Things to do: Discover more than 100 waterfalls throughout the Upstate
Waterfalls are among the most visited spots in South Carolina’s Upcountry, with more than 100 of them to discover throughout the region.
From Raven Cliff Falls in northern Greenville County to Hikers Peril in northwestern Oconee County, the Upstate boasts waterfalls ranging in height from 40 feet to 700 feet.
If you’re looking for things to do while social distancing, a trip to the great outdoors and a nearby waterfall may be just the thing. We asked our friends at Upcountry South Carolina for a list of the Top 7 most popular waterfalls in the area. Here’s the list based on consumer inquiries over the years:
Issaqueena Falls, Stumphouse Tunnel Park, Walhalla SC
Named for an Indian maiden who hid on a ledge of the falls to avoid capture as she fled to warn her English lover of an Indian attack, Issaqueena Falls is a 100-foot cascade of Cane Creek. A well-maintained trail leads from the parking area to a viewing platform. Nearby is Stumphouse Tunnel, which is 25 feet high and 17 feet wide. Although it was not completed as a railroad tunnel, it extends 1,617 feet into the mountain.
Twin Falls, Sunset SC
Seventy feet of bare granite and rushing water make this a waterfall fan favorite. The left and larger waterfall tumbles from a height of 75 feet over a massive slab of granite. The right side manages a short drop onto another stone, then slides down a 45-degree slope before rejoining its brother. A .025-mile trail leads to a viewing deck with seating.
Station Cove Falls, Sumter National Forest, Mountain Rest SC
An easy, 30-minute hike through a beautiful Appalachian cove forest takes you to Station Cove Falls, a stepped 60-foot waterfall. The waterfall is about a mile from Oconee Station State Historic Site which was built by Oconee County’s first European settlers in 1792.
Rainbow Falls, Cedar Mountain NC
Plunging over a granite cliff surrounded by granite walls, Rainbow Falls is spectacular with a breathtaking 140-foot drop of Cox Camp Creek. Located on Camp Greenville property, the five-mile round trip hike to the falls is strenuous and not recommended for small children.
Laurel Fork Falls, Lake Jocassee, Sunset SC
This 80-foot high waterfall is located at the head of a narrow cove at the northeastern tip of the Toxaway River arm of Lake Jocassee. It is best reached by a boat launched at the Devil’s Fork State Park main boat ramp. Hiking to the waterfall involves a strenuous five-to-six-hour hike of 8.4 miles from U.S. 178 on the Foothills Trail.
Raven Cliff Falls, Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, Cleveland SC
This 400-foot waterfall of Matthews Creek is one of the most scenic and photographed in the state. It was named for the ravens that breed in the high cliffs forming the falls. Over 150 species of ravens have been identified in this region. The falls can be seen from the official viewing deck about a quarter of a mile across from the falls or from a rock outcrop near the start of the Dismal Trail, which offers a profile of the upper falls.
King Creek Falls, Sumter National Forest, Mountain Rest SC
An easy .6-mile hike to this picturesque 70-foot waterfall makes King Creek Falls the perfect waterfall visit for the entire family. King Creek topples over a tiered rock face that slants backwards, making the falls seem much higher than its 70 feet. The trail leading to the falls runs through a mixture of hardwoods, rhododendron and mountain laurel.
For a complete list of waterfalls in South Carolina’s Upcountry, visit Upcountry South Carolina.