The Do’s and Don’ts for Visiting Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve With Kids


I was reading one of those Top Ten Things to Do in South Carolina or some such list one day and thinking, “All these things are pretty far away. Charleston, Greenville, blah, blah, blah …” And then one of them caught my eye: Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve in Lexington County! There is a waterfall! It is free! I put the address (883 Peachtree Rock Road, Lexington 29073) into my GPS and found that it’s maybe a 30-minute drive from my house. We could totally manage that.

So, on my next day off, a friend and I loaded up our kids and took it upon ourselves to discover this local treasure. We had a blast. We each brought a 5-year-old boy, and I also had my 3-year-old daughter and my 2-year-old son. Here’s my list of do’s and don’ts if you decide to discover Peachtree Rock for yourself.

DO look at the trail map first. We didn’t think to consult it until we were so deep in the trail, there was nothing to do but to keep going and circle back. It could’ve been a 2-mile hike. It ended up being closer to 5. The 5-year-olds did great. My 3-year-old, not so much.

There *are* trail signs, but I still can’t tell you which ones mean what. If you, like us, get in there deep, just follow the ones back to the parking lot. There aren’t signs that say “Waterfall – this way” or “This way to Little Peachtree Rock” — you have to look around and listen so you know when to follow one of the rabbit trails off to the side.

peachtree 4
I only wish there were more of these signs throughout the trail. Thankfully, we were able to see the trail map from our smartphones. Technology for the win!

DO wear long pants and comfortable walking shoes. At times the trail is very narrow, with foliage brushing your legs. I didn’t *see* any poison ivy or poison oak, but that doesn’t mean it’s not out there some where.

peachtree pinecone
Like collecting pinecones? There are TONS of huge ones along the trail.

DO bring your camera! Or at least a phone capable of taking good pictures. There are some really amazing little rock formations along the trail as well as the ones featured on the map.

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The waterfall was the coolest (in every sense of the word) place on the trail

DO pack water bottles. Even a short hike can leave you and your companions thirsty, and there are some uphill bits.

DO take as much time as you can. I wouldn’t plan a trip into the preserve when you have a somewhere you need to be within an hour or so. You may end up down a different path, like we did. All told, we spent about 4 hours wandering the trails, and for most of it, kept up a good pace.

peachtree hike
My 3-year-old is on my shoulders, and my 2-year-old in a carrier

DON’T even think about bringing a stroller. This is not the place. I wore my 2-year-old, and sometimes my 3-year-old, and at times, I carried both. I was prepared for that with a backpack style carrier. (For the curious, this is a Lillebaby Airflow. It is made of mostly mesh, so it is totally breathable, a must in our weather! It’s also pretty affordable.) I brought it along because…well, it isn’t that either of my youngest children are incapable of walking. However. My 2-year-old is a stop-and-smell-the-pinecones type, and my 3-year-old…well. Sometimes her legs get tired. So she says.

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Little Peachtree Rock

DO use the bathroom before you come, and encourage your children to as well. There are NO bathrooms, not even port-a-potties. Unless you want to find a bush to hide behind, that is. 

DO pay attention to your surroundings – that’s how we found Little Peachtree Rock, by looking up and around, and the waterfall, because even though it’s little, the sound is unmistakable.

peachtree waterfall 2
All the kids loved playing in the creek bed. I loved looking at the waterfall. Win-Win!

DO plan on your kids getting dirty. Trying to keep them off rocks and out of the creek bed is like trying to convince a mosquito not to sting. Not gonna happen. Just embrace it. It’s nature!

Last but not least…DO plan on coming back. We certainly will, but hopefully next time we will find the shorter trail! I’m sure there is more to discover that we missed!

Have a hidden treasure in the Columbia area you think we should explore? Tell us about it! We are up for the challenge.


  1. Peachtree Rock is clustered with two other sites there (private lands) that are also unique geo-forms, The Narrows (ancient stone steps) and the ancient meeting place of The Indian Head. These are along Smithsonian’s Ancient route, Trail #81 from Charleston to Orangeburg through southern Lexington Co. to Long Canes and Ninety-Six. There are also present there the oldest in situ house and plantation in Lexington County, c.1760s and house spared by Sherman’s men along the same route and the place where Sherman’s men camped. This area is rich in artifacts from the Clovis, Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian, Revolutionary and Civil War periods.

  2. Just visited and there are now plenty of markers for the main trails. Kids had a blast playing in the waterfall which was nice since it is 90 today. Plan on your kids getting wet. A good map at the trailhead would be nice. The one there is badly faded. A detailed printable map on the website would be great. There’s a good sign to the falls but signs directing you to anything other than the parking lot would be nice
    Great place for budding geologists and naturalists.

  3. Next time you go, download the GAIA tracking app. It tracks and record your walk while keeping you on your path. We would not have been able to keep on the desired route without it.


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