It's hot in the Upstate—Texas hot—and we needed a brief mountain getaway to escape it. A member of my hiking group recently mentioned Glassy Mountain (Pickens Co., not Glassy Mnt off Hwy 11 near Hogback Mnt.) A bit of research indicated it would be a nice half-day outing, so we went.
After learning the road to Glassy Mountains ends at the summit, we decided to go up, park, ohh and ahh over the view, and leave. However, when we reached the top, we found a paved circle lined with pick-up trucks and vans. No sign of the "crushed stone" parking lot we read about.
Unable to find a parking lot and unwilling to take the long drive home without seeing something, we decided to hike the nature trail located just below the summit. The blurb on sctrails.com describes the Glassy Mountain Pickens trail as a "narrow, steep, rugged, rooted, unmarked footpath". It is. The description also says "From rock out-croppings near the top of the mountain you may enjoy breathtaking views of the Piedmont and Blue Ridge Escarpment including Table Rock and Caesar Head mountains." You can. Those outcroppings were also the most interesting thing we found along the trail. Characteristics put in mind Bill Hilton's Mountain Bog article. I doubted this was a mountain bog, but we did find lichen and cactus along the edge of the rocks.
The hike is short, and switchbacks leading to the summit ease the grade. It offers nice views in spots, and I have to agree with others who said this would be a nice place to enjoy a sunset.
For more information on Glassy Mountain, check out SC Trails.