Waterfall Trail

Lower Whitewater Falls

(Oconee County)



Trail Map     Photo

The entire Whitewater Falls chain – six different waterfalls along the North and South Carolina border – is the highest series of falls in eastern North America. And though more travelers journey to Upper Whitewater Falls in North Carolina, the Lower Falls in Oconee County comprise a 200-foot drop as dramatic as any in this guide. From the parking area, a moderate hike of 45 minutes to an hour will get you to an overlook where you’ll find an unparalleled view of Lower Whitewater Falls.

Height: 200 feet

Length of hike: 2.0 miles

Time to hike: 45 minutes to an hour

Difficulty: Moderate

Creek or river: Whitewater River

USGS Quadrangle: Reid

Directions to falls:

1. From Walhalla, drive north on SC 11 (Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway) for 14 miles and turn left onto SC 130. 

2. Drive north on SC 130 for 10.5 miles and turn right (east) at the entrance to Duke Power's Bad Creek Hydroelectric Station.

3. Pass through the automatic gate. (Entrance onto the property is allowed only during daylight hours. Exiting the property through this gate is allowed at all hours.)

4. Drive approximately 2 miles to the parking area for the Foothills Trail/Whitewater River. (This is a lighted parking lot with a public telephone and portable toilets.)

5. From the trailhead at the far end of the parking area, walk.  Follow the blue blazes of the Lower Whitewater Falls overlook spur. At 0.6 mile the spur will cross over the Whitewater River.

6. Turn right (northeast). At this point the spur is concurrent with  the Jocassee Gorges Segment of the Foothills Trail bound for Laurel Valley. (The Foothills Trail is marked with white blazes.)

7. When the trail intersects a gravel road, follow the gravel road briefly (about 200 yards) and then resume your hike on the trail. A blue blaze and an arrow sign on the right point the way.

8. Continue to the overlook.

Information: Foothills Trail Conference, PO Box 3041, Greenville, SC 29602. Duke Energy, P.O. Box 1006, Charlotte, NC, 28201, Telephone: 800-443-5193

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 South Carolina State Trails Program
South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism
1205 Pendleton Street :: Columbia, SC 29201 :: 803-734-0173 
Updated: October 21, 2005
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