Two Days and 400 Miles Through South Carolina, Part 2

My previous entry detailed my ride on the South Carolina Adventure Route from its start in Edisto Island up to Edgefield. On the first day of my trip, I rode 233 miles in some of the worst weather I’ve ever ridden in, I ended up dealing with rain, plummeting temperatures, and even snow. For the most part I stayed fairly dry thanks to my riding gear however since the weather didn’t seem like it was going to cooperate for the rest of the weekend, I decided to shorten my trip and head home early. As my gear was drying in my hotel room, I mapped out a short thirty-mile loop through Sumter National Forest that I would ride in the morning once it warmed up above freezing. My ride on the SCAR for the day would be a short leg from Edgefield to McCormick. This section of the route is in the Sumter National Forest and is in the foothills of the Upstate Region. Here the terrain changed to heavily forested hills and ridges along with some steep draws. This was a nice change since most of the SCAR in the southern part of the state is fairly flat with very little change in elevation. Another thing that was different up here was the consistency of the route, in the south its mostly sand where as in the north it was gravel and hard packed dirt roads.

Heading into the Sumter National Forest

I got a late start to the day since I was waiting for it to get a little warmer so I didn’t end up leaving until it was a brisk 38 degrees. Riding this leg of the SCAR through the Sumter National Forest was kind of like a reward for what I endured the previous day. The route was almost all on dirt service roads that meandered through the forest and scenery was pretty nice. There were also some neat locations to stop at in the area such as a fire tower in Liberty Hill.

An old fire tower in Sumter National Forest

One of the coolest locations that I stopped at was an old one lane bridge just outside of McCormick on Iron Bridge Rd. I haven’t been able to gather to much information about the bridge but it seems to be built in the early 1900’s. I don’t think it sees too much traffic which would explain the minimal maintenance that its seen but the bridge did have a spooky feel to it like it was out of the movie Silent Hill.

Riding on Iron Bridge Rd. outside of McCormick

Once I arrived in McCormick that was it, the temperature had just risen above 45 degrees and further north they had received a lot more snow then was expected along with freezing rain. I figured at this point I would top off on fuel and start heading back to Charleston. The ride back home was uneventful as I took state highways and the interstate. I will say for the first overnight trip on the Tiger it was very comfortable and a far cry from the KLR. On pavement it ate up miles and off road it took pretty much everything I threw at it. The Shinko 804/805 tires that I have mounted were perfect for this trip and I never had any issues with traction especially in sand or clay.

Overall, in two days I rode roughly 400 miles from the Atlantic Ocean up to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains with about 270 miles on the South Carolina Adventure Route. I’d say that 60 percent of the time I was off road with the longest segments in the central part of the state. The great thing that I noticed while riding the SCAR is that amenities such as food and fuel aren’t too hard to find since the route goes through many small towns. For someone whose only lived in South Carolina for a year I had no idea how rural South Carolina is and I’ll be honest it is perfect for those own dual sports or adventure bikes and want to get lost on a dirt road for a few hours.

If you looking for more information on the South Carolina Adventure Route check out the website for route as well as the Facebook and Instagram pages for it as well under South Carolina Adventure Route.

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