I had the chance to visit Lower Whitewater Falls over nine years ago, so some of my recollections may be a bit rusty. I had been seeing waterfalls in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. I had first stopped at Upper Whitewater Falls, which is on the same river, but across the border in North Carolina. (When I visited the area in March 2017, the Upper Whitewater Falls area was closed due to forest fire damage.)
Upper Whitewater Falls was very easy to visit, whereas seeing Lower Whitewater Falls required a bit more effort. At that time, I would hike to a lot of waterfalls in a day, sometimes going 13 or 14 miles. Essentially, I would wear myself out! So I got to Lower Whitewater Falls, and the hike seemed more strenuous than I expected. There were some portions where I’d climb a bit uphill and then downhill, and then repeat the process. That kind of hiking can take a bit of a toll, even though it may not be as problematic as having to climb consistently uphill. At the time, I also didn’t like to bring as much water as needed on hikes, and that made me very thirsty after arriving back at the car. (I’ve learned some lessons over the years.)
But luckily, Lower Whitewater Falls is a beautiful waterfall. At 200′, it’s an impressive drop. While you’re not extremely close (because it’s a pretty big drop), you’ll still get more than adequate views of the falls.
- To get to the falls, you want to get to the border of North Carolina and South Carolina along NC-281/SC-130.
- The road that leads to the falls is right past the border on the South Carolina side. You’ll be looking for Bad Creek Road, which will be on your left if you’re heading south.
- Turn onto Bad Creek Road. You’ll pass through a gate for Duke Energy, and it’s fine to go through.
- Drive along Bad Creek Road to the trail head for the falls.
Accessibility: 5/10 (moderate)
Length of Hike: 3.8 miles round-trip
Where in the World is Lower Whitewater Falls?