Bad Creek Spur Trail
This easy 0.8-mile spur trail provides a connection to the Whitewater River, the Foothills Trail, Coon Branch Trail, and to Lower Whitewater Falls (via the Foothills Trail). Enter the gate to Duke Energy's Bad Creek Hydro Station on SC 130, and proceed two miles down to the marked entrance to the large trailhead parking area. Fishing, but no camping, is allowed along the Whitewater River. A designated campsite is 0.5 miles past junction with the river.
Bee Cove Falls
Remote multi-tiered falls is a difficult 2-3 hour hike, but worth the effort! Directions/GPS N 34.98149 W 083.06280 –NORTH from Walhalla on Hwy. 28. –BEAR RIGHT Hwy. 107 –12.5 miles PARK on left. –WALK 150 yards on right to FS 702 –Roadbed goes along creekside. –BEAR RIGHT at 3-way intersection. –FOLLOW less defined path & sounds to waterfalls. GPS coordinates to parking area: N 34.98149 W 083.062800
Big Bend Falls
Largest vertical drop of the Chattooga River is a sight to see with a 30 ft. drop. It is a difficult 3 hour walk that we recommend for adventurous, expert hikers. GPS Coordinates to parking prea: N 34.97128 W 083.11465
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.
Blueridge Railroad Trail
Trail follows the railroad bed of an incomplete section of the 19th century Blue Ridge Railroad where you can see three abandoned tunnels. The moderate to strenuous trail is 2.5 miles one-way. Trail head is located in Stumphouse Park, at the top of the Issaqueena Falls parking lot, and takes you through the forest with amazing views of the upstate.
Four falls ranging from 20ft. to 40ft. The trail to the right is a difficult and dangerous hike, not for novice hikers. Requires climbing down an unmarked but worn trail; crossing through a narrow, shallow stream; then short walk to falls. The left trail is a more family friendly short hike. Good swimming holes at both ends of the trail. Brasstown Creek BBQ is a great place to eat Fri. or Sat. 4-9pm. GPS Coordinates Parking Area: N 34.71908 W 083.30158
Bull Sluice Falls
An easy hike on a well marked trail leads to a 14ft. drop on the Chattooga River with whitewater in action. Fun for watching rafters and kayakers drop over a class IV falls. Family friendly, with restrooms and a beach area for swimming nearby. GPS Coordinates to parking area: N 34.81473 W 083.30512
The Chattooga River is the boundary between GA & SC. It is nationally designated as Wild and Scenic and is protected from development. Known for whitewater rapids, and meandering, mountainous woodland passage. The lower sections of the Chattooga are considered among the best whitewater in the SE with heart-thumping Class III to Class VI rapids.
Chattooga River – Section 1
Chattooga River – Section 1
Section 1 is the West Fork of the Chattooga River. It's a 6-mile stretch that is ideal for tubing and Class II float trips.
Chattooga River – Section 2
Chattooga River – Section 2
Section 2 is a good beginner whitewater section with class I and II rapids. This 7 mile run is a good day trip with opportunities to stop and picnic on large boulders, or stop to fish for trout. The Chattooga has excellent opportunities for fishing, camping, and hiking.
Chattooga River – Section 3
Section 3 is a 13-mile beautiful stretch of river with intermediate to advanced whitewater. Its a 4-6 hour trip down river. Section 3 put-in is at Earls Ford, and the take-out is the Highway 76 Bridge. There is 1/4 mile hike in and out of the river. The Chattooga River is under the jurisdiction of the US Forest Service. There is a self-permit system (no fee), where you fill out a form, drop a copy at the box near the put-in and carry the other copy with you down the river.
Chattooga River – Section 4
Section 4 is one of the most well-known sections of whitewater in the U.S. This 8-mile section includes major whitewater including Class IV-V rapids. It takes 4-5 hours to raft or paddle Section 4. Put-in at the Highway 76 Bridge, and take-out at Lake Tugalo. There is 1/4 mile hike to and from the river. The Chattooga River is under the jurisdiction of the US Forest Service. Anyone paddling on the river needs to fill out a permit (at the put-in) prior to getting on the 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.
Chau Ram County Park
Over three miles of hiking trails and a mile of the Chauga River runs through the park. Tubing, hiking, fishing, picnicking, camping and sight-seeing are popular activities. The park has 26 campsites with water and electricity; four rental areas for parties and gatherings; a playground; and is a favorite spot for weddings.
Chau Ram Falls
Beautiful 40ft. cascade over large boulders where Ramsey Creek and Chauga River meet. The falls is located inside Chau Ram County Park where a $2 parking fee applies. Lower parking lot provides roadside viewing. Good wading pond at foot of falls. Excellent swimming just a short, easy walk from the falls on well-marked and partially paved trail. Great place to camp and picnic. GPS coordinates to parking area: N 34.68171 W 083.14542
Located on the Chauga River, view of the narrow 25 ft. high falls. A moderate hike. Great picnic spot and swimming along the river. For best viewing of falls, some climbing over rocks is required. GPS coordinates to parking area: N 34.83332 W 083.17399
A 31 mile long tributary of the Tugaloo River that flows south to Lake Hartwell. The Chauga River offers much of the same scenic beauty and cool waters found nearby on the Chattooga River. Anglers like the Chauga River and often catch rainbow trout, brown trout, chubs, and redeye bass. Depending on the water level, sections of the Chauga are popular for whitewater kayaking. Good access and parking are available off Cassidy Bridge Road in Mountain Rest.
Cheohee or Miuka Falls
A 75 ft. waterfall on Townes Creek easily viewed with a 45-minute hike. This is one of two falls you can reach by hiking the Winding Stairs Trail, the other being Secret Falls. Go north from Walhalla on Hwy 28, bear right on Hwy 107 for 8 miles. Follow signs for Winding Stairs Trail which turns right in .2 miles, make a sharp left and continue 1/3 miles to clearing and hear the falls. Hike through foliage to creek. GPS coordinates to parking area: N 34.94220 W 083.08975
Devils Fork State Park
Travel Tip: ARRIVE EARLY! If you are coming to enjoy a day on the lake, make sure you arrive by 9:30AM for the best chance of getting a parking space. The park is the only public access point for Lake Jocassee, a 7,500-acre reservoir lake. Boat ramps for public boat access to the lake; 20 lakeside villas; 59 standard sites for RV or tent camping; 25 tent camping sites; 1 boat-in campground; 2 picnic shelters; 2 playgrounds; 2 mile Bear Cove Trail; 1 mile Oconee Bell Nature 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.
The rock is recognized as the place where the three states of South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia meet. Andrew Ellicott’s survey was made in 1811. This rock was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and is located in the Ellicott Rock Wilderness.
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.
Fall Creek Falls
Multiple falls range from 30 to 40 ft. within a 1-mile stretch. A long, steep, but not dangerous 2-mile hike made more difficult during spring and summer by foliage. Best viewing is in winter. GPS coordinates to parking area: N 34.82246 W 083.25079
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.
Near the head of the Foothills Trail, this 50 ft. waterfall over granite ledges can be reached with a moderate, one-hour hike. Best show of waterfall occurs after a rain. GPS coordinates to parking area: N 34.863309 W 083.09820
High Falls County Park
46 acre park located on the shores of beautiful Lake Keowee. There are 91 campsites with 10 being waterfront; two boat ramps; 3 rental buildings/shelters; playground; picnic tables with charcoal grills; swimming area; restroom; miniature golf; tennis and basketball courts; volleyball; fishing pier and more.
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
Lake Hartwell is a reservoir bordering Georgia and South Carolina and is created by Hartwell Dam. One of the southeast’s largest and most popular recreation lakes, LAKE HARTWELL comprises nearly 56,000 acres of water with a shoreline of 962 miles. Highway I-85 bisects Hartwell Lake and makes the area easily accessible to visitors.
Lake Hartwell State Park
Just off of I-85, at the South Carolina-Georgia border, you’ll find Lake Hartwell State Park. Thanks to 56,000-acre Lake Hartwell, fishing in this area is renowned by anglers across the state. Attractions: Unique Single Room Camper Cabins, 128 Camping Sites, 1 Picnic Shelter Building, 2 Boat Ramp, Basketball Court, Swimming and Hiking.
Very popular destination in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Four mountain streams and several waterfalls feed into the lake, making it cooler than others and a great South Carolina trout fishing spot. The unusually clear water is a haven for boat tours, scuba divers and swimmers. Public access to this 7,500-acre lake is limited to Devils Fork State Park, the #1 visited state park in SC! Park has many amenities and fills up during peak times. Check for reservations before visiting.
ARRIVE EARLY! Parking at boat ramps is limited and fills up fast. With 18,500 acres of water and a 300-mile shoreline, the Lake Keowee area is popular for fishing, waterskiing, swimming, camping and picnicking. LOWER LAKE KEOWEE public access: • South Cove County Park • Cane Creek Access • High Falls County Park • Stamp Creek Access Area • Keowee Marina • Warpath Access Area UPPER LAKE KEOWEE public access: • Mile Creek Park • Crow Creek Access Area • Keowee Towne Landing • Fall Creek Access
This little known 575-acre lake in the mountainous region of Oconee County is fed by the Chattooga and Tallulah Rivers. Backed up by the Tugalo dam, the lake is a peaceful spot to paddle and a great place for fishermen. Motorboat access to the lake is restricted to motors below 20 hp, ensuring a peaceful outing. Several small waterfalls tumble into this scenic lake, which is surrounded by the forest covered foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Laurel Fork Falls
Consider visiting the falls by boat instead of hiking. Witnessing the 80 ft. high falls from a boat in the waters of Lake Jocassee is a one-of-a-kind experience. There are several other falls to be viewed on the lake including Wrights Creek and Mill Creek Falls. For lake access, enter at Devils Fork State Park. Boat rentals and guided tours are available. If you opt to hike, it's 16 miles round trip. GPS coordinates to parking area: N 35 02.938 W 82 48.828
A bit hard to find, but one of Oconee's most picturesque falls is on Tamassee Creek. No official trail makes this a challenging hike. Best visibility in wintertime. No swimming. Last 1/4 mile is difficult with lots of boulder climbing. GPS coordinates to parking area: N 34.89344 W 83.08131. Waterfall coordinates: N 34.89428 W 83.10191
Long Creek Falls
A 50-foot waterfall on its namesake creek just before it flows into the Chattooga River. The 1.6 mile unofficial trail is moderately difficult and not well-marked. The last 150 ft. is very steep making it a challenge to climb out. GPS coordinates to parking area: N 34.77767 W 083.31212. Paddlers and rafters going down the Chattooga River can view this waterfall from the water.
Lower Whitewater Falls
A dramatic 200 ft. drop, these falls are the highest in eastern America. The Lower Falls (in South Carolina) is about half-mile down the Whitewater River from the Upper Falls (in North Carolina). The trail to the overlook is a dangerous 1.7 mile trek. GPS coordinates to parking area: N 35.01246 W 082.99911
Mill Creek Falls
Located on Lake Jocassee, this waterfall is only accessible by boat. Launch from Devils Fork State Park. For exact location of the falls, stop by the Devils Fork Ranger Station for map and detailed directions. GPS coordinates for Devils Fork State Park: N 34.952139 W 82.946134
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.
Oconee State Park
The joys of a mountain retreat without the work. The historic park rests deep in the Blue Ridge foothills, with several picturesque but non-demanding hiking trails and well-kept cabins and campgrounds that have welcomed families for annual trips since the days the park was first built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression.
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.
Pigpen Falls & Licklog Falls
Perfect falls for a young family. An easy one-hour hike to two sets of falls 1/4 mile apart. Pigpen will be the first falls on the left with a great swimming hole. Licklog is a short distance further on the right, and a little more difficult to view if leaves are out. Continue on the trail a few more minutes to the Chattooga River. Nice place to swim and picnic. GPS coordinates to parking area: N 34.91905 W 083.12020
Reedy Branch Falls
30 ft. cascade is easily accessible via a 300-yard walk down a gravel road. The pull-off, with its large stone columns and iron gate, implies private property, however, it is public land. The land was in the process of being developed for home sites when the Forest Service acquired it. Good wading pool at the base of the waterfall. Humble Pie and Belle's Bistro at Chattooga Belle Farm are nearby places to eat.
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.
A two-fer waterfall opportunity. A treacherous path for adventurous, physically fit hikers, Winding Stairs Trail leads to this waterfall off the beaten path. Continue past clearing to view Cheohee/Miuka Falls. GPS Coordinates to parking area: N 34.94110 W 083.08975
South Cove County Park
A variety of day use activities and lakeside camping. Fishing, boating, sailing and water skiing are readily accessible via two park boat ramps. Facilities include: picnic tables, 4 lighted tennis courts, a volleyball court, 18-hole miniature golf course, horseshoe pits, playground areas, a handicapped accessible fishing pier & sand beach for sun.
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
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.
The Park includes: Stumphouse Tunnel, Issaqueena Falls, the Stumphouse Passage of the Palmetto Trail, Stumphouse Mountain Bike Park and Blue Ridge Railroad hiking trail. Picnic tables, rental event pavilion, portable restrooms. There is a park entrance fee of $5 per vehicle (no charge for residents of Walhalla). Annual park passes can be purchased from Walhalla City Hall (864)638-4343.
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.
Upper Whitewater Falls
Beginning in North Carolina and ending in South Carolina, these falls are the highest in eastern America. Easy 10 minute walk to a viewing platform at the end of an asphalt path. Stairs lead to a better viewing platform. However, it is a difficult climb back up. DIRECTIONS: From Hwy 11 in Salem, go North on Hwy 130 ten miles and follow signs to Whitewater Falls.
Whetstone Horse Camp
Over 30 miles of horseback riding trails. The campground is open year-round and has 18 sites with parking spurs for horse trailers. Nine sites are available by reservation only, while the other nine are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each site is equipped with a picnic table, fire ring and lantern post. Vault toilets and drinking water are provided. Hitching racks are located throughout the facility.
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
CAUTION: This hike has grown in popularity which has caused the trail to become more dangerous. It takes approximately 45 minutes to reach the falls and 45 minutes back out. Wear shoes with good traction, pack water, and be prepared for pop-up rain storms. No cell service in the forest. Impressive 60 ft. cascade over rock ledges is a favorite destination for visitors. Hike is 3 miles round trip. CCC era picnic shelter on site. GPS coordinates to the parking area: N 34.80557 W 083.12876