Overlook Falls, South Carolina

Overlook Falls (31)

Overlook Falls in March 2017

This an odd little waterfall that you’ll find at…surprise…an overlook between two numbered South Carolina roads. I wouldn’t necessarily go out of my way to see the falls, but it ends up that Whitewater Falls and Sloan Bridge Falls are found on opposite sides, so if you’re looking for waterfalls in far northwest South Carolina, you might end up passing by the falls anyway.

It is an easy waterfall to miss, but it’s also an easy waterfall to visit once you find it. I think I may have passed this a few times along the way, and had to backtrack a bit to find it. If you’re driving west, the falls will be on your right. There’s a large parking area/pullout on the left (if headed west). It doesn’t have a whole lot of water flowing at any point in time, so the best time to see the falls would be after a heavy rain.

Directions:

  1. The waterfall is found on State Road S-37-413 between SC-130 and SC-107.
  2. If you’re headed west on S-37-413, the falls will be on the right just before the parking area on the left. You may have to walk a bit to get closer to the falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 15′
Length of Hike: roadside

Where in the World is Overlook Falls?

Upper Sloan Bridge Falls, South Carolina

I’m struggling a bit with how to describe Upper Sloan Bridge Falls. I rated the hike to this falls just after getting back from the hike, and rated it as a moderate/difficult hike. Considering that the whole hike is only 0.7 miles round trip, you might wonder how it could be difficult.

It’s often easy to focus on length of hike, and not as much on vertical climb. I try to look at both…If you see a hike is 1 mile one-way, but there’s a 600′ elevation gain, you better be ready for a tough hike. In this case, it’s the last hundred feet or so! In that hundred feet, you’re going to descend about 100′. (Don’t quote me on the exact number, but it’s steep.) When I first saw the falls, I couldn’t actually see where the descent “ended”. Only after getting a bit closer did I discover that it was “possible” to get to the base of the falls.

After getting to the base of the falls (which in some ways is more difficult), you have to get back up. I had hiked to a few other waterfalls earlier that day, and to come to this steep descent and return, I wore myself out.  Since I was so close to the Lower Falls and Hiker’s Peril, I went further, but I was ready to get back into the car and go to my hotel to rest!

Directions:

  1. I arrived by heading north on SC-107. About 1 mile before SC-107 crosses over into North Carolina, you’ll find the parking area for the creek/falls on your left. There will be a sign, which I believe will mention the Sloan Bridge Campground.
  2. After parking, head to your left toward the trail. The trail you’re on is part of a larger trail that connects to other points of interest.

Accessibility: 3/10 (moderate/difficult)
Height: 45′ (total, individual drops are smaller)
Length of Hike: 0.7 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Upper Sloan Bridge Falls?

sloan 1

The largest drop of Upper Sloan Bridge Falls in March 2017

sloan 2

Another drop of Upper Sloan Bridge Falls

Kings Creek Falls, South Carolina

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Kings Creek Falls in March 2017

This time eight years ago, I was visiting waterfalls in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, and I decided it was time to go back. I wanted to find a few more waterfalls in South Carolina, but didn’t want to have to go on crazy drives to find falls. (I had already visited many of the easy-to-find ones.) After searching it seemed I could hit two waterfalls at once, Kings Creek Falls and Spoonauger Falls, without a difficult journey or hike. That search turned out to be correct.

I tend to avoid narrow dirt roads, especially when in a rental car. The road to the trail heads, while gravel, is very wide and well kept. I had no fears while driving down the road. I arrived at a parking area for a campground, and was a bit confused about where to start the journey to Kings Creek Falls. Let’s just say I ended up at Spoonauger Falls first, though that did help me get my bearings.

To get to Kings Creek Falls, that large parking area to your left is the starting point. There is an information “kiosk”/board that shows a map of the area with trails, but it doesn’t clearly state you’re at the Kings Creek Falls trail head. But you are…So go past the kiosk, and about 100 feet in or so, there will be a sign that says you’re headed to Kings Creek Falls. I think the sign said it’s 1 mile, but it’s less than that. The hike to the falls is surprisingly easy, with a few areas where tree roots do create a bit of a tripping hazard. You’ll cross a bridge over Kings Creek, and then you’ll continue upstream (veer a bit left).

Kings Creek Falls is a truly beautiful waterfall. At approximately 60′ tall, it’s impressive. For early spring, there should probably be a bit more water flowing over the falls, but as of Spring 2017, there is a “severe drought” right in the waterfall region of NC, SC, & GA. It did rain just the day before I visited, which meant there was some additional water flowing. Even then, the hike’s very enjoyable, relatively uncomplicated, and you end up at a beautiful waterfall. Choose the right day, and you’ll likely be one of only a few people to visit the falls. I had the falls all to myself!

Directions:

  1. Drive along SC-107 (in between the North Carolina border and Oconee State Park).
  2. Find Burrells Ford Road. If heading south along SC-107, it will be on your right. Turn onto Burrells Ford Road.
  3. Drive for about 2.5 miles along the road to a parking area on your left. It’s mostly gravel, but it’s well kept.
  4. Park and look for the kiosk near the front of the parking area. The trail to the falls starts right after the kiosk.

(On the return hike, there is one confusing point, after crossing over Kings Creek Falls, there will be two trails, one that goes left and follows the creek. Don’t follow this, but instead follow the other trail that goes slightly uphill (which will still be to your left just a bit)).

Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 60′
Length of Hike: 1.4 miles round-trip

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?

Station Cove Falls, South Carolina

Station Cove Falls (56)

Station Cove Falls in March 2009

Station Cove Falls (aka Oconee Station Falls) is a very pleasant waterfall in Oconee County, South Carolina. The trail to the waterfall is extremely pleasant, and when I visited in March 2009, was completely covered in red and yellow trillium, Hepatica, and bloodroot. The trail is also very appropriate for children, as there is not much elevation change.

The only negative about this waterfall is the parking. There is parking for 4-5 cars/trucks, but when I got there, there were already 4 trucks there. I had to maneuver my way onto the grass to park. Other websites suggest parking down at the Oconee Historic Site, but that was closed when I visited. Even so, still check out the falls!

Directions:

  1. From Walhalla, drive north on SC-11 for about 6 miles to Oconee Station Road.
  2. Turn Left on Oconee Station Road and drive down the road for about 2.5 miles.
  3. You will pass the Historic Site on the right, and then the parking area for the falls will be very soon after that on the left.
  4. Find parking and then head down the very clearly marked trail.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 60′
Length of Hike: 1.5 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Station Cove Falls?