Hiking safety tips before hitting the trails

PICKENS, SC (FOX Carolina) — Temperatures have warmed up and that means more people are getting out. Places in the Upstate that are sure to have more spectators – the mountain trails.

There’s no shortage of scenery in the upstate mountains.

“It’s just a way to connect with nature,” said Beau Bethel, owner of Blue Wall Adventures.

His company teaches people how to ride a bike and what it’s like to take on nature while exploring the great outdoors.

While hiking and biking can be fun for the most part, if you’re not careful, the miles you’ve clocked up can have serious consequences.

“I have to say for sure that some of the tough trails in South Carolina are along the Foothills trails,” Bethel said. “Which stretches from Oconee County State Park to Table Rock State Park. This is the heart of the blue wall; and so it’s really steep up and down, lots of big waterfalls.”

As it heats up, emergency first responders usually see an increase in calls for help.

“The number one problem we have is that people will start on our trails and they will be physically compromised in some way,” said County Emergency Services Manager Billy Gibson. of Pickens. “They’ll be tired or they’ll realize they probably shouldn’t have started that track.”

A nice aspect of the South Carolina trails, some of them have waterfalls that are a sight to behold in person.

“For me, I’m always amazed, it never gets old. Even the same ones I see,” Bethel said.

However, if you’re not careful, a slip and fall could be detrimental.

“Stay on the marked trail, and that way if we come across a medical emergency or, God forbid, an injury, we can find them quickly,” Gibson said.

Rescue teams often consist of crew from a nearby fire station, EMS, and special ops – depending on the mission.

“You can have 25 or 30 people there depending on how far you’ve traveled on the trail,” Gibson told us.

As it warms, the animals begin to come out of hibernation. If you see a bear or snake, stay away. Chances are her sunbathing.

A few more tips: Pack water, snacks, proper attire, fully charged cell phone and battery pack, be physically prepared for the trail, don’t hike after sunset, never hike alone, have the necessary medications.