There are a wide variety of trails to be found near Clemson's campus. Most of these places can be driven to within 5 - 10 minutes and have amazing scenery, wildlife, range of difficulties, and uses. From walking to mountain biking; even horseback riding, there is something for just about anybody at any skill level to enjoy.
Because of the large amount of trails around the Clemson area, the off campus trails will be separated into two different sections: Fant’s Grove Trails and Isaqueena Trails.
Issaqueena TrailsThe Issaqueena Trail system consists of dozens of trails just north of the Clemson campus. To get to the Issaqueena Trails from campus, take College Avenue/Highway 133 toward Highway 76. Cross Hwy 76 and most of the Issaqueena Trails will lie on or near Highway 133. The closest trails will be along Old 6 Mile Road which is about 2 miles after the Highway 76/133 intersection on the left.Be weary that most of the parking areas along the Issaqueena Trails will not be marked and in most cases will simply be a spot to pull over on the road. The map below shows all of the parking areas as well as an outline of most of the Issaqueena Trails:
Issaqueena Lake Trail
Length: 7.8 mi
Difficulty: Moderate – Difficult
There are several different parking locations for getting to the Isaqueena Lake Trail. From Sikes Hall continue .1 miles down Hwy 93 towards Seneca, turn right on College Ave .2 miles, merge straight onto Hwy 133 and continue approximately 3 miles, turn left onto Old Six Mile Rd. and continue for about 2 mi and take a left into the parking area which is shown below.
For another parking area, instead of turning into the for mentioned parking area, continue down Old Six Mile Rd. until you reach Isaqueena Rd. The road is marked with a sign as shown below. Once you are on this road, continue down until you reach a parking area on your left which is also shown below.
Details: This trail has no section located on a road and is one of the more strenuous trails in the area due to its length and elevation changes. The Isaqueena lake trail starts in the forest and takes you along the Isaqueena lake and dam. Depending on which direction you take, there is a large hill which is quite strenuous to go up. Both mountain bikers and runners are spotted frequently on this trail so make sure to be careful of those around you.
Double Fork Tree Trail
Length: 4.66 miles
Directions: From Sikes Hall continue .1 miles down Hwy 93 towards Seneca, turn right on College Ave .2 miles, merge straight onto Hwy 133 and continue approximately 3 miles, turn left onto Old Six Mile Rd. and continue .5 miles to parking on left. The parking area is shown here below.
Interactive Map: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=210996266748913342301.00049e62b2ce5d4052b43
Details: This trail is a moderately difficult trail and should not be run for the first time alone. There are many obstacles and elevation changes however nothing too extreme. Lake Hartwell provides a great visual for approximately 1 mile of this trail. There are a couple of nice water’s edge views which make for great “breather” locations. The Double Fork Trail is 100% forest trails and it would not be recommended to recreationally run/hike/bike these trails after a hard rain. As mentioned, there are many elevation changes and after rain storms water accumulates in the low spots. If running or biking it is important to keep your eye on the trail because there are many sharp turns, roots and other obstacles which can cause injury. The trail ends on the same fire road that it begins on.
Isaqueena Waterfall Trails
Difficulty: Moderate – Difficult
Directions: Same as Double Fork Tree Trail, but once you park, continue down the road for .1 miles and turn right onto the trail.
Details: These trails can be quite challenging because of constant elevation and direction changes but can also be rewarding with excellent views of the waterfall and the surrounding nature. These trails have many branches so it is difficult to put a set distance on any one of the trails. The waterfall trails are excellent for experienced runners that do not mind being explorative. Some of the trail branches will cross over roads so it is also important to keep your wits about you and look both ways before crossing. The waterfall trails are not recommended for novice or timid runners because the trails’ constant change of direction can cause a feeling of getting lost.
Fant’s Grove Trails
Located off of Seed Orchard Rd., the Fant’s Grove trail system is both extensive and scenic. Many trails will take you alongside the lake or even to incredible look outs which are seen in the Clemson Promotional Video. Mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding are all allowed for the majority of the trails (there are trail markers which specify guidelines). The main trails that are located here are the Fant’s Grove Trail, Quarry Trail, and Swine Farm Trail.
Length: Fant’s Grove Trail – 4.3 mi
Quarry Trail – 5.9 mi
Swine Farm Trail – 2.6 mi
Directions: It is a short drive from Clemson University’s Campus to the Fant’s Grove Trails. To get there from Sikes hall simply: follow old Greenville highway until the exit ramp for highway 76, turn onto highway 76 and take it for 2.7 miles until you get to Fants Grove Rd, turn right onto Fants Grove Rd and continue on it for 1.5 miles, make a sharp right onto W Queen St continue on it for about 0.6 miles and turn left onto Seed Orchard Rd, the parking area is on located on the right. Below is a picture of the Seed Orchard Rd sign and the parking area.
Details: These trails are mainly located in wooded areas or along the lake, but some parts are along roads or paved paths. There are some hilly areas which range from slight elevation change to steep incline. There is also a large amount of wildlife that can be seen on these trails such as rabbits, deer, turkeys, and squirrels.