We’ve really not had an opportunity to explore Greenville or the surrounding area since our second trip here.
With time to burn between pre-op Monday morning and surgery first thing Tuesday morning, we got out and explored a little. (Plus we needed the mental distraction).
Which is how we found ourselves on a mountaintop 3,200 feet above sea level, enjoying a panoramic view of the surrounding mountainscape.
Caesar’s Head and Hell’s Kitchen
Our first stop, after driving up a winding mountain road, was at Caesar’s Head state park. Supposedly, this place has the name Caesar’s Head because some people feel that the rock facing resembles the famous Roman general, but honestly, I didn’t see it.
From South Carolina’s own state park website:
A granitic gneiss outcropping atop the dramatic Blue Ridge Escarpment gives Caesars Head State Park its name. Every fall, from the easily-accessible overlook atop the rocky peak of the Blue Ridge Escarpment, sight-seers are treated to the Hawk Watch program and a spectacular view that extends into North Carolina and Georgia.
So I did not know while we were there that we could see both North Carolina and Georgia, but I do not doubt it, the view was absolutely spectacular! It was one of the most amazing views I’ve ever seen.
Right around from the viewpoint was a set of stairs that descended deep down into the rocky gap, which is just wide enough for a person to pass through.
The name Devil’s Kitchen comes from a myth dating back to the days when the area was settled by Scots-Irish immigrants. The immigrants enjoyed brewing their own alcohol. According to the story, the Devil himself made a particularly hot brew here, and spilled a drop of it on the rock, splitting the rock open on the spot.
Honestly, we’ve seen a few similar spots at other hikes, but it’s still a cool spot, especially with the myth.
I’m not confident that Jenna was aware of the four-mile, round-trip hike that leads to a 420-foot waterfall; Raven Cliff Falls, but I imagine that will eventually be a visit we make in the future.
After Caesar’s Head and Devil’s Kitchen, we took off farther up the road to Fred W. Symmes Chapel aka “Pretty Place” which is part of YMCA Camp Greenville.
This place was clearly more popular than Caesar’s Head, which I assume is because of the open chapel and the view of the mountains behind the cross. You had to work around people or essentially “wait your turn” to grab certain photos.
Yes, it was pretty, but compared to the view of Caesar’s Head, I just don’t get it. For me, it just didn’t hold a candle to it.
We preferred Caesar’s Head so much more. We stopped on our way back down the mountain to grab a few shots of the last lights of the sunset. No photos can truly show the colors we saw peaking over from behind the mountains. It was gorgeous.