Cowpens National Battlefield | HIKING TRAILS

Cowpens Nature Trail at Cowpens National Battlefield

Cowpens Nature Trail at Cowpens National Battlefield

Cowpens Nature Trail

Distance: 2-mile loop
Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: somewhere between easy and moderate. Mainly flat with some minor hills.

The Cowpens Nature Trail is the only hiking trail at Cowpens National Battlefield. It is a 2-mile loop that starts at the picnic area at the eastern end of the park. Both hikers and horses are allowed on the trail, but no bikes. This is a trail for exercise only, as it has no connection to the battle. The only thing of scenic beauty is a small creek that it follows off and on starting around the halfway point.

Stream along the Cowpens Nature Trail provides some scenic beauty

Stream along the Cowpens Nature Trail provides some scenic beauty

The Cowpens Nature Trail begins at one end of the picnic area and comes out farther down the road, so you must eventually walk back to your vehicle via the park road. To find the main trailhead, once you pass the picnic pavilion be on the lookout to your left for a large sign that identifies the trail. There is a designated parking lot at the trailhead.

Trailhead for the Cowpens National Trail at Cowpens National Battlefield

Trailhead for the Cowpens National Trail at Cowpens National Battlefield

From the sign, walk 50 feet and you’ll be at a T-intersection—take a right. This sets you off hiking the loop in the clockwise direction. At this point the trail is straightforward with no confusing intersections and no chance of getting lost on unmarked side trails.

The terrain of the Cowpens Nature Trail is wooded, and the trail surface is fairly smooth with only small sections of roots here and there. The path is often narrow, and even overgrown in some spots, so it is easy to brush up against vegetation where ticks like to hide. There could also be briars and poison ivy, so I suggest long pants for this hike.

Typical terrain of the Cowpens Nature Trail at Cowpens National Battlefield

Typical terrain of the Cowpens Nature Trail at Cowpens National Battlefield

At one point you are offered an opportunity to take a shortcut back to the picnic area, but if you are walking the trail in the first place, you probably want some exercise. Stick to the main trail and get in the full 2-mile walk.

Shortcut back to the picnic area on the Cowpens Nature Trail

Shortcut back to the picnic area on the Cowpens Nature Trail

Distance markers are posted along the trail, so you always know how much farther you have to hike.

Distance marker along the Cowpens Nature Trail at Cowpens National Battlefield

Distance marker along the Cowpens Nature Trail at Cowpens National Battlefield

As mentioned, the trail eventually comes out on the other side of the picnic area road at one of the picnic tables. Do not follow the paved sidewalk, as this just leads to another picnic table. Instead, head out to the park road and take a right. The main trailhead parking area is less than .2 miles away.

End of the Cowpens Nature Trail at Cowpens National Battlefield

End of the Cowpens Nature Trail at Cowpens National Battlefield

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Last updated on November 2, 2022
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