Exploring Cowpens Battlefield in upstate South Carolina.

The Cowpens battlefield is near a small town called Gaffney in Spartanburg County, about 40 minutes from where we live. The National Battlefield in Cowpens is a worthwhile trip if you live in the upstate or happen to be in the area for a visit.

Cowpens visitor center in Gaffney, SC

Plan Your Visit to Cowpens Battlefield

Cowpens National Battlefield is open daily from dawn until dusk. You can park at the visitor center between 9 AM and 5 PM. If you arrive before or after these times you can use the Trailhead parking lot. You will see the sign when you get to the park.

Be sure to stop at the visitor center. A friendly park ranger will greet you and provide you with a fiber-optic map of the battle and the Southern Campaign. You will be able to watch a short, but interesting battle of Cowpens movie and learn more in the museum about the Revolutionary War weapons and uniforms.

Explore The Battlefield

The 1.25 mile self-guided battlefield tour begins and ends behind the visitor center. This is a very easy to walk, partly gravel and partly newly paved walking path.

The Cowpens battlefield trail includes the Green River Road along which the battle was fought so many years ago.

“The history of the Green River Road encompasses more than the Battle of Cowpens. In order to avoid boggy wetlands, settlers and Native Americans created the road by using the highest points between watersheds as a wagon and market trail prior to the American Revolution.”


The battlefield tour includes informative signs and the park website even has a video tour by Ed Bearss. Mr Bearss led a tour for a group of teachers and narrated the Loop Road Tour.

Cowpens Soldier Sign

Southern Campaign at Cowpens Battlefield 

In 1778 the British turned toward the southern colonies in an effort to control valuable resources and secure loyalist support for a military push back into the north. The Americans, led by Gen. Nathanael Greene, mounted the Southern Campaign to ignite the patriot spirit and turn the tide against the British.

Posing as a sharp shooter at Cowpens

Personal observations from Cowpens Battleground:

We found the movie to be very informative and insightful. The Park Rangers that were on duty that day also elaborated more on the significance of the battles that were fought in this area.

The other couple that arrived at the same time as us had brought their young grand-daughter. The Park Rangers gave her materials geared to her age group and made her feel involved with the whole experience.

This hands on approach is significant for local and visiting parents who want to plan an educational outing with their children.

The park commemorates the anniversary of the Battle of Cowpens on the weekend closest to the anniversary of the Battle.

Upcoming Events at Cowpens

Cowpens National Battlefield is one of over 400 parks in the National Park System. To learn more about this and other national parks visit www.nps.gov.

Have you been to any of South Carolina’s National Battlefields? Leave us a comment.

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