Raven Cliff Falls, South Carolina

As I’m starting the hike along the trail to Raven Cliff Falls, I meet a couple that had lived in Michigan, but now lives in South Carolina.  I tell them I’m visiting for a few days, and they inform me that Raven Cliff Falls is one of the most visited falls in the area.  At the time, I thought, “Cool. I hope that means Raven Cliff Falls is impressive.”  Well, after arriving at the viewpoint for the falls, I would have to wonder why anybody would want to put the amount of time and effort needed to view the falls.

It probably didn’t start off very well when I couldn’t even find a parking spot.  Finally, after wandering around in the rental car, I found that there was addition parking north of the state park parking area.  It is graciously provided by the owner of an inn.  This means I have to add a small but additional amount to the hike.  From the get go, you can tell the hike will be interesting, especially on the return.  It’s moderately steep on the way down.  While there is a trail, there are points where the trail clearly devolves into “sliding” over logs to reconnect back to the trail.  It was ok on the way down, but even more interesting on the way back.

Now it’s not a LONG hike, about 4 miles round trip, but it is consistently up-and-down going.  I definitely felt worn out after this hike, and I honestly could not wait for it to end.  The hike to the falls might be more worthwhile if the view was subsequently worthwhile…but it’s just not!  You are at least a 1/4 of a mile from the falls, and even though it’s over 400′ tall, it disappears in the background.  A 55-300 mm lens is an absolute MUST, which I did not own at the time.  My 18-55 lens makes the waterfall look puny, even after editing.  Oh well…To each their own.

Directions:

  1. Head north on US-276 past Caesars Head State Park for about a mile to the parking area leading to the falls.  If parking is not available there, head a little further north to the sign indicating additional parking.
  2. From the trail head, essentially follow the signs.  At first, it doesn’t seem clear, but it’s really hard to miss.  The hike feels very long.

Accessibility: 2/10 (difficult)
Height: 420′
Length of Hike: 4.4 miles round-trip

Raven Cliff Falls (33)

Raven Cliff Falls in March 2009

Where in the World is Raven Cliff Falls?

Lower Wildcat Branch Falls, South Carolina

Lower Wildcat Branch Falls was the first waterfall that I saw on my trip to see waterfalls in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. While it is a smaller waterfall, and leads to the taller Upper Wildcat Falls, it is still pretty nonetheless. One of it’s major benefits is that it’s a roadside waterfall, and is amazingly easy to view.

I was trying to find the best viewpoint to take a photograph of the falls, and I definitely had a lot of fun jumping around in the creek. The creek is not very deep, and you can easily walk across parts of the creek to get better views.

Directions:

  1. There are multiple ways to reach the two falls. The easiest way is to find where US-276 and SC-11 split in northern South Carolina. The parking area for the falls will be about 1/2 a mile east of that split.
  2. You should be able to see Lower Wildcat Branch Falls from the road. The parking area for the falls is right there.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 30′
Length of Hike: Roadside

wildcat lower

Lower Wildcat Branch Falls in March 2009

Where in the World is Lower Wildcat Branch Falls?

Upper Wildcat Branch Falls, South Carolina

I mentioned in the last post that some waterfall pictures end up looking better than you remember in person. On the other hand, some pictures just can’t convey the view. And with Upper Wildcat Branch Falls, the view is very odd. The picture just doesn’t really show it.

I don’t even know how to describe Upper Wildcat Branch Falls. It’s taller than you would think. It’s not hard to get to at all, but once you get there, you’ll be surprised there’s even a waterfall there. I guess just and check it out for yourself.

A note: Please observe any signs that indicate the end of the trail. The trail to Upper Wildcat Branch Falls ends further away from the falls. You can still see the falls from afar.

Directions:

  1. There are multiple ways to reach the two falls. The easiest way is to find where US-276 and SC-11 split in northern South Carolina. The parking area for the falls will be about 1/2 a mile east of that split.
  2. You should be able to see Lower Wildcat Branch Falls from the road. The parking area for the falls is right there.
  3. On the left of Lower Wildcat Branch Falls, you’ll notice a trail that leads to Upper Wildcat Branch Falls.

Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 100′
Length of Hike: 0.8 miles round-trip

upper wildcat.JPG

Upper Wildcat Branch Falls in March 2009

Where in the World is Upper Wildcat Branch Falls?

Reedy River Falls, South Carolina

I tend to like waterfalls that are in urban settings, as you get a sense of the historical importance of the waterfall. Reedy River Falls is one of those falls, right in downtown Greenville. The directions are very easy, though the traffic in Greenville can be stifling on a nice day! There is the main falls with a cool bridge that offers a better view, a reported second drop further downstream, and Spring Falls, a mini-waterfall that can be seen on a creek along the way to the falls.

The main falls is a really special treat in the downtown area.  I’ve always loved the reddish-brown color of the rocks, and think it makes matches with many of the building surrounding the falls.  There are many opportunities to explore the falls and photograph it from different angles.  The bridge offers the most obvious viewpoint, but there are viewpoints at both the left and right side of the falls.  If you are on the left (as in the picture below), I believe you can walk pretty close to the water.

The smaller waterfall, Spring Falls, would not be even remotely interesting if it were by itself, and I would be disappointed if I had spent any significant time trying to find the falls.  And yet when you find the falls without expecting to, it’s a small treat.  They are off of a main trail, and I’m not sure I would have found them if I had not taken a different path on the return to the parking area.

Directions:

  1. There are so many possible ways to get into Greenville to the park. I would suggest typing in “Falls Park on the Reedy” into Google Maps (or another mapping system). You can also try following the signs to the park. If that doesn’t work, try to get back to Main Street, as the park will be off of Main Street. There are multiple places to park, some further away, but still offering a beautiful but short walk to the falls.

Parking and address information is provided here.

Accesibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 28′
Length of Hike: negligible

Reedy River Falls (25)

Reedy River Falls in March 2009

Reedy River Falls (40)

Spring Falls

Where in the World is Reedy River Falls?