SOUTH CAROLINA – JONES GAP STATE PARK
Photo Experience: Our hot, parched summer was followed by a warm, dry start to fall in upstate South Carolina. Year-to-date precipitation was more than 25% below average. Rather than going to the autumn gala, many leaves had decided to just head out of town. Nevertheless, when the forecast was for what had become an all-too-rare overcast morning, I decided to take my camera gear along for a short morning hike. I was not disappointed. Although the colors were not the best I’ve ever seen, they were pretty good. One of the nice things about walking along the Middle Saluda Passage of the Palmetto Trail is the frequent access to the Middle Saluda River that is available along the first mile-and-a-half or so. While the lower water level reduced the flow over many of the cascades, it also allowed me to get closer to the water than would normally be possible. My most used lens here was a wide-angle zoom.
Other Info: Located in northern Greenville County, Jones Gap S. P. is at the end of Jones Gap Road, off US 276 / SC 11. (After turning off US 276 / SC 11, it is a 10-15 minute drive to reach the park.) An admission fee or appropriate South Carolina Parks pass is required for entry. Note that parking is very limited. So, if you don’t want to wait in line at the entrance until a space opens up, get there early. (The park opens at 9:00 AM.) Picnic tables and bathrooms are available at the park.