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Biking South Carolina’s Blue Ridge Foothills

Program Number: 18022RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/21/2014 - 9/26/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Pickens, South Carolina
Price starting at: $687.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Bicycling Activity Level: n (see description)
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian; None    

Pedal into the history, folklore and natural beauty of upstate South Carolina’s “Golden Corner” and the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. On daily expert-led bike rides of 17 to 25 miles (plus optional longer routes), take in the blazing fall or spring colors (depending on the season) of the Sumter National Forest and a enjoy a cookout at historic Hagood Mill, known for its recently discovered Native American petroglyphs.




Highlights

• Benefit from professional instruction on riding techniques and how to get the best performance out of your body and your bike.
• Discover local gems including the Pickens County Museum of Art and History and Clemson’s lovely South Carolina Botanical Garden.
• Enjoy a fun evening of traditional Palmetto State music.



Activity Particulars

Biking 17-25 miles daily over rolling terrain, optional rides up to 35 miles. Intermediate-level bicycling experience required. Participants may use bikes and equipment provided on site, but are encouraged to bring their own. Bikes can be shipped directly to the Youth Learning Institute Education Center (see pre-program materials for address) and will be assembled and ready upon arrival.



Coordinated by Clemson University.




Pickens

Founded in 1868 by Scottish-Irish settlers and traders who lived among the native Cherokee, Pickens today is a friendly, small town at the foothills of the Appalachians where residents and visitors enjoy abundant hiking trails, gorgeous vistas and mountain lakes.



Accommodations
Beautiful learning institute overlooking Table Rock Mountain. Each room has two single beds and private bath. No television sets or phones in rooms.
Meals and Lodgings
   The Youth Learning Institute Education Center
  Pickens, SC 5 nights
 The Youth Learning Institute Education Center
Type: Conference Center
  Description: The facility overlooks Table Rock Mountain and the forest at Table Rock State Park.
  Contact info: 698 Concord Church Road
Pickens, SC 29671 USA
phone: 864-878-1103
  Room amenities: Towels, soap and shampoo. Phone,television, microwave and refrigerator are located in common lounge. Coffee, soft drinks, water and snacks are provided in that area too.
  Facility amenities: Lounge open 24 hours a day. There is access to the fitness center and a technology center.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Check in time: 3:30 PM
  Check out time: 8:30 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
3:30 p.m. in the lobby area. Road Scholar Orientation begins at 5:00 pm. You will be staying at The Youth Learning Institute Education Center that night.
  End of Program:
1:00 p.m. after lunch You will be staying at The Youth Learning Institute Education Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. None
  Parking availability:
No charge
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Pickens, SC
  Nearest city or town:  Pickens, South Carolina
  Nearest highway: Highway 183
  Nearest airport:  Greenville
  From End of Program
  Location: Pickens, SC
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Greenville/Spartanburg airport

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Clemson University Youth Learning Institute
phone: 908-472-4740
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$50
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour 

 

Distance:

 

50 miles

   

The Youth Learning Institute provides a shuttle. This service is ONLY available from 1:00 - 4:30 p.m. on Sunday and between 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. on Friday. If these hours do not meet your schedule, you will need to make other arrangements. We meet you in baggage claim bearing a Road Scholar sign. Contact the coordinator 2 weeks in advance of your arrival with your arrival time and airlines. Payment is made on Monday morning. Checks and credit cards accepted. NO Cash.

 
Driving Directions
  Greenville, SC Take Highway 124 towards Clemson University; take the 178 exit (Highway 178) and proceed until the Pickens County Courthouse; At the traffic light, turn left onto Highway 183. The road will reduce to 2 lanes at the Mobil Gas station. Turn right immediately after the Mobil Gas Station onto Shady Grove Road. Turn left onto Concord Church Road. The Youth Learning Institute will be on your left.
Equipment Requirements: Multi-speed Jamis Mountain bikes with slick tires will be provided. Bikes are equip with racks and panniers, water bottles, helmets and riding gloves. Participants may want to bring riding clothing. You are welcome to bring ANSI approved bike helmet.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome/Introductions and overview of routes and description of venues
(Sunday, September 21)

Note: Lecture and fitting of equipment



   
 Arrive To: Registration will be conducted at the Youth Learning Institute Education Center beginning at 3:30 p.m and ending at 4:30 p.m. Orientation will be conducted at 5:00 p.m.
 Dinner: Dinner will be served at the Learning Center's dining facility at 6:00 p.m. A good old southern meal will provide an introduction to southern cuisine.
 Evening: This evening will be an introduction of the leader, an overview of the routes for the week and fitting of equipment.
   
Accommodations: The Youth Learning Institute Education Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Introduction of leaders/guides and overview of day; Load equipment to start the day and 25 mile bike ride
(Monday, September 22)

Note: After an introduction to the route, participants will be transported to Clemson University to start their 25 mile bike ride. They will continue to the SC Botanical Gardens. Cyclist will then continue their journey back to the Education Center.



   
 Breakfast: A delicious hot breakfast will be served in the Education Center's dining facility.
 Morning: Introduction of leaders and guides including their experience and expertise. Instruction on fitting of equipment. After instruction, participants and equipment will be loaded up and carried to Lake Hartwell State Park where the 25 mile bike ride will begin. Lake Hartwell State Park features 960 miles of shoreline surrounding 56,000 acres of some of the best boating, water-skiing and fishing in the south.
 Lunch: An energizing bag lunch will be provided and enjoyed along the route.
 Afternoon: Continue the journey to Westimester, SC - a historic district and site of the South Carolina Apple Festival. A highlight is England's General Merchandise Museum which houses more than 2,000 items including antique toys, glassware, crockery, medical equipment, photographs and document. The journey will continue to Walhalla, SC which was founded in 1850 by a German colonization society and is now home to Oktoberfest. Main street features a row of antique and speciality shops, down home dining and historic buildings.
 Dinner: A fantastic meal awaits you at the Youth Learning Institute Education Center's dining facility.
 Evening: Lecture - Introduction to region. Overview of routes including terrain, grade, elevation, typography, miles per hour, total road distance, sites along the way, sag support and handling of emergencies.
   
Accommodations: The Youth Learning Institute Education Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Bicycle trip - From Stumphouse Tunnel to Oconne Station; evening presentation on history of the Rail Road
(Tuesday, September 23)

Note: Participants and bikes will be transported to a National Forest Ranger Station where their journey down the mountain will start. Along the way, stops will include Stumphouse Tunnel and Issaquenna Falls. The ride will continue to the German town of Walhalla. After lunch, the cyclists will continue to Station Cove Falls and Oconee Station. Participants can get on transport back to the Education Center or elect to participate in an optional ride and then be transported back.



   
 Breakfast: A hot southern breakfast will be served at the Education Center's dining facility.
 Morning: After instruction on basic riding skills, you will travel by vans to Stumphouse Tunnel where you will begin our 17 mile bike trip DOWN the mountain and then on to Station Cove Falls. The history of Stumphouse Tunnel is as rich as the surrounding land and carries with it stories of dreams, failure, hardships and opportunities. The dream was to develop a rail line from Charleston, SC to Cincinnati, Ohio. The Blue Ridge Rail Line was completed from Charleston to Pendleton by the 1850's but the granite on Stumphouse Mountain presented a major challenge. The tunnel was never completed and the project was abandoned when the nation was divided during the Civil War.
 Lunch: A scrumptious bag lunch will be provided during the bike tour.
 Afternoon: From Station Cove Falls you will travel to Oconee Station (circa 1792). This was one in a series of blockhouses along the South Carolina frontier and was garrisoned with troops until 1799. The adjacent Richards House was the site of a prosperous Indian trading post until 1809.
 Dinner: A fulfilling dinner will be provided at the Education Center's dining facility.
 Evening: After learning about Stumphouse Tunnel that morning, a lecture will be presented on the history of the railroad and how it helped to change the face of the local landscape and lifestyle.
   
Accommodations: The Youth Learning Institute Education Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: In the morning, an 18 mile bike ride will be led by the guide; The afternoon will be filled with rest and relaxation. Cookout at Hagood Grist Mill. Local musicians in the music studio at the Education Center.
(Wednesday, September 24)

Note: Cyclist and bikes will be transported to a National Park where Upper White Water Falls are located. They will cycle to Keowee Toxaway State Park. Transport back to the Education Center will be available. Others wish may elect to participate in the optional bike ride back to the Education Center.



   
 Breakfast: The day will start with a hot breakfast served at the Education Center's dining facility.
 Morning: A bus and bike trailer will be provided to take you to the National Park where Upper White Water Falls are located. The 18 mile bike trip will begin. A rest stop will be taken at Lake Keowee - 18,500 acres of water and 300 miles of shoreline make this area a popular place for boating, fishing, water skiing, camping and picnicking. The trip will end at Keowee Toxaway State Park.Take this time to rest and relax OR explore the local area on your own.The group will gather back at lunch in the dinning room.
 Lunch: Participants will enjoy lunch and fellowship in the dining room before going out on a group ride.
 Afternoon: Take this time to rest and relax OR explore the local area on your own.The group will gather back at lunch in the dinning room.
 Dinner: A cookout will be held at Hagood Mill.
 Evening: Entertainment will be provided by a local musician who plays a wide variety of instruments and has a charming way to make you smile.
   
Accommodations: The Youth Learning Institute Education Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Ride in bus to Campbell's Covered Bridge to start bike ride; Ride will end at Pleasant Ridge County Park; Participants will be transported back to Education Center
(Thursday, September 25)

Note: Cyclists and bikes will be transported to Campbell's covered bridge and ride to Poinsett Bridge. After lunch, they will continue to Pleasant Ridge County Park. Transport back to the Education Center will be provided or participants may elect to continue on the optional ride. At the end of the optional ride, cyclists and bikes will be transported back to the Education Center.



   
 Breakfast: A "Rise and Shine" Breakfast awaits you at the Education Center's dining facility.
 Morning: After instruction on biking fitness, you will ride by vans to Campbell's covered Bridge to start your 20 mile bike ride. Campbell's covered bridge was built in 1809 and is the only remaining covered bridge in South Carolina. Then bike to Poinsett Bridge which was built in 1820. It is the oldest stone bridge in South Carolina.
 Lunch: A delectable bag lunch will be enjoyed while visiting the gardens.
 Afternoon: The bike ride will end at Pleasant Ridge County Park. This 240 acre park is the Recreation District's jewel in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was developed in the 1940's to promote tourism in the upstate. The park was originally establish for the African American community while neighboring Paris Mountain State Park was built for the white community. During the 1960's both parks became integrated and in 1985 the state decided that other parks were capturing the most of the tourism traffic and offered Pleasant Ridge to the Greenville County Recreation District. The park has since been a favorite get-away for local residents. The park features rental cabins, picnic shelter, a campground and a four acre fishing lake. It also features small waterfalls, an old moonshine still site and the remains of a gristmill.
 Dinner: A southern dinner will be served at the Education Center's dining facility.
 Evening: Presentation by representative from SC Department of Natural Resources who is a conservation educator, recreation specialist and field editor for the South Carolina Wildlife magazine. He is also editor of the Jocasse Journal.
   
Accommodations: The Youth Learning Institute Education Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Wrap up the week with a 6 mile bike ride from Table Rock State Park to Aunt Sue's Country Corner; Enjoy a relaxing lunch before departing our program.
(Friday, September 26)

Note: Participants and bikes will be transported to Table Rock State Park. The ride will begin there and continue to Aunt Sue's Country Corner. Transport of participants and bikes will be provided there. The day after lunch at the Education Center.



   
 Breakfast: An outstanding breakfast will be served at the Education Center's dining facility.
 Morning: You will be transported to Table Rock State Park for a 6 mile bike ride. Table Rock State Park provides a towering backdrop for an upcountry retreat at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The park has been one of South Carolina's most popular since it was built by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the 1930's. Many of its structures are now on the National Register of Historic Place. Table Rock was home to one of the state's first formal nature programs and now serves as a trailhead for the 80 mile Foothills Trail through the wilderness along the Blue Ridge Escarpment. The trip will end at Aunt Sue's Country Corner - a unique village of country speciality shops. You will then be transported back to the Education Center for lunch.
 Lunch: Lunch will be served at the Education Center's dining facility prior to the closing ceremony.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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