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Anderson, SOUTH CAROLINA
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Ranger Review: Red Ledge Free Rein Jacket at Glen Falls Backcountry

Campground Review:

There are two ways to access this campsite and one definitely requires significantly more sweat (that’s the route we took). The backcountry site is located near the far trailhead at Glen Falls located at the end of a forestry road. We hiked in from the trailhead that most people use to access the falls and continued down the trail past the typical turnaround point until you reach the bottom of the valley. The site is on the nicer side for a backcountry campground as it is level and has multiple areas for tents along with a large fire pit surrounded by logs for sitting on. The main advantage of this site over others in the area is that it is located on the inside of a curve in the river so the creek surrounds almost the entire site giving easy access to water and a relaxing sound to help you sleep at night. The hike down from the upper trailhead is relatively steep and involves going down many (many) stairs but is well worth it for the views of Glen Falls. This is a well-traveled and also well cared for route and we saw many other hikers while we were there. However, most people do not make it all the way down to this site so you will most likely find a significant amount of privacy if you plan on camping here. Since it is National Forest you will have no issues with camping just make sure to follow leave no trace practice and keep your fire under control. I would also highly recommend a dip in the cool waters to help with the heat during the middle of the summer. Overall, this is a beautiful secluded campsite very close to Highlands that provides both tranquility and also some strenuous hiking.

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**Product Review:** 

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get to test products while out adventuring. At this campground, I stayed dry using the Red Ledge Free Rein Jacket. After multiple rainy hikes and wet campground days some of my favorite features are:

  1. Dryness (obviously): Although it is the main purpose of a raincoat I still want to mention that this design is highly effective at keeping you dry. Not only is the material incredibly water-resistant and all seams are well sealed but it also has a dual closure system in the front to keep every last drop of water away from your body. I also know that this effectiveness will last since my wife has been using a Red Ledge raincoat for many years and only recently did it need a fresh waterproofing treatment. The small touches like a multi-cinching hood and velcro wrist straps make this an incredibly effective raincoat.
  2. Breathability: Where I am hiking in the south breathability is just as important as waterproofing since the heat will often cause you to become wetter from sweat than anything the rain can do. I found that this raincoat although still being hot was significantly more breathable than others I have used with the same rain protection. It has huge armpit zipper openings and several large mesh pockets that can be opened to increase airflow. The only negative I found was that the sizes for men run slightly smaller than usual so the tightness decreased airflow. However, this can be easily solved by getting a size larger than your usual. 
  3. Color Options: One of the things that often frustrates me about men's hiking clothing and gear is that the colors are typically boring and flat. They stick to dull greens and blues or grays and blacks. But not these raincoats! They come in bright reds and greens and many other color options to fit your individual personality. This was a big plus for me and is important if you want to be seen while hiking in areas that allow hunting or don't want to get lost from your hiking partner in a torrential downpour. 

Overall, for the very reasonable price of these raincoats, they are incredibly effective and comfortable and I would highly recommend seriously considering them for your next raincoat purchase.

Ranger Review: éclipse Equinox Hoodie Cover Up at Baker Creek SP Campground

Campground Review: 

Baker Creek is a seasonal campground, and is the place to go if you love the water and love to spend your days floating lazily in the South Carolina Midlands.  At night, if it's not cloudy, you'll get to gaze at the constellations in the gorgeous night sky.

The sites are close together, which we certainly noticed during the July 4th holiday, but at times when it's not so crowded, I'm not sure it would matter. We snagged the best sites in terms of privacy (88-96), which are on the water and have no sites across the road from them. We had to switch our site (91) with a friend (89) because we were hammock camping and sites 90-93 don't have many trees. As such, those sites also get hit by sun most of the day, although they have gorgeous views of the water. 

The majority of the campers during the July 4th weekend were in RVs, and we noticed there is less consideration towards tent campers with regards to noise and light. I guess the RVers think everyone is inside their campers and therefore can't hear them driving their car at 3 A.M., starting their boats at 5 A.M., or leaving a bright security light on all night. 

There are many swimming areas around the campsites, and they are shallow enough near-shore that kids can spend, literally, the entire day playing in the water. Bring inflatables, kayaks, boats, and canoes! 

An odd thing about the sites is that there are charcoal grills, but no fire rings! Many makeshift fire rings have been constructed using the large granite rocks that can be found in the lake, though. 

The bathroom, while old, is kept clean by the camp hosts who stay there the entire season. Hand soap is provided but no hot air or paper towels are there to dry hands. 

The trash dumpsters are a fair distance away (you'll need to drive if you have a bag of trash) and no recycling facilities are provided.

I've read online reviews that mention how old and run down Baker Creek is. I disagree. It's a beautiful SC State Park on a gorgeous lake. If your tastes run more upscale, Hickory Knob State Resort Park is right across the water and might suit you better. 

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Product Review:  

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time - today I am testing the éclipse Equinox Hoodie Cover Up https://eclipseglove.com/collections/frontpage/products/equinox-hoodie-beach-cover-up

The éclipse line of products spoke to me because I love to be in the sun all day, and I'm great about applying the first round of sunscreen, but after swimming and chillaxing, I get too lazy to put on more. I don't want to get out of the sun, but I just know I'm burning, especially on my chest and shoulders. Usually, I'll put on a big, long-sleeved shirt to try to hide from the rays.

éclipse makes cover ups with a special type of fabric that increases evaporative cooling and is also UPF 50+. But the sides of the shirt and undersides of the arms are open, allowing airflow where the sun isn't hitting. There is a front pocket and inside that is a cell phone pocket, which is a perfect size for making sure it doesn't slide out. 

I found it was also a good shirt to wear in the hot summer evenings while camping, because it provides mosquito protection without being stifling. 

I got compliments and questions about it when I wore it to Baker Creek. The neck is high to keep the sun off delicate neck skin, but that makes it not as fashionable.  Another option that might look more flowy and cute is the Aurora Shawl 

https://eclipseglove.com/collections/frontpage/products/aurora-beach-cover-ups

My husband took the éclipse Adjustable Neck Gaiter

https://eclipseglove.com/collections/sun-neck-gaiter/products/neck-gaiter-adjustable

on his day-long canoeing trip and it blocks the skin that a shirt doesn't normally cover while still cooling the neck. It's versatile, and can be worn in many different ways

The éclipse products are easy to clean and will be a staple in our beach/boat bag from now on!

Lack of privacy and more

Several things turn me off of this campground. First, the campsites offer absolutely no privacy or separation. Second, we paid for a premium site, however, our site (#65) flooded and became clay-muddy when it rained. It was also difficult to find due to poor labeling. Third, many of the sites did t take advantage of the view of the lake by having the hookups on the “wrong” side of the site.

Really nice campground

Really nice campground, lots of trails. But way to many geese there. They have put putting, a small game area. Plenty to do.

Lakeside

Small campground. The sites are all dirt, very few are level. The are pretty close together. In need of maintenance.

Best Camprground in SC

My family had been coming here for years and we love it. Brad and Cece and their son Evan have done great things with this campground. Lots of fantastic amenities, cleanest bathhouse I’ve ever seen and a great pool make this a great place to stay. Add on all the activities they plan for big holiday weekends and this place is a no brainer. Go to Pineridge!

Great Place To Get Away

A large but secluded campground in the foot of the Appalachian mountains. The people at the park were very friendly and the park well kept. The lake was nice and provided a beautiful background for cool evenings watching the fireflies. Although we did not take advantage of some of the amenities, my wife went swimming and I went hiking a few times. I can’t vouch for the swimming area, but the hiking trails were well marked and maintained.

The facilities all worked as they should, and the park trash pickup came by at least a couple of times a day.

Do be aware that you will be out of touch when you stay here. There is almost no cell coverage, and wifi (weak wi-if) is only available at the office.

This campground is a welcome getaway. We will be back!

Unexpected

We had an emergency work issue while traveling and had to get somewhere to get online.  The issue had been going in for a while and we had been stopped a truck stop for 3 hours. I started looking to see if there was an RV park nearby and found Victoria Bryant State Park just 10 miles away.  We called and there were vacancies.  We GPS’d our way over, and I. The middle of farmland was the entrance to the park. We pulled in and set up in about 5 minutes,  got online and proceeded to work most of the night.  

In the morning we discovered how lovely our surroundings were.  Our site was on a ridge and was wooded all around.  We were across from a comfort station, a really nice pavilion and play area.  Lots of families were coming in for the weekend.  There is hiking and fishing in a small lake. Places to ride bikes.  Day campers are welcome.  The park was clean and the personnel was friendly and helpful.  We had to leave that morning, but are looking forward to going back and discovering more about it.  What a happy surprise Victoria Bryant State Park was.

South cove park

One of only place we’re you have water on all sides.

Water all around

Water water everywhere.  On the Georgia side Tugaloo State Park is Located on Lake Hartwell on the Georgia/South Carolina state line.  

Getting to the campsites is pretty tight but once you are parked, it is just beautiful overlooking the lake.  Lots of fun for families who enjoy the water.  Also you can see fishing boats zoom to their fishing location at night.  Peaceful and calming rest from the corporate life!

Glamping favorite

We like to camp but we don’t like to rough it so we call it Glamping. Watsadler has nice spacious sites. Only sites 1, 11 , 24, & 26 do not have access to the water. The rest are right at the waters edge. its quiet and well kept. But for us the best part is it is close to town, restaurants and grocery stores are just few miles away.

Loved camping here!

We had a blast camping here.

Site 29 Very Nice!

Water access wasn’t very good but the site was big and private! It’s quiet and well kept.

Quiet and Beautiful

Some sites are challenging to back into but worth the effort. Large resort State Park with lots of activities and access to Strom Thurmond lake. Friendly and very helpful staff.

Decent place

While this old park has been around a while, it is still in prime condition. The sites vary from asphalt covered to gravel. Wifi is nonexistent in some areas of the park so be prepared to hike, fish, or read a book. Or go to the office to keep up with your contacts via Wifi. Check-in was pleasant as the clerk was well informed and friendly. New gravel has been spread and the road is easy to navigate. Please be aware the tight curves in some sections is not for the larger rigs. The trees make backing in a challenge and some drive-through sites are a challenge for long bed trucks. All sites are well-shaded but you can hear road noise from a nearby highway. Primitive camping is private and isolated from RVs and trailers. While the office is well-stocked with those last minute items, there is a Dollar store just down the road. If you like nature you will love Oconee State Park. We camped at Oconee State Park in a Travel Trailer.

Haven’t been yet. Will review end of trip

Haven’t been yet. Will review end of trip

Very large park right outside of town

We stayed here for a week and found this to be one of the quietest parks we have stayed out and used it for a base camp to hike Jones gap and table rock. The bathhouse was clean and there are lots of trails and a big pond.lots of bicycles riding around the park.

Just like the name, solitude.

Small in size with only @14 rv sites, but huge in friendly staff and super helpful getting you in/out of your site.

Loooove the falls

The bridge is great for pictures ☀️

Amazing place

Very mature campground (we stayed in the camper area). Lots of shade and campsites are decently spaced apart. The only negative I would say is that in our area there wasn’t a lot of flat roads for our smaller kids to bike, etc. Bathrooms are super nice and clean.

Clean and convenient

We enjoyed our time at Tallulah State Park. The gorge and trails were incredible. The campground is conveniently located right next to the entrance to the visitors center. We decided last minute to get a campsite and it was no problem. We went to the visitors center to pay for the night. The campsites are equipped with a picnic table and fire ring. There was plenty of room for our van. We would gladly return.

We made the best of a terrible weekend

I don't think we could have picked a worse weekend to try out a new camping spot than we did this past weekend. I had made my reservation online last week and didn't even bother checking the weather information - after weeks of great weekends I'm sure it sound continue right? Lol! Mother nature didn't agree! So we made the best of a bad situation - finally out of the house and kids at home with babysitter - 100% chance of rain all weekend….. ALL WEEKEND. Lol yep it was perfect planning (insert facepalm). It was very easy to get to and find. We had stopped at the main building but it looked as if a wedding was setting up (rain is good luck at a wedding!) so we continued down to the second building - the distillery! The lady there was so friendly and a Clemson student. She gave us the info on the farm, on were we needed to go and of the lovely distillery that we of course took samples of. I believe it was $7 and we could sample all of them and keep the shot glass. They were so good! We bought two mini bottles and followed the trail around the back of the store to get to our camping spot. Again everything was labeled to easily know where you're going. I do say it's been pouring rain this whole time and is still pouring rain when we get to the site. We knew before we left that it was going to be raining so we decided to skip the tent and the hammocks (this mostly because we didn't know the tree situation) and try something new. A new camping spot and a new camping situation - we're camping IN the jeep! We quickly got the shelter up and get comfy. Hubby waited no time at all to throw a rod in the water - we're near water and he's got fishing poles… He's fishing! We caught a good many of them in spite of the terrible weather. I believe the whole weekend we got maybe 2 hours of no rain. The area is a nice size and no one else was there (I'm not sure if they book multiples at this spot but we had the whole place). The only concerned I had is that there was a very large fire ant hill really close to the tree and fire pit that may be a hazard to someone not paying attention - luckily the rain kept them in their home. We're already planning on going back with nicer weather so we can really enjoy the fishing. It doesn't get any better camping on the lake!

Favorite Park in the upstate!

The park is very nice with a lot of good sized camp sites and tent sites closer to the lake. The lake is beautiful and clear. I highly recommend visiting and staying for a while.

Excellent

Nice level sites clean bath house not full hook up

First to Review
Real nice

Not full hook up sites very level  most sites on water

Ranger Review: Travelers Rest KOA

Very pretty campground in the fall. Operators live onsite and were friendly. Full connections and no issues leveling. Easy in/out and close to Greenville, Paris Mountain, Travelers Rest, Swamp Rabbit Trail etc. Bathhouses were very clean, but the lights are on motion detectors which weren’t sensitive enough to pick you up in the shower. We both had a couple moments of total darkness to contend with. A camp cat hung around our site at times and loved the heat coming out of our furnace. We don’t have pets so didn’t mind. Cell coverage was great (att & Verizon), so we had no issues working our 9-5s. Love the bubbling creek next to our site, which was so pretty from our back window. We’d definitely stay again.

No tent camping

No tent camping no fishing and no swimming. Why go?

No camping!!!!

Not sure why this is on here but no camping of any kind!

Ranger Review: Gregory Women's Jade 53 in Mayan Teal on the East Fork Trail

Trail/Campground Review:

The East Fork trail at the end of Burrells Ford is quite an easy trail!  It's 2.5 miles one way from either end of the Chattooga Picnic Area adjacent to the Walhalla Fish Hatchery and at the end of Burrells Ford and following the Chattooga River.  The terrain is at times muddy with the natural streams cutting through, rocky with the many river rock stones lieing around, and just good ol' natural dirt.  There were some hard spots from fallen trees we had to travel over, and at one moment i thought i would tip over by the weight of my bag - but everything stayed put!

The Burrells Ford has several different camping options… you can drive in and park and hike a small bit to a spot near the river (this parking lot has a community pit toilet), you could go past that to the trail head where you park on the side of the road and hike in to MANY hiking spots off the trail (just stay on established trails!), or you could follow the road through and find several pull off drive in camp sites along the road.

We choose the hike in and we didn't have to hike far before we found out perfect camping spot on the river.  After looking over the area we set up camp and got our fire started for the many meals we had packed in (one thing is for sure camp food is the best!!).  We tried our hand at some fishing but the fish just wasn't biting that day - maybe some other time.

A little backpacking tip for those looking for cheap DIY fire starters: cardboard egg crates, dryer lint, and candle wax. it's still the same concept as the toilet paper rolls stuffed with dryer lint, but you're using the egg crate as your holder. Granted it won't burn the same as the original but it's still great for starting fires!

It was just so perfectly peaceful!

Product Review:

As a ranger for The Dyrt, I get to test out new gear that I might find useful for my upcoming trip.  For my trip I purchased the Gregory Women's Jade 53 in Mayan Teal.  This bag couldn't have been more perfect!  It was just the right size in size XS/SM for me.  I'm 5'6" tall and probably about 140 pounds give or take.  I've provided a photo to show how it sits on me.

I loved how the whole inside of the bag is just one large opening that can be accessed from THREE different points= top, middle, and bottom.  A bonus feature I didn't know of until I started to pack is that there is a detachable shelf that will separate the bottom section from the rest of the bag but still remain accessible if needed. This came in handy as I was able to keep my shoes separate from my spare clothes. 

Another thing I really loved was the many pockets and straps and bungees that were easy to put stuff in and strap on.  Nothing fell off even as I was hitting branches!!

My husband is very jealous right now and is searching for his own very soon!!