There are two books I've been referring to as guides to the most appropriate spots and trails for my purposes; day hikes with my dad versus with my husband tend to vary significantly in intensity, although maybe not in the directions you'd assume! I have to know the elevation gains, because after our experience at Rainbow Falls, Steven flat out told me that he doesn't feel it's safe on his knee to take on that much of a climb. With my dad, the sky is the limit; so long as we can make it back to the car before dark!
Safety is our top priority when we're out. I've got my first aid kit, plenty of water, and I always know my blaze colors by heart if I'm doing a hike that involves multiple trails, etc. I also usually search the web for someone's personal account of what I'm considering and trail maps; I want to know as many details as I can before I commit. These two books have been amazing!
50 Hikes in South Carolina: Walks, Hikes & Backpacking Trips from the Lowcountry Shores to the Midlands to the Mountains & Rivers of the Upstate
by Johnny Molloy
Waterfall Hikes of Upstate South Carolina
by Thomas E. King
I bought King's book first, just on a whim. It's clear listings of waterfalls in Oconee, Pickens, and Greenville County was just what I needed to tell me the distance from trailheads or parking to the falls, whether the falls is located on private property, what areas are watefall hubs and make for good day trips, and all sorts of information about the waterfalls! I love this book! The only downfall of this book is that while it does have simple maps of the individual counties it's discussing, with major roads and locations of the waterfalls pictured, there are not any maps of trails included; which is why I bought Molloy's book!
Molloy's book has the trail maps for each hike it discusses, as well as a really cool grid listing the trails, their difficulty, whether or not their are falls or historic sites along the trails, and their mileage! It's been an awesome supplement to King's book for me, and I hope to get more usage out of it next spring and summer for some weekend trips outside of my Upstate home zone!
Both of these books can be purchased at the links I provided to Amazon.
This weekend I'll be enjoying some much needed family time and outings with friends! I'm planning on taking my husband, sister, and her love to Pleasant Ridge County Park for the easily accessible falls Sunday afternoon, so there won't be much to report early next week. As always, I'm interested in suggestions for great day hikes, even if it may be another week or so until I get to do a day hike again (tragedy). Share your experiences out on the trail with Microbear! They can't be as embarrassing as screaming because of a squirrel!