Fall Foliage Road Trip
OnlyInYourState.com has mapped out a road trip that will take you to THE BEST FALL FOLIAGE in all of South Carolina!
Oscar Wigington Scenic Byway
Check out a suggested itinerary from South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism for scenic drives along one of South Carolina's prettiest mountain roads.
Big Bend Trail
This 2.7-mile, out-and-back trail begins a the Cherry Hill Recreation Area and eventually ends at a junction with the Foothills Trail along the Chattooga River. An adventurous scramble on an unmaintained trail along the river affords views of 30-ft. Big Bend Falls, the largest drop on the Chattooga River.
15.5 mile trail that runs parallel to the famous Chattooga River, and shares 8.5 miles with the Foothills Trail. It passes through some of the finest wilderness in South Carolina. The northern terminus of the Chattooga Trail is Ellicott Rock, where Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina meet. Waterfall lovers shouldn’t miss this trail, since you can see King Creek, Spoonauger, Big Bend, Pigpen and Licklog Falls at points along the trail.
East Fork Trail
Beginning at the picnic area adjacent to the Walhalla Fish Hatchery, this 2.5-mile trail is an easy hike along the bank of the scenic, fast moving east fork of the Chattooga River. The trail will take you down to the river. Beginning or ending the hike at Burrell's Ford adds and additional 2.1 miles.
Ellicott Rock Wilderness
Ellicott Rock Wilderness was established by Congress in 1975. Encompassing 8.296 acres, this wilderness spreads across the corners of SC, NC, and GA. It also straddles the 15,432-acre Chattooga River Wild and Scenic Corridor. The steep terrain of the Ellicott Rock Wilderness offers numerous mountains and waterfalls to explore. There are several access points where you can enter the wilderness area including Burrell's Ford Rd. & the Foothills Trail off Hwy. 107 in Mountain Rest, SC.
This National Recreation Trail has its southern terminus in Oconee State Park and extends to the north and east for 77 miles. Sections very in length and difficulty. Day-hikers can access the trail from different points; thru-hikers can spend a week backcountry hiking on the trail. Maintained by the Foothills Trail Conservancy.
Fork Mountain Trail
Fork Mountain Trail
6.4 mile trail, a spur of the Foothills Trail, starts in SC at the Sloan Bridge Picnic Area and ends in NC where it joins the Bad Creek Trail in the Ellicott Rock Wilderness Area. From there the trail eventually joins the Chattooga Trail and continues to Burrell's Ford. The trail weaves along the northern flanks of Fork Mountain through numerous coves and ravines. At the junction with Bad Creek Trail you can return, or extend your hike 1.3 miles to historic Ellicott Rock.
Located in Stumphouse Park. It's an easy 5-minute walk to viewing platforms where you can view the beautiful waterfall named for a Creek maiden who hid on one of the falls' ledges to avoid capture during an Indian attack. There is a rough trail next to the lowest platform, which leads to the base of the falls. However, the path is quite dangerous and visitors are not encouraged to try it. GPS coordinates to the parking area: N 34.80740 W 083.12158
King Creek Falls
This 70 ft. tumble through a laurel-choked gorge is one of the best to view. Easy to moderate 30-minute hike that is sometimes slippery. Trail is well marked, with restrooms at the trail head. Family friendly beautiful sight. Kids can play in the pool at the base of the falls. You can hike the look and view the river. GPS coordinates to parking area: N 34.97128 W 083.11465
Oconee Bells Nature Trail
This easy, 1-mile loop within Devils Fork State Park gets its name from a rare wildflower that has gorgeous white blooms in the early spring. Many native plant species are identified with markers along the trail. The trailhead is behind the bark office and has an informative kiosk at the beginning of the trail.
Opossum Creek Falls
The two-hour hike to this 50-ft. cascade is not dangerous, but quite strenuous. Nice picnic area and swimming in the Chattooga River. Best views when leaves are off trees or from May-June when the Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel are in bloom. GPS coordinates to parking area: N 34.77332 W 083.30361
Palmetto Trail – Oconee Passage
Palmetto Trail – Oconee Passage
The Oconee Passage is a moderate to difficult 3.2 mile trail along an old roadbed that pinches into a path along the mountain ridge line. Once the Palmetto Trail is complete, this trail will end in Walhalla, but for now you can start from either Oconee State Park (Mountain Rest) or Oconee Station (Walhalla). The Oconee Passage is steeply uphill from Oconee Station. Mountain bikes are allowed on the Oconee Passage.
Riley Moore Falls
Once the site of a gristmill, this waterfalls measures 12 ft. high, 100 ft. wide and is a great family destination. Moderate 15-minute walk to falls, a tunnel to the left brings you up to the middle of the falls. Good swimming spot. GPS coordinates to parking area: N 34.74106 W 083.18535
Rocky Gap/Willis Knob
Rocky Gap Trail in South Carolina and Willis Knob Trail in Georgia combine to offer some of the most scenic horseback riding in the southern Blue Ridge Mountains. Winding across deeply dissected ridges, the trails descend into the beautiful Chattooga Wild & Scenic River corridor. For a fee the Whetstone Horse Camp in Mountain Rest serves as a base camp for many users of both trails. Earls Ford Road and has trailer parking area and hiking trail access to the Chattooga River.
Two-fer waterfall opportunity. This 50 ft. waterfall is set back into a hillside and surrounded by an explosion of shrubbery. Follow the trail approximately 1/4 mile. Cross over Spoonauger Creek. King Creek Falls and the Chattooga River are in the same area. GPS coordinates to parking area: N 34.97480 W 083.11478
Station Cove Falls
A stepped 60 ft. waterfall that forms from headwaters atop Station Mountain. An easy 30-minute hike through a gorgeous Appalachian cove takes you to the family friendly wading pond at the foot of the falls. GPS coordinates to parking area: N 34.84867 W 083.07463
Stella Vista Treehouse
This cozy, vintage designed space makes the perfect romantic getaway for 2 people or a well-deserved retreat for just one person looking for some much needed downtime. This lodging allows guests to disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature, as there is no WiFi or television.
Stumphouse Mountain Bike Park
Dual-use hiking & biking trails in Stumphouse Park. 10 miles of flow trails designed for beginner mountain biking with big berms, rollers, tables, rock gardens and more! Mountain Bike Park can be accessed from trailheads at both ends of Stumphouse Passage, but the easiest access is via the parking lot for Issaqueena Falls. Bike trail is closed on rainy days. Users are cautioned to follow trail direction signs.
Stumphouse Passage of the Palmetto Trail
The Stumphouse Passage of the Palmetto Trail is accessible from the center of Stumphouse Park and stretches over 500 miles across the state to Awendaw outside of Charleston. Currently the dual-use hiking and mountain biking trail system in Walhalla totals 4.2 miles, ranging from easy to moderate. Additional trails are under construction in the Stumphouse property. Ultimately the trail will connect to Oconee State Park and will end in downtown Walhalla.
Located within Stumphouse Park. The Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel was part of the Blue Ridge Railroad project, an 1850s attempt to link the port of Charleston to the cities of the Midwest by rail. The Civil War and subsequent collapse of the state’s economy brought construction to an end and the tunnel was never completed. Family-friendly 1/4 mile walk into the tunnel (flashlight recommended) which maintains a constantly cool 50 degrees. Park picnic shelter nearby.
Winding Stairs Trail
A 75-ft waterfall tucked away along this accessible 3.5 mile trail makes this an interesting choice for a hike. If you start at the northern trailhead at the Cherry Hill Recreation Area, this meandering path is an easy hike, but the return trip is moderately difficult due to 1,100 foot elevation change. It is possible to be picked up by car at the southern end of the trail on Tamassee Road (FS 71), or rather hike can begin at that point.
Wright’s Creek Falls
Located on Lake Jocassee, this falls is only accessible by boat. Launch from Devils Fork State Park (parking fee required). Boat rentals and lake tours available. Stop by Devils Fork State Park for map and directions. GPS coordinates for Devils Fork State Park: N 34.952139 W 82.946134
Yellow Branch Falls
1.3 mile hike to an impressive 60 ft. cascade over rock ledges is a favorite destination for visitors. CCC era picnic shelter on site. GPS coordinates to the parking area: N 34.80557 W 083.12876