Cherokee Foothills, Part 3 - State Parks | Palmetto Places


The Cherokee Foothills offer a vast range of state parks in South Carolina. 

Caesars Head State Park has one of South Carolina's most famous natural landmarks. At almost 3300 feet above sea level, a huge granite formation juts out over the valley below offering panoramic views. There are different theories about the origin of the name Caesars Head. Many say the cliff resembles a profile of Emperor Julius Caesar. Others believe the name was bestowed by a man grieving for a faithful hunting dog who had fallen to his death in pursuit of his master's prey.

Jones Gap State Park gives visitors an opportunity to experience the beauty of a mountain river flowing freely through a rocky gorge. The Middle Saluda River was the first in South Carolina to be designated a scenic river. This undisturbed ecosystem remains in a wild and natural state.

Long before the arrival of the white man, the Cherokee Indians called this area Sah-ka-na-ga ..."The Great Blue Hills of God." This mountain's granite face was an easily seen landmark during hunting expeditions. The Cherokee lore told of the Great Spirit using the mountain's top to dine upon, giving it the name it bears today.

Table Rock Mountain shelters one of South Carolina's oldest and best-loved state parks, Table Rock State Park. It was developed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the CCC, a program of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. This park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Another state park in this area is the Keowee-Toxaway State Park. According to Cherokee tradition, the name Keowee means "land of the mulberry groves," and Toxaway means "land of no tomahawks."