Issaqueena Falls, South Carolina

Issaqueena Falls in March 2009

It’s been over four years since I visited Issaqueena Falls, so I hope I haven’t forgotten too much about the falls.  The northwest portion of South Carolina has a number of really great waterfalls, and Isaqueena Falls is one of those.  It is definitely worth visiting if you’re in the region.  (I made a trip visiting waterfalls in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, and visited over 30 waterfalls in 4 days.)

The roads around the falls are winding and curvy, so it makes finding the right road to turn on a fun adventure.  (I don’t remember if there was a sign on the road indicating the falls.  I think there must have been…)  Once you find the road leading to the parking area, you’ll head down the rather steep Stumphouse Tunnel Road to the park/parking area.  From this area, the falls are very easily accessible.

The trail to the falls is short, only about 0.2 miles.  You can view the whole falls, and you’re not viewing them at crest-level.  After this, there is an obvious, though riskier trail that brings you closer to the base.  It isn’t necessary to head to the base to get a great view of the falls.  I think I went down partway, though I don’t seem to remember going down the whole distance.  The falls are approximately 100′ or so tall, so it’s not an overwhelming hike down.  (One website indicated 200′ tall, which seems wildly exaggerated, unless there counting some cascades upstream or downstream…)  Both the size and the accessibility of Issaqueena Falls make it a very worthwhile visit.  The park is also idea for picnicking.  (If you need more convincing, Station Cove Falls is not that far away. And I didn’t realize it at the time, but Yellow Branch Falls, which I have yet to visit, is right across the road…it requires a longer hike.)

Directions:

  1. The falls are found a short distance off of SC-28, northwest of Walhalla.  (If heading south, the falls are a few miles after the junction of SC-28 and SC-107.)
  2. If headed northwest from Walhalla, drive along SC-28.
  3. Look for Stumphouse Tunnel Road on your right.  (If you’re heading south, the turn is on your left, and is a rather sharp turn.)  Turn onto Stumphouse Tunnel Road.  (I didn’t realize at the time that Stumphouse Tunnel Road also leads to an unfinished tunnel that sounds like it could be interesting to visit.)
  4. Drive to the parking area for the falls.  An informative sign will indicate that you’re in the right location.
  5. Hike along the short trail to the falls.  If I remember correctly, you’ll cross a small wooden bridge over Cane Creek, the source of the falls.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 100′
Length of Hike: 0.1 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Issaqueena Falls?

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