Caesar’s Head – Cleveland, South Carolina
South Carolina | SC Picture Project | Greenville County Photos | Caesar’s Head
Caesar’s Head State Park, located in Greenville County, provides gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge Escarpment. The park has picnic areas, campgrounds, and hundreds of hiking trails. It is also a great place to fish.
Caesar’s Head was established as a state park in 1979, and became part of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area in 1996. The most famous part of the park is at its southern edge, where you will find a large, isolated granite rock protruding over an expansive valley. The giant rock formed approximately 409 million years ago, and stands 3,266 feet above sea level.
The land originally belonged to the Cherokee Indians, but was relinquished by the state in 1816. In the mid-1800s, Colonel Benjamin Hagood purchased 500 acres and built a hotel here. A highway was constructed out to Caesar’s Head, and a small summertime community sprang up around the hotel. Even though it burned down during the Civil War, the community and history continue to live on. Read more about the history of the Caesar’s Head Hotel.
There are many legends as to how Caesar’s Head got its name, but these three are the most popular tales. One is about a hunter and his dog named Caesar, who accidentally fell from its famous granite cliff in pursuit of its prey. The distraught owner named the cliff after his faithful dog. Another says Caesar is a crude adaptation of sachem, the Cherokee word for Indian chief. The final and simplest theory is that the rock resembles Julius Caesar’s profile.
Please note that Ceasar’s Head is viewable from Pretty Place in Camp Greenville. As Jeff Hammond, who took the photo at the top of this page, notes, “I took this picture just before sunrise at Pretty Place Chapel, which is inside Camp Greenville in Cleveland, SC. It was my first time to ever visit this chapel and the beauty of this place truly left me speechless. It reminded me of the perfect morning. It was taken in May of 2013 around 6:15 AM.”
Address: 8155 Geer Highway, Cleveland, SC 29635