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Your guide to Mountain Rest
Mountain Rest, South Carolina, as the name might suggest, is all about the great outdoors. What this rural Appalachian Mountain town lacks in residents (population: 2,084), it more than makes up for in raw, backcountry wilderness. Thousands of acres of forest extend in every direction, filled with waterfalls, rapid rivers, and swampland. Human history has left its own imprint, too, with relics of the bygone railroad era. There are ample opportunities to get out and explore: trails for hiking, lakes for boating, and outlooks to admire the panoramic mountain views. It all amounts to an addictive blend of South Carolina mountain town charm and the quiet bliss of being immersed in nature.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Mountain Rest
If you're looking for sunshine and the ideal outdoor activity weather, late spring is your season to book one of Mountain Rest’s cabin rentals. In May, before the town’s trails and lakes get crowded, the average high is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. By late June, the crowds thicken and so does the humidity. The rest of summer is oppressively hot, with frequent temperatures above 90 degrees. Fall is nice, too, with temperatures cascading into the 70s through October. Winters vary from mild (temperatures in the 50s) to below freezing. Mountain Rest is one of the chilliest places in South Carolina, with January being the coldest month — nighttime temperatures average around 27 degrees, with frequent snow storms.
Top things to do in Mountain Rest
Oconee State Park
Oconee State Park is one of Mountain Rest’s natural gems. Situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this 1,165-acre park is brimming with diverse flora and fauna. The Station Cove Falls Trail is known for its wildflowers, including the state flower, Carolina jessamine. Trails lead hikers through patches of walking ferns and stands of chestnut oaks, and a lake provides the perfect spot for casting a line for catfish or rowing at a leisurely pace. Don’t miss the swimming hole with a high-dive in the summer.
Sumter National Forest
Sumter National Forest is full of beauty, oddities, and other draws. Cascading waterfalls, stands of towering trees, and swamps comprise the patchwork terrain of this enchanting wilderness of more than 370,000 acres. Some historical relics and attractions provide other forms of entertainment, like the Stumphouse Tunnel, an eerie unfinished 1850s railroad tunnel that’s on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Chattooga River runs for 59 miles, beginning in the granite peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains and rushing down to Mountain Rest and further south. As a designated Wild and Scenic River, it’s a protected nature corridor best seen from a raft down its Class II and IV rapids.