Waterfall Trail

Secret Falls

(Oconee County)




Trail Map   Photo

This is one of two falls you can reach by hiking the Winding Stairs Trail, the other being Miuka Falls. After a downhill hike of approximately 1.8 miles through a mostly hardwood forest, part of it a short distance off the Winding Stairs Trail, you will reach Secret Falls. The falls ripples down a steep hillside then along a slab of granite, at times being pinched down to several feet. While at the falls you may see or hear a number of birds, such as turkeys, ravens, warblers, indigo buntings, vireos, or thrushes. You may also encounter deer and possibly a shy feral hog.

Height: 60 feet

Length of hike: 1.8 miles

Time to hike: 1.5 hours

Difficulty: Moderate

Creek or river: Crane Creek

USGS Quadrangle: Tamassee

Directions to falls:

1. From Walhalla, drive northwest on SC 28 for 8.4 miles and bear right (north) onto SC 107.

2. Drive another 8.7 miles and park on the right just before the sign for the Cherry Hill Recreation Area.

3. Start your hike on the Winding Stairs Trail, which starts at the right (south) of two yellow posts. Do not pass between the posts or cross SC107.

4. At 0.2 mile the trail bears right, and a path from the Cherry Hill Recreation Area enters from the left.

5. From this junction hike south for 0.9 mile and bear left onto a spur trail to see Miuka Falls.

6. From the spur trail continue for .5 mile and begin the switchbacks Winding Stairs is named for. When you reach the third turn, the trail turns sharply to the left.

7. Leave the trail and hike cross-country. There are no trail markings, but there will be an obvious ravine on your left. Secret Falls is approximately 300 yards south of where you left the Winding Stairs Trail.

Information: Sumter National Forest, Andrew Pickens Ranger District, 112 Andrew Pickens Circle, Mountain Rest, SC, 29664. Telephone: 864-638-9568

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 South Carolina State Trails Program
South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism
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Updated: October 21, 2005
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