Hike 18
Hike 18 -- February 12, 2011
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It is always good (for me anyway) to be back in South Carolina to do some great hiking. Based on a suggestion
from a good friend a while back, I decided to check out a new place to hike in addition to possibly taking a hike
in the Congaree National Park (if time permitted).

It was suggested to me to check out a place called Peachtree Rock Preserve. After looking it up on the Internet
and seeing how neat this place seemed, I was anxious to check out.

Arriving at my favorite “Stay here while hiking hotel” -- the HI Express at exit 80 on I-20 by Columbia -- I
checked in and headed upstairs to my favorite corner top floor room and looked
out the window to check on “my flag.”

Drats – it was NOT there! From my room, I can see over I-20 and on the other side is Capital Chevrolet. This
dealership has one of those very tall flag poles (100 ft high?) that is capable of flying a HUGE American flag. I
was so disappointed to see it not there. I talked with someone at the dealership after I got back home and the
reason their flag was not up was because it had gotten so torn up, they took it down out of respect and are
awaiting a new replacement flag.  I’m sure this size flag has to be special ordered and
I look forwards to seeing it flying proudly on my next trip to Columbia.

I enjoyed a few cool ones while I watched the sun go down and did some more research on Peachtree Rock.

After a slow start (getting old?) Saturday morning, I punched the address for the Preserve into my built-in
navigation system in my Suburban and took off. About 45 minutes later, I arrived at the Preserve on the
southwest side of Columbia, and hit the trail leading to the “Rock.”

After about 20 minutes of walking basically in a downhill pattern through beautiful woods, I and several other
hikers and very happy dogs, arrived at Peachtree Rock.

Sitting there all alone in a beautiful lightly treed area is this huge sandstone formation that looks like a pyramid
turned upside down. What makes this so special and exciting is that this HUGE mass of rock, etc., is balanced on
what looks like maybe a 3-foot in diameter, 3-foot tall base.  There is a very low small cable fence
about 10 feet out from it to keep visitors away from the formation.

Like most things put up for people’s safety, the cable was and is ignored. Five minutes after I got there, some
intelligent parents had their three kids over the cable and all lined up and propped up against the rock while they
had their pictures taken. These are the same idiots that would “sue somebody ” if, God forbid,
the formation actually fell over and injured their kids.

Close by was a tiny, but beautiful waterfall that is the only cascade in the South Carolina sandhills or coastal
plain.  All through the area where I was you could see the remains of the eroded sandstone formations laid down
when millions of years ago, all this area what under the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. A cascade is a type of
waterfall that basically means the water descends a series of rock steps versus
just dropping off the edge of a single ledge.

I decided to not check out the other several miles of trails available here at the Preserve and to save them for
a later trip. Being back on the trail, so to speak after a winter (so far) with lots of cold weather and snow, made
me anxious to see what was going on over in my favorite place to hike -- Congaree National Park -- which is
about 30 miles southeast of Columbia.

So, I made the command decision to break off my stay at the Preserve and to head for the swamp. :- )

Forty-five minutes later, I pulled into the parking lot at the park.
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