PAC hike goes to Chestnut Ridge

Published 3:02 pm Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hikers are invited to join the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) for a 5.5-mile hike on Friday, October 15, at Chestnut Ridge Heritage Preserve, the third hike of PACs Fall Hiking Series.

PAC Land Protection Specialist Pam Torlina will lead the hike from the trail head off of Oak Grove Road to the South Pacolet River. The 5.5-mile hike is 2.75-miles out and 2.75-miles back, and starts out as relatively easy, winding through new growth forest and along several streams, gradually becoming moderately strenuous as the trail ascends Squirrel Mountain through a hardwood forest with rock outcroppings. After reaching the ridge top, the trail descends Squirrel Mountain through a cove forest to the South Pacolet River, at the base of Chestnut Ridge.

Chestnut Ridge Heritage Preserve is a 1,881-acre preserve in northern Greenville County, named for the mountain within its boundaries that protects White Irisette (Sisyrinchium dichotomum), a federally endangered plant. White Irisette is found on only a few scattered mountain slopes in western N.C. and northern S.C. and proliferates on several of PACs protected properties. Difficult to distinguish in the best of circumstances, the tiny irisette will not be blooming this time of year.

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The Chestnut Ridge forest varies from early successional to mature upland and cove hardwoods, and hikers may see the first blush of fall color. The property is part of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Management Area program, allowing hiking, nature viewing, fishing, and some types of hunting, and hikers will be on the lookout for migratory birds.

If you are interested in attending the PAC hike at the Chestnut Ridge Heritage Preserve, contact the PAC office to sign up by phone at 828-859-5060 or e-mail at

Hikers should wear appropriate clothing and footwear; bring a bag lunch and/or snack and plenty of water. Be sure to bring any personal medication that you may require. In case of inclement weather, contact the PAC office by 8:15 a.m. on the day of the hike to see if the hike will take place.

Hikers will be meeting in Landrum, across from the Habitat Resale Store at 8:30 a.m. and/or at the Gowensville Spinx (at the intersection of Hwy. 14 & Hwy. 11) at 8:45 a.m. to start the journey to Chestnut Ridge Heritage Preserve.

If you cannot make this hike, visit or follow PACs Facebook page for upcoming information on the next hike, October 29, at Carl Sandburg National Historic Site, as PAC Land Protection Specialist Pam Torlina leads hikers to the summit of Glassy Mountain.