads you down through an area of new pines and then into more mature woodland. The main feature of this hike is its spectacular views across Lake Thurmond.

Hannah Clark Nature Trail

This is an easy, short trail for family groups. As it’s only a 0.8-mile return hike, this is ideal for young children. The path is an out-and-back trail that leads to a picnic shelter and features a variety of plants and local wildlife along the way.

Hickory Knob State Resort Park

On the eastern shore of Lake Thurmond, Hickory Knob is a combined South Carolina golf resort and state park. The park is conveniently located close to the Savannah Lakes Village Recreation Center.

An unusual historic feature inside Hickory Knob State Resort Park is a double-pen log house with an exterior stone chimney built by Andre Guillebeau in 1764. The Guillebeau House was moved from its original location in New Bordeaux to its current position inside the park in 1983.

Turkey Ridge Loop Trail

This is a short but challenging trail that offers hikers the opportunity to see snakes, squirrels, birds, and other wildlife in their natural habitat. The 1.7-mile trail twists and turns through mature hardwood and pine forest. You’ll have to scale steep hill and ford streams to complete the route.

Beaver Run Trail

This 2.5-mile out-and-back trail provides fantastic views across the lake. The path is relatively rough, with rocks, roots, sinkholes, ditches, and streams. Under the shade of oaks and pines, watch out for birds and snakes.

Lakeview Loop Trail

This is a fantastic 7.2-mile loop trail for hikers who prefer more of a challenge. The dirt path is especially rugged with steep slopes, close trees, rocks, and roots.

Nature lovers will appreciate the variety of trees here, with open grassy inlets, hardwood and cedar ridges, lofty pine stands, and young oak woodlands. Take along your camera to snap stunning pics of deer, snakes, birds, and other wildlife.

During the summer, the quiet sandy coves along the lakeshore are great places to access Lake Thurmond for a cooling swim. Alternatively, ascend to the highest points along the trail for breathtaking lake vistas.

Augusta

Augusta is internationally famous for hosting the Masters Golf Tournament in spring. It is also a fantastic location for riverside and canal bank trails.

The Augusta Canal National Heritage Area

There are 9 hiking trails within the heritage area, including the River Levee Trail, the Mill Village Trail, the Towpath and the Headgate Loop. All are connected in some way with the history of the Augusta Canal and the Savannah River.

Savannah Rapids Park

Within this park, you can take your kids on the short Savannah Rapids Loop Trail and then let them blow off more stream in the adjacent playpark.

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