Bald Rock Heritage Preserve — Cleveland, South Carolina
SC Picture Project | Greenville County | Bald Rock Heritage Preserve
With spectacular Table Rock standing in the distance, Bald Rock Heritage Preserve provides one of the best panoramic views of the South Carolina foothills. Adjoining Caesar’s Head State Park, the 165-acre preserve, including its eponymous rock face, is a popular stop for travelers winding through the scenic roads of Greenville and Pickens counties.
The preserve is part of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, which includes both Caesar’s Head State Park and Jones Gap State Park as well as Wildcat Falls. Access to the preserve’s namesake rock is provided by a wooden footbridge. Managed by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the preserve harbors two headwater streams that provide habitat to protected plant species such as Piedmont ragwort (Packera millefolia) and grass-of-parnassus (Parnassia glauca).
Graffiti is noticeable on the rock. Sadly, some visitors believe that painting the rock is a harmless tradition. However, the paint causes harm both to the surrounding plants and the animals that eat them. Defacing the rock and its grounds in any way is strictly prohibited. Visitors also are asked to pack up their trash when leaving the preserve. Taking such measures to protect the ecology of this breathtaking vista ensures that all can enjoy its natural beauty for years to come.
Even with the presence of graffiti, the mist and mountains of the South Carolina Foothills are an astounding view from atop this granite formation. It is essential for visitors to remember that runoff from rain can lead to spray paint infiltrating the aforementioned streams. Please help keep Bald Rock Heritage Preserve’s habitat healthy.
Directions to Bald Rock Heritage Preserve
Contributor Barry Gooch, who took the photo at the top of this page, says that the easiest way to find the Bald Rock Heritage Preserve is to “head south from Caesar’s Head on US 276 (Geer Highway). Drive about four miles and you will pass a road to the left called Persimmon Ridge Road. Drive another 0.5 miles, and Club Terrace Drive will be on the right. I don’t know if either of these roads are marked. The overlook will be another 0.1 miles on the left. It isn’t marked and the bald is obscured by trees. There is no parking lot, though enough people stop at the overlook that a makeshift parking area exists on the left side of the highway near the path to the bald. It’s an easy 50 yard walk from the highway and is well worth the time and effort. Be careful though, the rocks can be slippery!” (Please be aware that the slippery rocks can be dangerous and even fatal.)
Reflections on Bald Rock Heritage Preserve
Contributor Elyse Rachel shares, “I will never forget my first visit to Bald Rock. Wonderful motorcycle ride up the mountain. Climbed onto Bald Rock just before sunset and the views were amazing.”
Sandy M. Laney says of her above photo, “The foliage is full color with oranges, yellows and red. The fog obscures the view of Table Rock.”
Bald Rock Heritage Preserve Info
Address: United States Highway 276, Cleveland, SC 29635
GPS Coordinates: 35.082310,-82.621320