Originally developed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps under President Roosevelt's New Deal Program, the creation of Table Rock State Park was intended to address the nation's need for conservation and recreation while also creating jobs during the Great Depression. Table Rock State Park is now part of the SC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism (PRT). PRT acquired the park in pieces. In 1935, the City of Greenville and Pickens County donated 2,860 acres to PRT. PRT purchased 208 acres from various owners from 1975 to 1976. Elizabeth Ellison donated 15 acre to PRT in 1991.
The park's regular hours of operation are 7:00am-9:00pm Sunday-Thursday and 7:00am-10:00pm on Friday and Saturday. During Daylight Savings Time, the park's hours are 7:00am-7:00pm Sunday-Thursday and 7:00am-9:00pm on Friday and Saturday. The park's regular office hours are 8:00am-6:00pm daily. During winter, office hours are 9:00am-5:00pm daily. Admission is $2 for anyone 16+ years old. For South Carolina seniors, admission is $1.25. Admission is free for children 15 and under.
Many of Table Rock State Park's structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The park is also a Discover Carolina Site. Discover Carolina Sites offer South Carolina's school children the opportunity to participate in curriculum-based science education programs.
Located at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the park features two lakes. Pinnacle Lake is 36 acres, and Lake Oolenoy is 67 acres. Both lakes allow fishing with a valid South Carolina fishing license. Bass, bream, and catfish can be caught at either lake. Lake Oolenoy has a fishing pier that is accessible to the physically impaired.
The park offers boaters several different options. Lake Oolenoy has a boat ramp that provides private boat access to the lake. The ramp can only be used for private boats and only if the boat has an electric trolling motor. At Lake Pinnacle, kayaks, pedal boats, and canoes can be rented during the summer months. Rentals are contingent upon lifeguard availability. From 11:00am-5:00pm, fishing boat rentals are available at Lake Pinnacle. Rental rates are $25 for motorized fishing boats and $15 for non-motorized. The park permits seasonal lake swimming in the swimming area, which includes a sandy beach, a high dive board, and a low dive board.
The park has an extensive trail system. Visitors hiking the trails will pass waterfalls, streams, and a variety of wildlife. Hiking trails vary in length, difficulty, and scenery. Carrick Creek Trail is 1.8 miles long and is considered to be a moderately strenuous trail. Pinnacle Mountain Trail is 4.2 miles and features a waterfall and access to the Foothills Trail, which leads to the apex of Pinnacle Mountain. Only seven-tenths of a mile, Mill Creek Pass includes rhododendron thickets, and hikers may see snakes, bears, birds, and more. A highly strenuous trail, Table Rock Trail is 3.4 miles long and ascends for 2,000 feet, leading to the summit of Table Rock Mountain. The 1.9 mile Ridge Trail is considered to be strenuous and includes steep slopes that pass through a mixed wood habitat.
The park has four picnic shelters that are available for group activities. Shelters can be reserved for $25-$38 per day by calling 866-345-PARK. Shelters that are not reserved are available to visitors on a first-come, first-served basis at no charge.
Visitors can also make lodging reservations by calling 866-345-PARK. The park offers rental cabins. Cabins are available with one, two, or three bedrooms. Rates range from $60-$119 per night. Tent, RV, and trailside camping are also available, and rates vary. Camping information, as well as any additional park information, is available by calling 864-878-9813. At the entrance to the campground, there is a park store that sells snacks, drinks, souvenirs, firewood, and limited groceries. The park store is open daily during the summer. In spring and fall, the store is only open on weekends.
Table Rock State Park is located off of Highway 11 at 158 E. Ellison Lane in Pickens, South Carolina.