hepatica
Hepatica Wildflowers Hepatica (Round Leaf) © Alden Warner

Places We Protect

Nine Times Preserve

South Carolina

Nine Times Preserve is the wildflower showcase of the Southern Blue Ridge.

Nine Times Preserve lies at the intersection of South Carolina’s Southern Blue Ridge Mountains and its piedmont region, where mountainous terrain begins to slope into gentler hills. Black bear, peregrine falcons and freshwater trout are just a few of the species you may find on this incredibly biologically significant property.

FUN FACTS

  • More than 134 species of native wildflowers bloom in Nine Times Preserve.
  • The preserve encompasses five mountains and seven distinct forest types.

PRESERVE HISTORY

The towns of the native Cherokee people along the Big Eastatoee River were connected by a trail that ran through this area. Travelers between these towns, from early settlers up through the mid-twentieth century, had to cross a two-mile-long tributary of the Little Eastatoee River nine different times in order to stay on the path. This tributary now is known as Nine Times Creek. It parallels the northern border of this 560-acre nature preserve.

In 2007, local land trust Upstate Forever purchased the Nine Times property from real estate company Crescent Resources. The Nature Conservancy took ownership from Upstate Forever in 2009, thanks to a $1.5 million grant from the South Carolina Conservation Bank and the generous support of private and foundations.

In 2012, approximately 1.7 miles of trail were installed to give visitors an opportunity to explore the preserve’s forests, ravines and streams. Funding from the Recreational Trails Program, through the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, made that trail installation possible.

FISHING AND HUNTING

The Conservancy owns and manages the preserve to promote healthy native plant communities and wildlife populations. Nine Times Preserve also is designated as a state Wildlife Management Area under an agreement with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, which oversees fishing and hunting on the property.  Learn more about freshwater fishing regulations.  

Nine Times Preserve is located just off the Cherokee Scenic Highway (Hwy 11), minutes from Table Rock State Park and Jocassee Gorges State Management Area.

Trillium Trail: An easy 0.25-mile hike one-way along Eastatoee Creek, this trail offers the best views of ephemeral wildflowers in the spring. The rest of the year, it’s still a lovely, cool and shady walk along the creek. The trailhead is located across the bridge from the Ephemeral Trail parking area, at the intersection of Eastatoee Creek Road and E. Preston McDaniels Road.

Rocky Bald Loop Trail: Located at the center of the preserve, the Rocky Bald Loop Trail is a moderate-to-difficult trail that winds for 0.6 miles along switchbacks up Rocky Bald Mountain. Hikers can continue up Rocky Bald Mountain and return to the Rocky Bald parking area via an old logging road and short hike along E. Preston McDaniel Road (1 mile) OR take the Cedar Rock Trail down to the Cedar Rock parking area (1.1 miles). The trailhead is located at the Rocky Bald parking area.

Cedar Rock Trail: This moderate-to-difficult trail runs along an old logging road that climbs partway up Cedar Rock Mountain. Approximately 0.5 miles from the trailhead, hikers will reach a kiosk, at which point they can continue 0.6 miles to the Rocky Bald Loop Trail (see above) or return to the Cedar Rock parking area. The trailhead is located at the Cedar Rock parking area.

Nine Times Preserve is open from dawn until dusk. While at the preserve, please:

  • Stay on designated trails
  • Keep pets on a leash
  • Dispose of trash properly (no dumping)
  • Do not disturb wildlife or plants
  • Hunt ONLY in accordance with SCDNR WMA Regulations **For safety, please wear orange when hiking in October, November and April.** 
  • Fish ONLY along Eastatoee Creek and in accordance with SCDNR Freshwater Fishing Regulations

For your safety, please no:

  • Camping
  • Campfires or cook-outs
  • Bicycling
  • Motorized vehicles
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Horseback riding