Summary: This moderately strenuous, out and back trail provides a unique break from the normal terrain of South Carolina. Starting from the lower trailhead, you will wind through a sandy, high grass, but well marked section that is very easy to follow. You will pass through a thick forest, where you may see many different types of animals, such as Prairie warblers, indigo buntings, red-tailed hawks, vireos, cottontail rabbits, and deer. Continuing along flat creek, you will come to a beaver pond, which is small, but full of water lilies and very colorful during the summer months. You will pass a small waterfall as you make the moderate climb to your destination, the vast opening on top of a huge standing rock called Forty Acre Rock. Though actually 14 acres, it is still a breathtaking site. During the spring, water collects in depressions and you will be treated to the sight of a variety of specialized plants such as lichens, mosses, sedum, and the endangered pool sprite.
Trailhead: Upon entering Lancaster from Hwy-521 exit onto 521-Bypass heading south, exit on Hwy-903, drive app. 15 miles till you see old Flat Creek School on the left, continue straight on Hwy-601 for app. 2 miles till you cross the first bridge, turn onto the first left and look for the signs and parking lots on the left side of the road.
Trail Guides for Forty Acre Rock Heritage Preserve:
Hiking South Carolina Trails
by Allen deHart (Globe-Pequot Press)
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Winter,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: DNR Heritage Trust Program (803) 734-3893
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by John Ghent, who has posted 12 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 5 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Kevin on 3/28/2013
A great place to visit, especially while the pool sprites are in bloom... http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10101351884270139.1073741826.25821069&type=1&l=cc85b7387a
Reviewed by BB on 3/15/2013
This is a great place to go for a short hike to a unique habitat. The view from the top is something that is very rare in the middle of South Carolina. Take care of this habitat and watch where you walk on the rock. There are some rare treasures up there. Would love the cooperation of some on this site with setting up a clean-up three times a year. I'll likely post something if we get some times. There used to be a Friends of Forty Acre Rock group.
Reviewed by Allen Gibson on 1/8/2013
This place is the closest hiking we have here on the beach. I must say, the kids with spraypaint have it on everything. I contacted the scdnr about people camping,RIGHT THERE AT THE ENTRANCE,blocking the way in and burning aluminum cans on top of everything else. Although, there are no signs from the dirt road entrance that say no camping, or bicycling or fires, just a small sign that says no motorized vehicles. I drive 2 hours there to climb rocks. I also offered to help and bring a group of people with me toclean up the place. It is highly illegal to paint over the rocks, I guess when someone has an idea of how to remove paint without further damaging the fauna then it can be done. The paint is also on rocks in the river..:(
Reviewed by Jct on 7/28/2012
Alsome place went as a child , plan on returning soon. but i know about the dangers. Any 1 know what days n hours are the safest. Also if We could all plan a clean up day once or 3 times a year they would stop the spray paint and trashing. This place is a very Special place of South Carolina why does it not have a Game warden or station is stupid. Those sprites are extremely rare and the history is rich.
Reviewed by llama on 10/10/2011
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Reviewed by Tab on 6/22/2011
I happen to be one of those rednecks that frequent the area because I live here. The people who leave beer bottles and spray paint the rock are a bunch of teenagers who dont give a damn.
Reviewed by Anna on 6/17/2011
To all the redneck bashers: Last time I checked, 40-acre rock was located in South Carolina. And those "rednecks" are the locals, who are not obsessed with material things. The fact that they are "rednecks" is part of the reason why you have a beautiful, secluded place like this to enjoy that has not been overtaken by Starbucks and crackerbox McMansions. Thank God it has not been taken over by a bunch of yuppies who feel the need to watch, guard, and punish all those who dare not to be ardent conservationists. If you are so concerned about the trash and grafitti, then by all means, pick the trash up and cover up the grafitti. Try being proactive instead of just complaining and whining. If you don't like it, GO BACK HOME!!!
Reviewed by Dixe Defender on 3/20/2011
Yesterday, 03/19/11 my younger brother Alex and I took our very first trip from our home in Chester County to 40 Acre Rock. After getting turned around by the lack of signs, we opted (because of the lateness of the day) to part at the upper entrance and walk the 20-30 min walk on the sandy trail. I have to say I was impressed by the site of the huge rock. The place was perfect desolation surrounded by serious woodland. I had never dreamed such a place was so close by and plan on going back soon. I hated the graffiti (thankfully not as bad as I thought they would be) and there was evidence of campfires with garbage in them (actually aside from leaving garbage it would be a great place to camp for the night, but I doubt I'd try it.)
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: South Carolina Hiking, South Carolina Trails, South Carolina Hikes, Lancaster County Hiking, Lancaster County Trails, Lancaster County Hikes