Palmetto Trail Day 23 – Peak to Prosperity Passage

There is a 10 mile gap from Newberry to the Peak to Prosperity Passage.  Peak and Prosperity are both small towns between an old railroad that has been turned to a rails to trails section.   Since I am going South I will hit Prosperity first and end at Peak. Prosperity is a six mile walk along highway 76 (just realized I have been spelling highway wrong this whole trip).  Nothing really to report here other than I had lunch at Cathy’s Place.  A double cheeseburger with (all the fixings, minus onion) and fries.  And two large glasses of sweet tea, which is utterly amazing in the South.  Nothing like Northern sweet tea. I did go by a Food Lion grocery store but I have what I need for now.

After lunch is another four mile road walk along highway 76 and another road call 773.  I thought I was at a side road to get to the trail but instead there was a building inside a closed fence.  I ended up following 773 all the way to the I-26 exit. Turning on Kipler Bridge Road that went by a golf course.  Later after looking at a satellite image of the area, I could have took the railroad at the 76/773 intersection and walked it up to the Southern end of the trail.

When arriving at the Kipler Bridge TH, I stopped for a break. I really enjoyed this Passage.  It was a very easy walk that went over 20 trestles all the way to the end. The elevation chart showed a 200ft drop over 11 miles but it was as flat as can be.  There were multiple campsites along this Passage and initially I was expecting to use one today.  But the terrain was so easy I ended up cruising all the way to the end.

Almost halfway through is a very small town called Pomaria that has a gas station/grocery available.  It was a nice day so I grabbed some ice cream and a soda and sat on the bench outside for a break.  There were three guys who were also reading the kiosk nearby and started asking questions. So I explained what the Palmetto Trail was and me hiking across the state.  They thought I was crazy and continued down the trail, I would soon pass them by.

Shortly after passing the three guys I stopped to take a picture and noticed an obscure ammo can laying in front of me.  Turns out is a geocash site.  I have run into these on numerous hikes before.  Just before I get to the next parking lot I encounter two separate groups biking and a couple hikers.  I take a break at Hope Station for a snack and finish off my water. It’s only 3.5 mile’s until the campsite at the end of the Passage.

As I get closer to Peak, another small town, I start to run into more people enjoying the town. This is also a telltale sign that there is a TH just ahead. When I start seeing buildings my suspicions are confirmed.  There is a huge boardwalk going from the trail to the parking lot and I see a couple coming down it.  They walk over and greet a gentleman who is out birding. As they are all staring up into the tree I ask what they are looking for?  The birder is looking for a hooded warbler that is up in the tree. This leads to a conversation in introductions and info about the bridge I am about to cross over the Broad River.

After talking for awhile I continue the final 1/4 mile across the bridge.  We are pretty high up and the views are great.  There are Cormorants, large Turtles, and muskrat swimming in the Broad River.  The opposite side has a very nice camping area, I stop to take a break and figure out my plan for tomorrow.  But the service here is terrible, so I head back across the river and go to the small town of Peak to see if it improves. As I am resting researching tomorrow’s route the gentleman birding asks me if I wanted a ride.  I graciously accept because it’s a 25 mile road walk to the next Passage in Columbia.

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