Opossum Creek Falls
1-6-07 Several people have emailed me over the past couple of years suggesting that I visit Opossum Creek Falls. The creek is one of several that have waterfalls before emptying into the Chattooga River. The book I have - The Waterfalls of South Carolina by Brooks and Cook - lists the hike as difficult, but apparently the trail has been improved quite a bit and I would rate it no more than moderate with a decent elevation change as the trail approaches the Chattooga.
Directions: For most of my trips to South Carolina, I come from the Lake Toxaway, NC area so my directions are from there. Here are directions from SC from sctrails.net. From Lake Toxaway and Hwy 64, Take Hwy 281 south to the SC/NC state line. 281 becomes SC130 at this point. Drive a short distance and turn right on Wiggington Rd. There's a sign indicating the way to Hwy 107. Wiggington Rd dead ends into Hwy 107 after about 2 miles. Turn left and drive 12 or so miles until 107 ends at Hwy 28. Turn left, drive a short distance, and turn right on Whetstone Rd. Drive 1/2 a mile and turn left on Cassidy Bridge Rd. Drive another 7.4 miles to a stop sign and turn left on to Academy Rd. Drive 1.6 miles to another stop sign and turn left on Hwy 76. After only about 0.1 miles, turn right on Damascus Church Rd. Drive less than a mile and bear right on to Battle Creek Rd. Drive another 1.9 miles and turn right on the gravel Turkey Ridge Rd (FS 755). Finally, drive 2.3 miles down Turkey Ridge Rd and park on the left without blocking that forest road. You will have just passed the trail head for Opossum Creek Falls on the left.
Walk back up the road to the marked trail head on the right. The trail to the waterfall is about 2 miles one way, but is a very pleasant hike through the forest. It took us about an hour to get to the base of the falls. The trail begins by descending into the forest, but levels out for a bit before it gets fairly steep as it approaches the Chattooga. Part of the trail follows Camp Branch and there's a 10-15' small waterfall down the steep bank that you might see through the trees. You'll have to scramble down the bank to see it. Our trip was just after some heavy rains, so it might not be much of anything during drier times.
waterfall on Camp Branch
On our visit, the trail to Opossum Creek Falls was in very good shape. If you are in average shape, you shouldn't have any problems. Just stop for a breather or 2 on your way back up. When the trail reaches the river, look to the left for 2 fire rings and the trail heading up to the waterfall. The trail crosses Camp Branch before reaching Opossum Creek and apparently some folks have done an excellent job of clearing and cutting fallen logs and making this last 1/4 to 1/2 mile of the hike a lot easier than it used to be. The book lists Opossum Creek Falls as 50' high, but I think it's higher. There's a distinctive upper section that's not very visible in the 1st image and may be hidden when the foliage comes back out. It's well worth the hike and I highly recommend it.
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