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The Waterfalls of Greenville County


Surrounded by lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Greenville, SC area is an outdoor paradise. More than 50 waterfalls reside within the Blue Ridge Escarpment (where the Blue Ridge Mountains drop abruptly 2,000 ft to the Piedmont below), making it the heaviest concentration of waterfalls within the Eastern United States. There's great hiking to be had (or none whatsoever—it's your choice!) along with awe-inspiring views. The diverse watershed ecology supports 40% of the state's rare plant species and is home to many rare animal species, including wood frogs, native brook trough, peregrine falcons, and numerous reptiles. There's a million reasons to come fall in love with our waterfalls, and you only need one. 

We've gone ahead and done all the hard work for you! Learn a little bit about each waterfall in Greenville County through short descriptions, heights, locations, distances, driving (or walking) directions, hiking information, and photographs—broken down into two categories below:

1) Popular / Well-Known Waterfalls
2) Smaller Waterfalls

If you're not sure where to start, try taking a look at our interactive map below or skimming through our emoji symbols in front of each waterfall name. 

'💚' symbol = Waterfalls that require no hiking and are located in a picturesque park or garden
'🚗' symbol = Waterfalls that can be seen from a roadside pull-off
'🥾' symbol = Waterfalls that require trail hiking  ( 😎 = Easy; 🙃 = Moderate; 😅= Strenuous Hikes)

 


Sources: Waterfall Hikes of Upstate South Carolina, Thomas E. King (Milestone Press, Revised Edition June 2010); South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism's (SCPRT) South Carolina Trails ProgramSouth Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR); Upcountry South Carolina; South Carolina Trails; and AllTrails.com.

If you feel that any of the information below is incorrect, or that we're missing something, please send us an email and let us know. Several waterfalls in the area are not included because they are located on private property, require bushwhacking, or are just plain dangerous.  


 

 

To go directly to information on a specific waterfall, click the appropriate button below: 


POPULAR / WELL-KNOWN WATERFALLS

 

 

To go directly to information on a specific waterfall, click the appropriate button below: 


SMALLER WATERFALLS

 


wa·ter·fall: 

Pronounced "waw-ter-fawl" (noun)

a cascade of water falling from a height, formed when a river or stream flows over a precipice or steep incline.


shoal: 

Pronounced "shohl" (noun)

a place where a sea, river, or other body of water is shallow.

an area of shallow water, especially as a navigational hazard.


sluice: 

Pronounced "sloos" (noun)

a stream of surplus water.

the body of water held back or controlled by a gate.


Popular / Well-Known Waterfalls


💚 Reedy River Falls
 

Urban waterfalls unlike any other are surrounded by the flowers and rolling gardens of Falls Park on the Reedy. These waterfalls are best viewed atop the one-of-a-kind Liberty Bridge, a 345-foot-long structure supported by suspension cables on only one side, for the best unobscured view of these beautiful waterfalls set directly in the center of downtown Greenville. 

Height
32 ft
Closest Town/ Place
Greenville, SC / Falls Park on the Reedy
Hike Length (Roundtrip)
N/A
Est. Hike Time (Roundtrip)
N/A
Hike Difficulty
N/A
Body of Water
Reedy River

Located in the Heart of Downtown Greenville


Walking Directions:

In downtown Greenville, enter Falls Park on the Reedy at the intersection of S. Main Street and Falls Park Drive. (Spill the Beans will be on your left at the park entrance.) Go down the stairs, past Passerelle Bistro on your left, and out onto the Liberty Bridge for spectacular views. 



🥾🙃😅 Raven Cliff Falls

 

Raven Cliff Falls, located in Caesars Head State Park, is the tallest in South Carolina with its 420-foot drop. Therefore, it is one of the most scenic and photographed waterfalls. The waterfall itself was named for the ravens that breed in the cliffs that help to form the falls and 150+ species of ravens have been spotted in the area. There are two hiking trails to view the falls: 1) Raven Cliff Falls Trail, a 4.4-mile round-trip hike which leads to the scenic overlook where you can view the waterfalls, and 2) Adding in the Dismal Trail Loop, a 6.6-mile round-trip strenuous hike that brings you to Wilderness Bridge, a unique suspension bridge that crosses over the very top of Raven Cliff Falls.
Notes: There is an entry fee to the State Park for trail access. Parking is first-come, first-serve. 

Height
420 ft
Closest Town/ Place
Cleveland, SC / Caesars Head State Park
Hike Length (Roundtrip)
4.4 Miles / 6.6 Miles
Est. Hike Time (Roundtrip)
3 Hours / 5 Hours
Hike Difficulty
Moderate / Strenuous
Body of Water
Matthews Creek

55 Minutes (33 Miles) from Downtown Greenville


Driving Directions:

From downtown Greenville, head north on Hwy 276 for 31.5 miles. The parking area for the trailhead will be on your right, one mile after passing the Caesars Head State Park Visitor Center. Make sure to stop there first to pay for trail access! 



🥾😅 Rainbow Falls

 

Located on YMCA Camp Greenville property, but accessed through Jones Gap State Park, it is a very strenuous hike to this waterfall. There is 1,200 ft of elevation change, but the results are more than worth the effort. Plunging over a high granite cliff, this 140-foot ribbon-like waterfall will make you feel closer to the size of an ant.
Notes: There is an entry fee to get into the park. Only limited parking is available; a parking spot reservation may be necessary and if not, be sure to get there early!

Height
140 ft
Closest Town/ Place
Cleveland, SC / YMCA Camp Greenville
Hike Length (Roundtrip)
5 Miles
Est. Hike Time (Roundtrip)
3 Hours
Hike Difficulty
Strenuous
Body of Water
Cox Camp Creek

45 Minutes (25 Miles) from Downtown Greenville


Driving Directions:

From downtown Greenville, head north on Hwy 276 for 19 miles. You'll pass Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway 11 and take a right onto River Falls Rd. Stay on River Falls Rd for 4 miles to the main gate of Jones Gap State Park, then turn right into the designated parking area. 



🚗 Wildcat Wayside Falls (Lower Wildcat Falls)

 

Just an easy pull-off from Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway 11, this Wildcat Wayside waterfall is perfect for kiddos and adults alike as this is the lowest level of Wildcat Falls; the calm pool at the base of the falls is perfect for splashing and wading. Don’t miss Marci Jo’s Olde Mountain Store in Cleveland, only 5 minutes before you arrive at these roadside falls. 

Height
30 ft
Closest Town/ Place
Cleveland, SC / Solitude Pointe Cabins & RV Park
Hike Length (Roundtrip)
N/A
Est. Hike Time (Roundtrip)
N/A
Hike Difficulty
N/A
Body of Water
Wildcat Branch

40 Minutes (24 Miles) from Downtown Greenville


Driving Directions:

From downtown Greenville, head north on Hwy 276 for 22.5 miles. You'll pass an F-Mart and BBQ Hut approximately 3.5 miles (4 minutes) before the pulloff, which will be on your right-hand side. If you're lucky, you will see a Boiled Peanuts or Fresh Produce stand set up at this pull-off.  



🥾😎 Wildcat Wayside Falls (Middle Wildcat Falls)

 

The middle section of Wildcat Falls is just 0.1 mile upstream from the lower section, linked by a rippling stream. The trail begins at wooden steps to the left of the lower falls where you can follow a well-maintained short trail to the middle falls. (Hikes don't get much easier than this!) Sometimes considered the “top” of Lower Wildcat Falls, these falls are another great place in which to splash and play!  

Height
10 ft
Closest Town/ Place
Cleveland, SC / Solitude Pointe Cabins & RV Park
Hike Length (Roundtrip)
0.2 Mile
Est. Hike Time (Roundtrip)
10 Minutes
Hike Difficulty
Easy
Body of Water
Wildcat Branch

40 Minutes (24 Miles) from Downtown Greenville


Driving Directions:

From downtown Greenville, head north on Hwy 276 for 22.5 miles. You'll pass an F-Mart and BBQ Hut approximately 3.5 miles (4 minutes) before the pulloff, which will be on your right-hand side. If you're lucky, you will see a Boiled Peanuts or Fresh Produce stand set up at this pull-off.  



🥾🙃 Wildcat Wayside Falls (Upper Wildcat Falls)

 

Considered the most spectacular of all three waterfall levels at Wildcat Wayside, the upper section is located 0.3 mile upstream from the middle section with massive boulders at its base. Start your hike via the wooden stairs to the left of the lower falls.
Notes: You can only hike to the BASE of the upper falls. The trail to the top of the upper waterfalls is closed to the public; climbing over the boulders to get to this trail is both illegal and dangerous.

Height
100 ft
Closest Town/ Place
Cleveland, SC / Solitude Pointe Cabins & RV Park
Hike Length (Roundtrip)
0.8 Mile
Est. Hike Time (Roundtrip)
45 Minutes
Hike Difficulty
Moderate
Body of Water
Wildcat Branch

40 Minutes (24 Miles) from Downtown Greenville


Driving Directions:

From downtown Greenville, head north on Hwy 276 for 22.5 miles. You'll pass an F-Mart and BBQ Hut approximately 3.5 miles (4 minutes) before the pulloff, which will be on your right-hand side. If you're lucky, you will see a Boiled Peanuts or Fresh Produce stand set up at this pull-off.  



🥾😅 Falls Creek Falls

 

Considered to be one of the finest waterfalls in the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, these impressively tiered falls can be reached via a strenuous 1.7-mile hike (one-way) with a steep uphill grade—the trail ascends 600 feet in elevation with very few flat areas. Additionally, there is some rock-hopping over the water, so take care to keep your feet dry. Keep in mind, the view is well worth the effort!  
Notes: Only limited parking is available. This trail terminates in Jones Gap State Park, but cannot be started there. Do not confuse these falls with Fall Creek Falls (no 's') near Westminster, SC.

Height
125 ft
Closest Town/ Place
Cleveland, SC / Palmetto Bible Camp
Hike Length (Roundtrip)
3.4 Miles
Est. Hike Time (Roundtrip)
3 Hours
Hike Difficulty
Strenuous
Body of Water
Falls Creek

45 Minutes (25 Miles) from Downtown Greenville


Driving Directions:

From downtown Greenville, head north on Hwy 276 for 19 miles. You'll pass Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway 11 and take a right onto River Falls Rd. Stay on River Falls Rd for 4 miles. You'll pass Jones Gap State Park, then turn right onto Duckworth Rd. Continue to Fall Creek Rd., proceed past the Palmetto Bible Camp and cross over a small bridge. The trailhead is clearly visible ahead on the left.



🥾🙃 Jones Gap Falls

 

Located in Jones Gap State Park, this waterfall offers a pleasant (and very green) hike following along the boulder-strewn Middle Saluda River. Along the way there are plenty of picturesque places including several wading areas and the John Reid Clonts Memorial Bridge (a wooden footbridge). The waterfall drops over what looks like a giant staircase of layered ledges and granite rock.
Notes: There is an entry fee to get into the park. Only limited parking is available; a parking spot reservation may be necessary and if not, be sure to get there early!

Height
50 ft
Closest Town/ Place
Cleveland, SC / Jones Gap State Park
Hike Length (Roundtrip)
2.6 Miles
Est. Hike Time (Roundtrip)
1.5 Hours
Hike Difficulty
Moderate
Body of Water
Middle Saluda River Tributary

45 Minutes (25 Miles) from Downtown Greenville


Driving Directions:

From downtown Greenville, head north on Hwy 276 for 19 miles. You'll pass Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway 11 and take a right onto River Falls Rd. Stay on River Falls Rd for 4 miles to the main gate of Jones Gap State Park, then turn right into the designated parking area. 


Smaller Waterfalls


💚 Rock Quarry Falls
 

Located in the secluded retreat of the Rock Quarry Garden on the southwest border of Cleveland Park (Greenville’s largest city park), this waterfall drops 10 feet into a small pool below. The garden, rocks, and flora surrounding the waterfall is often used by photographers for weddings, senior portraits, and the like. It's called Rock Quarry Falls because it's actually the site of a pre-Civil War granite quarry; you can still see the drill marks on some of the rocks. This is a beautiful place to stop by, enjoy nature, and grab some quick camera shots!

Height
10 ft
Closest Town/ Place
Greenville, SC / Cleveland Park
Hike Length (Roundtrip)
N/A
Est. Hike Time (Roundtrip)
N/A
Hike Difficulty
N/A
Body of Water
Rock Quarry Creek

3 Minutes (>1 Mile) from Downtown Greenville


Walking Directions:

In downtown Greenville walk or cycle along the Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail from Falls Park on the Reedy, through Cancer Survivors Park to the Major Rudolf Anderson, Jr. Memorial (an airplane - you can't miss it!). Go past the airplane to McDaniel Avenue and head left. The park is at the corners of McDaniel Avenue, Ridgeland Drive, and Sherwood Street; there's a traffic signal there. 



🥾😎 Pleasant Ridge Falls

 

This double-tiered waterfall is accessible via the Leroy Smith Trail (the first trail built in Pleasant Ridge County Park). The hike is a loop trail that ends very close to where it begins. If you start on the right-hand side of the loop, you’ll have a 0.5 hike to the falls. If you go in on the left-hand side, you’ll be at the falls in one or two minutes. There are some neat rock formations there, which helps make this a super family-friendly hike!

Height
25 ft (8 ft for 1st tier; 15 ft for 2nd tier)
Closest Town/ Place
Slater-Marietta, SC / Pleasant Ridge County Park
Hike Length (Roundtrip)
0.6 Mile
Est. Hike Time (Roundtrip)
 20 Minutes
Hike Difficulty
Easy
Body of Water
Mill Creek

30 Minutes (21 Miles) from Downtown Greenville


Driving Directions:

From downtown Greenville, head north on Hwy 276 for 6.5 miles. Right before Travelers Rest, merge onto US-25 N towards Asheville and stay on that road for 11 miles. Take the exit for the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway 11 towards Cleveland/Gowensville and turn left. The park will be on your right after 2 more miles. 



💚 Cedar Shoals
 

The Reedy River reaches Fountain Inn at Cedar Falls Park. There’s a 20-ft high masonry dam that used to power three different mills in the 1820s, that in itself creates a 50-foot-wide waterfall. The other part of the river has 50-foot-wide shoals that drop 12 feet cascading over rocks and boulders to create one of the most significant vistas on the river. The shoals can be viewed (somewhat) from the road, but there’s a path at Cedar Falls Park that runs alongside the water for the best vantage point.

Height
12 ft
Closest Town/ Place
Fountain Inn, SC / Cedar Falls Park
Hike Length (Roundtrip)
N/A
Est. Hike Time (Roundtrip)
N/A
Hike Difficulty
N/A
Body of Water
Reedy River

35 Minutes (19 Miles) from Downtown Greenville


Driving Directions:

For directions with no tolls and the least mileage, see the Google Map directions above. Otherwise, the easiest way to go from Downtown Greenville is to take I-385 S for approx. 10 miles. Merge onto I-185 N (a toll road known as the Southern Connector) for approx. 4 miles. Take Exit 4 for Fork Shoals Rd. Fork Shoals Rd merges into McKelvey Rd for 0.3 mile, and then you'll take a left onto Cedar Falls Rd. The park will be on your left-hand side. 

More Waterfalls Coming Soon:

  • Arboretum Falls
  • Asbury Cascades
  • Ashmore Falls
  • Cliff Falls 
  • Drip Rock Falls
  • Firewater Falls
  • Last Falls on Slickum Creek
  • Lower Reedy River Falls
  • Misty Cavern Falls
  • Moonshine Falls
  • Oil Camp Falls
  • Pelham Falls
  • Rockcliff Falls
  • Slickum Falls
  • Sweet Thing on Slickum
  • Walking Fern Falls

Waterfalls NOT Included on this Page:

  • Emerald Falls: Located on private property; Emerald Falls subdivision
  • Faris Falls: Occurs on privately-owned land; closed to general public access. 
  • Little Gilder Creek Falls: Located on private property; River Walk & Avondale Heights subdivisions
  • Mashbox Falls: No trail access to the falls; bushwhacking required.
  • Misty Falls: No trail access to the falls; bushwhacking required.
  • New Millennium Falls: No established trail; large, rocky outcrop that must be climbed; bushwhacking required.
  • Shower Bath Falls: Located on private property; accessible only through YMCA Camp Greenville, who confirmed you must be a camper there to access it. 
  • Dam / Man-Made Waterfalls