This past weekend, a friend and I decided to hike the Issaqueena Lake Trail in the Clemson Experimental Forest. I had heard of the Clemson Experimental Forest, but never hiked a trail there before. To my amazement I discovered that the Experimental Forest is made up of almost 17,500 acres. Since the forest is quite large, there are several different trails that make up the hiking/ mountain biking trail system.
In order to get to the Issaqueena Lake Trail my friend and I traveled on College Ave/ SC-133 leaving downtown Clemson. We stayed on SC-133 until we took a left onto Old Six Mile Road and that road eventually ended. The end of Old Six Mile Road is the main parking area for the Issaqueena Trail System in the Clemson Experimental Forest. The parking area consists of trail maps and picnic areas. To begin our hike, we had to take the fire road to the left when looking at the picnic area.
The entrance to the fire road has a gate and a sign notifying all travelers that mountain bikers, hikers and equestrians use this path.
The purple trails are the fire roads, and the orange trails represent single-track trails (narrow mountain biking and hiking trails).
In order to get to the Issaqueena Lake Trail, we needed to hike the fire road for about 30 minutes (time may vary depending on how you pace yourself) then the end of the fire road will end at the Issaqueena Dam.
The Issaqueena Dam marks the beginning of the Issaqueena Lake Trail.
The trail guided us along the perimeter of Issaqueena Lake and provided us with amazing sights.
Along the trail we had several animal sightings, including this adorable amphibian.
The trail is quite narrow, but you are surrounded with beautiful foliage all around you.
The trail will lead you to bridges over babbling creeks as well.
The Issaqueena Lake Trail leads hikers to several peninsulas and provides travelers with many amazing views. My only regret from hiking the Issaqueena Lake Trail is that I did not pack a swimsuit and towel. The peninsula areas offer hikers with the perfect spot to lounge in the sun or take a refreshing swim in the lake.
The Issaqueena Lake Trail is a trail that will provide hikers with adventure and amazing sights. When you are visiting Clemson take the time and hike the Issaqueena Lake Trail, because the views do not disappoint.
Cover Photo Courtesy of Hannah Reese, 2016
Parking Area: 34.738991, -82.840977
Actual Location: 34.734393, -82.864322
Phone: (864) 656-4833