Blackstock Battlefield Field Report
Today’s trip was a quick stop to explore the Blackstock Battlefield Historic Site in Enoree South Carolina. I knew about where it was, so I didn’t bother to set my GPS, big mistake. I’ve passed by the sign on Highway 56 many times and knew it was about a mile from Musgrove Mill, so I was confident that I could find the place without GPS. Again, Big mistake.
I turned onto East Blackstock from Hwy 56 and drove until it hit Highway 49 in Union County. There I saw another sign for the battlefield pointing back the way I came. But at least I found the historical marker for the battle, so that’s something. After breaking down and pulling up the GPS on my phone, I was able to find my turn. If you’re visiting the battle site yourself, you’ll have to turn to the right coming form Hwy 49 and left if coming from Hwy 56, it’s the first paved road about a mile from the turnoff and it’s called Monument Road according to Google Maps and Battlefield Road according the parks service, but at any rate there’s no road sign.
Less than a mile down this road, Monument Road will veer off to the left. But to be safe just use your GPS. This final stretch of the road is narrow and lonely – passing through managed wood land. It stays paved until you reach the historic site, but keep an eye out for limbs and other debris in the road.
I knew before venturing out that there wasn’t much infrastructure at the site, and didn’t plan to stay too long. I thought it would be a quick stop and I’d be back on my way. For the most part there’s only a kiosk with some laminated pages giving information about the battle and some notices. But I hadn’t counted on a a 1.3 mile nature trail. The parking area is small, with only enough room for 4 or 5 cars, but due to the lack of infrastructure and the battle not being as well known as others, the site doesn’t seem to be visited that much. However it is well maintained.
As long as I was there, I decided that I needed to take the time to check out the nature trail. It’s a 1.3 mile loop that starts and finishes right behind the information kiosk. I took the left hand path that winds down to the Tiger River through a number of switchbacks. The trail runs next to the river for a while, but there aren’t many spots where you can get a good view of river due to the foliage and there don’t seem to be any official trails to the river bank.
After a while, the trail turns back to the parking lot. This part of the trail is significantly longer than the first part of the trail down to the river. It feels much more steep and strenuous also due to the switchbacks along the first part of the trail. If you’re looking for an easy hike, best start off to the right at the trailhead.
There’s no signage along the trail telling the story of the battle or pointing out important historical points of interest. A notice on the kiosk says that they have a Ranger Guided hike on the second Saturday of every month. This hike is mostly off trail and lasts 2 hours and costs $10 per person, so most of the historic sites wouldn’t be along the trail anyway. Reservations for Decembers hike can be made here: https://southcarolinaparks.com/products/10006410 . There is also a Ranger Guided Lantern Hike on November 18, 2023 to commemorate the anniversary of the battle.