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Marty Haughn

sc

Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 6.4 miles


This "Rail Trail," called Peak to Prosperity as part of the Palmetto Trail, takes even the most beginner of hikers on an easy stroll of 13 miles out and back. Crossing several railroad trestles converted to boardwalks provides 11 points of interest and plenty of photographic opportunities.

Mike and I picked a great day for this hike as it was early morning, cool and rain was in the air. Our hike began with a well maintained trailhead at Alston, SC where there was ample parking, a picnic area and even a small camp site or two. The trail started with a bang as we were already at the base of a trestle which crossed the Broad River. Climbing the short hill to its beginning, the view already began to take hold and I knew this was going to be a good trip.&nbsp;Midway across the Broad River trestle we stopped to admire the view from both sides. Below we were able to see large numbers of turtles sun batihng, or at least trying, a couple of large Gar fish and some catfish.&nbsp; Along the trail, during our trip, there was one detour required as the trail was still under some construction. We were forced to bypass one trestle as the work to install the boardwalk was still in progress. This meant walking a short distance down Broad River Road then&nbsp;right on&nbsp;Hope Station Road&nbsp;to continue with the trail on other side of bridge, trail picks up on the left. The rain began to fall pretty good after the road crossing and with a short walk we were able to take cover under an overpass, collect our thoughts, take a view photographs and even shot some video. Due to time constraints, we were unable to make the entire trip but made it beyond the halfway point, stopped to change socks, have some lunch, rest and head back to the car. Our pace was rather quick so providing an accruate time for a leasurely walk isn't available but I would think spending the day with lunch at one of the trestles and stopping to admire the scenery would be the way to enjoy this hidden jewel of South Carolina. Take plenty of water and your camera. &nbsp;We will be returning to this trail and make the entire 13 miles in 2010. To find more information regarding this section of the Palmetto Trail follow the provided link.&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="http://palmettoconservation.org/Peak.asp">palmettoconservation.org/Peak.asp</a>&nbsp;

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