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Hikes & Trails



The +1 mile Ford Rd Complex Walking/ Hiking Loop Trail showcases the beauty of the Broad River and is a highlighted part of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail as the designated trail site traces the historical route used by patriot militia during the Kings Mountain campaign of 1780.

In addition to hiking, the Cherokee Recreation District hopes to allow visitors the future capabilities of camping, picnicking, fishing, tubing, and educational tours.

***Notice: off-roading vehicles of any kind are prohibited from the area; and, violators will be prosecuted to the full extent.***



Concord Road Trailhead: 198 Concord Road, Gaffney, SC 29341

The 7.5 mile Lake Whelchel Trail is part of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, (which commemorates the Revolutionary War route used by the Overmountain Men while searching for British Major Patrick Ferguson and his Loyalist Forces) and the Carolina Thread Trail (a regional network of connected greenways, trails and blueways that reaches 15 counties, 2 states, and 2.9 million people).

The Cherokee Recreation District Crew sporadically visit the Lake Whelchel Trail to assist with trail maintenace. 

Cherokee County has a “Champion Tree”!

According to the Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation at Clemson University, a Champion Tree is the largest of its species using a standard measuring formula based on trunk circumference, height, and average crown spread. To be eligible, a tree must be native or naturalized in the continental United States.

On Wednesday, April 14th, Cherokee County residents: Mike Bolin, Doris Pearson, and Erin McAbee guided Area Forestry Agent, Jeff Fellers to a particular tree of interest located on the Lake Whelchel Trail. After several measurements were gathered, calculations were made with great potential of having found a “big one”. A week later suspicions were solidified in that Cherokee County of South Carolina has a “Champion Tree” indeed. The tree itself is an American Beech, measuring 141.6 inches in circumference, 141 feet in height, 89 feet in spread allowing the final tree scoring to be 304.85 (well above 100 points higher than the previous tree champion of its kind). It’s guessed that the tree is 200+ year old and still seems to be in good health.

The tree is located down the Lake Whelchel Trail, approximately 1.5 miles in the direction of Alison’s Creek headed from the Concord Rd Trail Head.