In the past year, many people have discovered the wonder of the outdoors as the pandemic forced people to find new ways of entertaining themselves and their families.
In the Upstate, state parks have seen weekend camping reservations fill up quick thanks to a combination of COVID-19 restrictions and the sheer number of people who have discovered the Upstate’s natural beauty.
One way to experience the outdoors? Enjoy a local waterfall — they’re sprinkled throughout the Upstate — sometimes in state parks, sometimes not.
A short drive from Greenville, Jones Gap State Park in Marietta offers beautiful scenery including several waterfalls. You can find the park at 303 Jones Gap Road, Marietta, South Carolina, 29661. Make reservations to camp here.
Riley Moore Falls
Over in Westminster, Riley Moore Falls is a 45-minute hike up a trail found off Cobb Bridge Road on Spy Rock Road.
Also known as Eastatoe Falls, this beautiful waterfall is a 15-minute walk from your car. When you reach the falls, there’s also a viewing deck with benches. You can find it through directions provided by South Carolina Trails.
Kings Creek Falls
A few miles away from the South Carolina-Georgia border rests Kings Creek Falls. After a 1/2-mile hike, you’ll find this beautiful and popular waterfall cascading 70 feet to the river below. There also is a small beach area near the base of the falls where visitors can relax.
Yellow Branch Falls
Located near Walhalla at the Yellow Branch Picnic Area, the 50-foot falls are part of 1.5-mile path that is rated ‘moderately difficult’ by South Carolina Trails.
Upper Whitewater Falls
After a 6.2-mile hike up the Bad Creek Trail, you’ll find the Upper Whitewater Falls. But it’s not an easy trip. The second half requires ladders and stairs, according to All Trails.
Raven Cliff Falls
Named after the more than 150 species of raven found in the area, Raven Cliff Falls, a 400-foot waterfall, is found after a moderate hike of about 2.2 miles. The waterfall is in the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, and is reportedly the biggest waterfall in the state.
Reedy River Falls
Of course, if you can’t quite get away for a mountainous adventure, you can always take a walk through Falls Park and find yourself next to Reedy River Falls.
For more information about these and other trails, visit SCTrails.net.