10/07/2011 05:53 pm ET Updated Nov 27, 2011

South Carolina Fall Foliage: A MapQuest Guide

South Carolina fall foliage features brilliant hues and spectacular scenery. The changing colors of leaves in autumn is one of nature’s most beloved rites of passage -- and makes for one of the most popular and inexpensive getaways for families. As part of LeafQuest -- a MapQuest series helping leaf peepers across North America find easy and rewarding destinations -- here are three recommended spots for viewing South Carolina fall foliage. — Andres Jauregui

Table Rock State Park

Table Rock Mountain makes a forceful case for South Carolina that fall foliage is not the exclusive bragging right of the north. Every autumn, dogwoods, sourwoods, hickorys, oaks and maples bring spectacular color to the mountain, situated in the Palmetto State's popular Table Rock State Park, which is the trailhead for the 80-mile-long Foothills Trail in the Blue Ridge Escarpment. Prospective visitors can check the autumn colors via the park's webcam before visiting. Colors usually peak in mid- to late October.

Visitors Center, Pickens, SC 29671 | Get Directions

Caesars Head State Park

The Caesars Head Overlook in Caesars Head State Park is one of South Carolina's most dramatic vistas. The "granitic gneiss outcropping" sits atop the Blue Ridge Escarpment and is a great place to take in the changing fall colors of the valley below -- and into neighboring North Carolina. Other attractions in the park include the annual Hawk Watch program -- in which migrating raptors soar by park visitors at the observers' 3,200-foot-high perch -- and 420-foot Raven Cliff Falls, which can be viewed by a suspension-bridge overlook.

8155 Geer Highway, Cleveland, SC 29635 | Get Directions

Poinsett State Park

For a 1,000-acre area, Poinsett State Park sure has a lot of biodiversity. Poinsett boasts "four different habitat types within its boundaries," which means that there are hardwood forests (featuring brilliant colors in white oaks, black oaks and pignut hickorys), pine woodlands and bottomland forests (featuring American hollies and sweetgums). The park is ideal for picnics, hiking and biking. Its small pond is more for scenery than for recreation, but it does provide a pretty backdrop for an autumn stroll among the mountain laurels. The park's trail system connects to the Palmetto Trail.

6660 Poinsett Park Road, Wedgefield, SC 29168 | Get Directions

Slideshow of fall foliage at South Carolina's Table Rock State Park and Caesars Head State Park.

Did we miss a South Carolina fall-foliage spot? Tell us about it in the comments section below.

Want other great fall-foliage destinations? Check out more LeafQuest.

Interested in more stories about South Carolina? Go to Patch and scroll the list of states to get great local coverage of your neighborhood.