Outdoor

Marie McAden

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Foxfire cabins offer respite in Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area

Posted 5/27/2011 9:17:00 AM

You could easily spend a week in the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area hiking the extensive network of trails that connect Caesars Head and Jones Gap state parks. But you’ll need to stay in backcountry campsites with no water or bathroom facilities. Campgrounds are not available at either of these parks.

For those of you who don’t want to rough it, there’s Foxfire Mountain Cabins. Just a mile up the road from the entrance to Caesars Head State Park, this wilderness resort sits on one of the highest privately owned mountains in the state.

Owners Jimmy and Mary Elizabeth Vaughan bought the 10-acre property in 1999 with plans to build their own private mountain retreat. But state park officials encouraged them to build cabins instead to help fill the need for accommodations in the area.

Today, the resort features six one- and two-bedroom cabins. Clean and cozy, each bungalow is equipped with all the essentials — stove, fridge, microwave, coffeepot, a TV, dining table, overhead fan, air conditioning and electric fireplace — along with a few extras, including an electric mattress warmer, coffee, creamer and sugar.

Tableware, kitchen utensils, dish towels and bed linens also are provided, but you’ll need to bring your own bath towels and soap.

On a recent getaway to the mountains, we stayed in the one-bedroom “Mountain Laurel” cabin. It couldn’t have been more comfortable. After making dinner each evening, we would settle into the rockers on the porch to enjoy the wooded setting and fresh mountain air.

One night, we walked up the resort’s gravel loop road to the Foxfire overlook to take in the vista of city lights in the valley below. The highest point on the property sits just six feet below Caesars Head State Park’s 3,200-foot high granite outcropping. Jimmy told us you can see 17 towns from this spot. It was a breathtaking view, especially on a starry night with a full moon glowing through the trees.

If you come up to visit, be sure to check out some of the area’s lesser-known attractions — the Pretty Place Chapel, Bald Rock and Wildcat Falls. I’ll be writing about these in the coming days.

Foxfire Mountain Cabins’ rates start at $99.95 per night. For more information, click here or call (864) 836-6712.