waterfall on Scotsman Creek

9-4-05  Here's a waterfall we probably would have never found if it hadn't been for Kevin Adam's new book. Bernie and John checked it out first, then told me it was a must see. Bernie was kind enough to take us back on the Saturday of Labor Day week end. This waterfall is right next to the road! Well sort of - you can hear and barely see it from the road, but it's a very steep and part gnarly climb down the bank to the 50' waterfall.

From the intersection of Hwys 64 and 107 in Cashiers, drive south on 107 for between 6.5 and 7 miles and turn right on SR 1100 (Bull Pen Rd). You can find this on the Nat Geo Trail Map. You do carry a trail map, don't you?! This mileage is approximate - I was a passenger and didn't look at Bernie's odometer. The road starts paved, but turns to gravel and is on the north side of the Ellicott Rock Wilderness Area. Drive for about 4 miles and listen for the waterfall on the left side of the road. You will have just passed a sharp bend to the left with a camp site in the bend on the right. (You'll also hear and maybe see a smaller falls before you get to the main one.) Park along side the road and look for the best way down. There is no trail, but you might see where people have scrambled down in the past. Aim for the area where I took the above shot from.

What a great find, Kevin! This is a really nice waterfall with a nice rock area to hang out on. It was mid afternoon when we were there. While we were shooting, Harry decided to explore further down creek. He came back and said he had made it to the top of another significant waterfall! We all then decided to come back the next day and explore further. The 'easiest' way to see this waterfall is to wade and bushwhack down the creek for maybe 10-15 minutes to the top of the falls, then work your way down the right side through the woods (looking down) to the base. Here's a shot of the falls below the main one. The 2 waterfalls are similar in size, but this lower one has no free fall area and it slopes more than the upper falls. If you didn't find it too difficult getting down to the upper falls, you shouldn't find it any more so getting down to the lower one - if you don't mind getting your feet wet. Bernie illustrates what I mean when I say getting your feet wet in the photo below - the second photo is the lower waterfall.

We decided to make a real adventure out of seeing the lower falls. If you continue down Bull Pen Road towards Iron Bridge, you'll see a parking area on the left. It's not marked, but trail #434 leads a short distance down a very steep incline to the Chattooga River. The plan was to check to see if there was a waterfall where Glade Creek meets the Chattooga. Kevin mentions the possibility and it sure looks like there is from the topo map. If there is, you can't see or hear it from the river. I went up Glade a short distance, but the shrub was too thick - I ain't that hardcore. Anyhow, we were then going to head back up to where Scotsman Creek empties into the Chattooga and follow it up to the lower and upper falls, then back up to the road. We had to cross the Chattooga several times - even though the water level was down, it was swift. If I were to go back to Scotsmans Creek for the full tour, I'd start at the upper falls and work my way down then back up and avoid the river completely. There are some really cool cascades below the lower falls and a smaller waterfall where the creek empties into the Chattooga. The going gets a little rougher, so please be careful if you decide to attempt this.

If you are in the area and haven't done so, keep driving down Bull Pen Road for about a mile to the Iron Bridge. It crosses over the Chattooga at an area called the Potholes.


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