Monday, June 17, 2013

Long Creek Falls, SC

From Westminster head west on US 76 for 13.3 miles and turn left on Damascus Church Rd.  Drive 0.8 miles on Damascus Church Rd. and turn right on Battle Creek Rd.  Follow it for 1.8 miles taking a right onto Turkey Ridge Road (FS 755). Drive 2.8 miles to the grassy clearing and park.  The road you are driving on will stop and open into the grassy clearing and you will see FS 7551 going off to your right.  The hike begins down the narrow FS 7551.  Long Creek Falls is a 1.6 mile hike to a 50 foot tall waterfall.

We actually wasted about an hour before even starting this hike.  Just before you get to the grassy parking area you pass a small unlabeled forest service road on the right.  Due to my unthorough research, I of course believed this to be the trail.  We got into the hike, realized it was wrong, and then like many times in the past when lost, hiked on.  Working our way down the very steep descent to the creek, we planned on just following the creek downstream to the falls.

Finally making it down to the creek, the idea didn't seem so great anymore.  It would be a tough task bushwacking along side the creek and the water was way too cold to enjoy walking through it.  We still debated it awhile because just looking at the climb back up was exhausting.  Eventually though, we reluctantly made our way back up to the car.  We then drove up the road another minute to the actual trial.

The trail begins on the narrow FS 7551.  It was an easy and level stroll along the muddy road that forks at half a mile.  Take the right fork and you will see a forest sign about 20 feet up the road.  From here hike 0.75 miles to a steeply descending path on the left.  Follow the path several hundred feet down the mountain to the Chattooga river just below the falls.

My favorite part of this waterfall is how close it is to the river.  It is really cool standing at the last drop of the creek as it rushes into the big river behind you.  The area here is open and beautiful with plenty of different angles to shoot the falls.  You will need to wade across the creek to reach the base which will offer a unobstructed view of the falls.  Not only will you see a great waterfall here but you also get a wonderful view of the scenic river.

Driving up Turkey Ridge Road to Long Creek Falls you will also pass Opossum Creek Falls on your left.  We didn't have time to hike both that day but Opossum Creek looks like a really nice waterfall.  Seeing both would make a great day trip.

View of Chattooga River

Brother standing at the base.

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