Natural Bridge Loop Keowee-Toxaway State Park, SC
Natural Bridge Loop

May 18, 2020 - Many parks and hiking trails are open but some are still closed or limiting capacity. Call ahead to verify status if possible. While hiking, continue to follow social distancing practices. Stay safe people.

An easy to moderate lollipop loop with one good steep climb, Natural Bridge trail is a great short trip located just over 30 miles outside of Greenville. The beautiful and serene Poe Creek provides interesting cascades, small waterfalls, and a natural rock bridge.

Directly off SC 11, the trailhead is behind the park office immediately to the right after turning off the highway. There is no fee for the small double parking lot, but there is a donation box for those that wish to give back. The park office is open very limited hours, daily from 11am-12pm and 4pm-5pm. There is a vending machine near the trailhead, but that’s it. There are restrooms in the office, but if closed, travel further into the park for more available public restrooms.

The trails were significantly rerouted during 2012 and an updated map is posted at the trailhead, although this mostly affects the Raven Rock trail. There is also a box with paper maps for the taking. The hike begins rather level until it comes to an intersection which forms the Natural Bridge loop. Continue to the right, heading around both loops counter-clockwise. This will follow the directions of the arrows, although travelling against the arrows is fine as well. Combined with trail markers and other posted signs, you should never get lost on this trail.

The path drops down to its first crossing with Poe creek. Here a wonderful natural bridge has been formed by the rock. Explore around to the right of the trail before crossing the creek to get a good view of the water flowing below the rock. Shortly after this the trail comes to the intersection with the Raven Rock Loop. At this junction, look back to the left for a short side trail that heads down to the creek and a small waterfall, sometimes referred to as Keowee Falls.

Continue on the Natural Bridge loop to head back down to the creek for its second crossing. This time, an easy rock hop will get your across. Be sure to check out the small cascades upstream. The most difficult climb for this double loop is at the end, from the second creek crossing back to the first intersection. Over just .2 miles, you will hike up 200 feet, which is a difficult rate of 1000 ft/mile. Once back at the intersection, make the last short leg of this hike to return to the parking lot.

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Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Terrain Map Click to control map
length1.3 miles
difficulty3.1 Easy
duration1 hour
trail typeLollipop Loop
elevation gain350 ft.
park/forestKeowee-Toxaway State Park
ranger districtKeowee-Toxaway State Park
108 Residence Drive
Sunset, SC 29685
parking feeNone
trailhead coordinates 34.932771, -82.88532 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°55.97, W 82°53.12 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 34°55'58'', N 34°55'58'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
34.932771, -82.88532 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°55.97, W 82°53.12 most GPS units use this one
N 34°55'58'', N 34°55'58'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
Immediately after turning off of SC11, take the first right. The trailhead is behind the park office at the higher parking lot.
The park office is only open from 11am-12pm and 4pm-5pm daily.
Always take caution on wet or slick rocks while crossing the creek.
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3 (1)
hikethesouth-2 years ago
Nice Quiet Loop
Nice and quiet short loop. To make this longer, more difficult, and more interesting, add the Raven Rock Loop to form a double loop.
Easy | Hiked Spring 2013
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