Caesar’s Head State Park, located in Greenville County, provides gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge Escarpment (PDF). It features campgrounds and hiking trails, and it’s also just a hop, skip, and jump away from Jones Gap Falls, Symmes Chapel (Pretty Place), and Table Rock State Park, as seen in the distance in many of the below photos taken from Caesar’s Head.
Caesar’s Head was established as a state park in 1979 and became part of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area in 1996. Its most famous spot can be found at its southern edge, where a large, isolated granite rock protrudes over an expansive valley. The giant rock formed approximately 409 million years ago and stands 3,266 feet above sea level.
The land originally belonged to the Cherokee Indians, but it was relinquished to the state in 1816. In the mid-1800s, Colonel Benjamin Hagood purchased 500 acres and built a hotel here. A highway was constructed out to Caesar’s Head, and a small summertime community sprang up around the hotel.
Though it burned down during the Civil War, the community and history continue to live on. Read more about the history of the Caesar’s Head Hotel.
Of course, getting to Caesar’s Head State Park is half the fun. United States Highway 276, seen below, starts as a busy highway in Mauldin and becomes a scenic road winding through the mountains of South Carolina and eventually North Carolina, even passing through the latter state’s Pisgah National Forest. Follow this road to Casear’s Head for a visit to an incredible state park and then continue along the route for further mountain adventures.
There are many legends as to how Caesar’s Head got its name, but these three are the most popular. One highlights a hunter and his dog, Caesar, the latter of whom fell from the cliff in pursuit of their prey. The distraught owner then named the cliff after his faithful dog. Another says Caesar is a crude adaptation of sachem, the Cherokee word for Indian chief.
The final and perhaps simplest theory is that the rock resembles Julius Caesar’s profile. What do you think? Below is another spectacular panorama from the Caesar’s Head overlook.
More Pictures of Caesar’s Head
Reflections on Caesar’s Head
Contributor Matthew Pautz shares about his above photo: “I have been coming up to the
area to hike and camp throughout my entire life, and I always felt a peace and calm in the area as the sun sets. I believe these images represent the true beauty and calmness of the South Carolina Upstate.”