From the intersection of SC 11 and US 178 in northern Pickens County go north, up the mountain, on US 178 for 8.3 miles. Here turn left onto Road and then immediately turn right onto an unpaved road, Laurel Fork Road. Follow Laurel Fork Road for about 0.3 miles to a parking lot for the Foothills Trail. Park here and continue along the road (not the Foothills Trail). At about 0.2 miles from the parking lot you will reach the Eastatoe Gorge Trail, on your left (south), or you can hike the Foothills Trail into the Jocassee Gorges area. There are many unpaved roads in this area. These roads may or may not be gated. None of them is suitable for low clearance two-wheel drive vehicles.
Birds to look for
Ruffed Grouse, Wild Turkey, Broad-winged Hawk (s), Yellow-billed Cuckoo (s), Whip-poor-will (s), Common Raven, Wood Thrush (s), Northern Parula (s), Black-throated Blue Warbler (s), Black-throated Green Warbler (s), Yellow-throated Warbler (s), Pine Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler (s), American Redstart (s), Worm-eating Warbler (s), Swainson's Warbler, Ovenbird (s), Louisiana Waterthrush (s), Kentucky Warbler (s), Hooded Warbler (s), Scarlet Tanager (s), Indigo Bunting (s)
The Jocassee Gorges are a huge natural area at low to mid elevations in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Pickens County, SC. Eastatoe Creek Heritage Preserve is adjacent to Jocassee Gorges and has similar habitats. Much of the area is wild and remote. Visitors much hike in, or drive in on primitive roads (four wheel drive recommended). Sassafras Mountain, the highest point in South Carolina, is part of Jocassee Gorges, but has its own description. Most of the Jocassee Gorges area is much lower in elevation than Sassafras Mountain, i.e. below 2500 feet. The bird life of the Jocassee Gorges area is not well known. Here is your chance to explore.