WALHALLA — Palmetto Conservation Foundation will host a public meeting on Jan. 27 to seek comments about two additions to the Palmetto Trail in Oconee and Pickens counties. The meeting will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Old St. John’s Meeting House, 200 S. Catherine St., Walhalla.
In Oconee County, plans were announced last summer to extend the Palmetto Trail approximately 16 miles from downtown Walhalla to Oconee Station State Historic Site.
At the meeting, representatives will introduce the first phase of construction on the Trail’s new hiking-biking passage near Stumphouse Tunnel. The passage is planned as a first-class destination for mountain-biking enthusiasts. Mountain biking is limited in the Upstate.
In Pickens County, plans are underway for a new Palmetto Trail hiking passage between Keowee-Toxaway State Park and the Dug Mountain fishing area at the intersection of Eastatoe Creek and Roy F Jones Highway.
The passage will follow existing trails and forest roads for 1.6 miles, cross the creek on a new 85-foot pedestrian bridge, and parallel the creek for 1.5 miles through a steep Jocassee gorge. The passage will feature spectacular scenery as it crosses state lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources.
When completed, the Palmetto Trail will link Walhalla to Awendaw as it stretches across 14 South Carolina counties from mountains to sea. The Trail is a free, public resource available to state residents and visitors of all ages and abilities for active outdoor recreation.
The Trail accommodates nonmotorized outdoor recreation — hiking, backpacking, camping, mountain biking, street cycling and, on some of its 26 passages, horseback riding. At present, more than 350 of 500 Trail miles are open. Visit www.palmettoconservation.org to learn about the completed passages.
Palmetto Conservation Foundation is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving South Carolina’s natural and cultural resources, preserving historic landmarks, and promoting active outdoor recreation on the Palmetto Trail and other greenways. Volunteers are welcome to help build and maintain the Trail.