Summary: The Jones Gap Trail (blue marked) is connected from the trail head by way of the .7 mile Tom Miller Trail. The 1st half of the trip is a gradual descent of 1,000 feet over 2.5 miles along the Saluda River. There are quite a few backpacking camping sites along the river and the trail is well marked. For the most part the trail is covered by a canopy of trees. After 2.5 miles, Jones Gap intersects with the orange marked Cold Springs Branch Trail for a return trip to the parking lot. This intersection is a great place to have lunch and perhaps a fire. The return trip is a pretty good ascent of 1,000 feet over 2 miles.
Trailhead: From Asheville, NC take I-26 East towards Spartanburg, SC. At Hwy 11 go right or west. At Hwy 276 go right or north. drive approximately 10 miles north and a mile after the Ranger Station, on the right is the parking lot and the trail head. (Lat:35.06 Lon:-82.38)
Trail Guides for Jones Gap Trail:
Hiking South Carolina Trails
by Allen De Hart (The Globe Pequot Press)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: Mountain Bridge St. Natural Area, Caesars Head Station: 864-242-8213
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Tom Duchac, who has posted 23 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by Mark on 6/27/2013
I always start from the Jones Gap end heading towards Caesars Head. That way the uphill portion is done while I'm fresh. Register at Trail Head and head into the woods on the Jones Gap Trail (Blue). When you get to the intersection of Cold Springs Branch Trail (Orange) you will start ascending and it goes up quick. The Bill Kimball (Pink I think) branches off of CSBT and also has a quick steep ascent. Following CSBT you will end up at the lower parking lot of Caesars Head. Your return trip will be via the Tom Miller Trail (Can't remember color) to the JGT. Keep in mind the CSBT criss-crosses the CSB stream half a dozen times. You WILL get wet feet. Great area to hike and I never tire of it. Been going up there for almost 20 years.
Reviewed by WMH on 9/13/2009
This is a very nice hike and great exercise. The entire Mountain Bridge area is on the edge of the Blue Ridge Escarpment, so there are several trails with steep ascents and descents. The Jones Gap trail tends to have lots of wet spots, even in dry weather. If you can purify water, carry less and use the numerous water sources to refill. Also, at the Jones Gap / Cold Springs Branch intersection you may continue down Jones gap about a mile to Jones Gap falls, then come back to the intersection. The falls aren't huge or spectacular, but they are very pretty and worth seeing.
Reviewed by suel on 8/3/2008
the hike to the falls was well worth the trip. being sixty was a little hard near the top but i kept going,rested here and there. i would do it again and coming back to camp. the park rangers are really nice folks.
Reviewed by Josh on 9/2/2007
I hiked this trail today, except I cut across the Bill Kimball trail (purple blazes) rather than taking the whole Coldspring Branch trail. I hiked the loop the wrong way, finishing on the VERY strenuous ascent of the Tom Miller trail. There weren't any overlooks on the whole loop, but the scenery along the way was very nice, with a couple of interesting rock features. There was plenty of running water along the way as well. Both the Bill Kimball and Tom Miller trails have some very steep spots, make sure you bring plenty of water and food! Just remember, start at the Tom Miller trail!
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