State Parks & Waterfalls
With more than 50 miles of easy to strenuous hiking trails dotted by trailside camping, visitors to Caesars Head can avail themselves of majestic Blue Ridge Mountain panoramas in the verdant, secluded valleys of the area. Take Hwy 11 south (west) to Cleveland, SC, then Hwy 8 north to Rt 276 West.
Located on the southwestern edge of Lake Jocassee, Devils Fork is a great place to enjoy the lake, launch a boat (get there early) and view the rare Oconee Bell flower. Lake Jocassee offers hidden waterfalls, hikes, great boating and kayaking. Take Hwy 11 south (west) to right turn onto Jocassee Lake Rd. It is five miles north of Salem off Hwy 11.
Jones Gap State Park is a South Carolina state park in northern Greenville County, near Marietta. The 3,964-acre (1,604 ha) park, which includes the headwaters of the Middle Saluda River, is, with Caesars Head State Park, administered by the state Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism as part of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness.
This 1,000-acres park features rock outcroppings and views of the Foothills and Blue Ridge mountains. A museum tells the story of the Cherokee Indians who once roamed this area. The park is located at the intersection of Hwy 11 and Hwy 133. Take Hwy 11 south (west), pass the entrance road for the Vineyards, just beyond SC Rt 133 on the right.
Paris Mountain State Park is located five miles (8 km) north of Greenville, South Carolina. Activities available in the 1,540-acre (6 km2) park include hiking, biking, swimming and picnicking. The 13-acre (52,609 m2) Lake Placid offers swimming and fishing. Canoes, kayaks, and pedal boats are seasonally available for rental; private boats are not permitted. Camping is allowed and campsites range from rustic, back country sites to paved sites with water and electricity hook-ups. The park's Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) structures, including the Camp Buckhorn lodge, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
At the very edge of the Blue Ridge escarpment, the view at Table Rock is as breathtaking today as it was to the Cherokee Indians who once inhabited the area. Table Rock is a great place to hike. Travel south (west) on Hwy 11 until you see the massive rock on your right.
This 10 minute hike will take you to a gorgeous 75 foot waterfall, the closest waterfall to the Vineyards. To get to the falls head for the Vineyards. Right off 11 onto Rt 178, Turn left at the intersection of of Cleo Chapman and Roy F. Jones (near the Vineyards Fire Department.) Stay on Cleo Chapman for a little over three miles and then turn left on Eastatoe Community Road. Drive another 0.9 miles and turn right on the one-lane gravel road, Water Falls Rd. Follow this road past the private properties to the end of the road. There is a small parking area. The path will lead to a gazebo for viewing the falls. For directions, click the link (the name above).
Whitewater Falls is a series of falls having a total drop of almost 700 feet. This is the highest set of falls east of the Rocky Mountains. The two largest falls in the series are Upper Whitewater Falls and Lower Whitewater Falls. Upper Falls has a well maintained trail from the paved parking lot to the observation point and it is an easy walk. Lower Falls is a bit more of a hike and includes a number of steps. Please be aware of slippery conditions from the spray - wear appropriate footwear. To get to Whitewater Falls take Hwy 11 south (west) to SC Hwy 130 N, which becomes NC Hwy 281. The entrance to the falls is on your right. The fee is $2 per vehicle for up to 7 persons, $1 for each additional.
Located about 7 miles northwest of Walhalla on Hyw 28, the 1,617 foot long Stumphouse Tunnel is an oddity. Started in 1852 to connect Charleston to Knoxville and eventually on to Cincinnati, the Civil War—and lack of funds—brought construction to a halt. While there were various efforts by the Blue Ridge Railroad to revive the tunnel, none of them came to pass and it stands today as a monument to the efforts of pre-Civil War engineering. You may want to bring a flashlight or two as the tunnel is long and can get a bit dark.
Down the path a short distance is Issaqueena Falls, a beautiful waterfall with easy access.
Fee to get into the park
This 10-acre park overlooks Little Eastatoee Creek. In the summer, locals and visitors enjoy sliding down the flat, gently sloping shoals into the cool creek waters. It’s also a favorite with anglers looking for that elusive trout. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources stocks this portion of the Little Eastatoee on a regular basis with 9- to 12-inch brook, brown and rainbow trout. Just a few miles north of Keowee Toxaway State Natural Area.
There are many wonderful waterfalls in our area. Here are three resources for South Carolina and North Carolina Waterfalls.
Remember: Wet rocks are very slippery and people fall to their deaths from waterfalls every year. If you visit them, please be careful and use common sense. Do not climb rocks around waterfalls and do not ever cross a stream or swim at the top of a waterfall. Be very cautious with children, watch them at all times. Wear appropriate footwear - no flip flops!
There are also many species of rare plants near some of our waterfalls, living in and near the spray area of the falls. Please be very careful not to trample vegetation while exploring our falls.
To explore the many South Carolina Department of Natural Resources public lands, click on the following link and sort by county:
Thank you Jean Ann