Top of Toxaway Falls
8-4-17 The northern end of Gorges State Park borders US64 as you are heading west through Lake Toxaway. The road passes over the top of Toxaway Falls on the Toxaway River, and there's a nice wide shoulder on the dam side to pull over, park, and take a look. Lake Toxaway is on the upper side of the road. On the opposite side of the road, Toxaway Falls spills and slides over some very colorful bedrock in a 240' change in elevation before the river disappears into the forest. The river then flows for over 6 miles through the park before emptying into Lake Jocassee. Along the way is some of the most awesome scenery and rugged terrain that you will see anywhere! There are numerous waterfalls and many more smaller cascades, but none are easy to get to.
Back up at the top of Toxaway Falls, the boundary between the park and private property runs right down the middle of the river. So looking down, the left half is Gorges SP property. Any trees with yellow on them in this area indicate park boundary. As you are driving by, you might notice some no parking signs at a gravel pull off on the east side of the river about 0.2 miles from the dam. There's a gate just beyond the guard rail and there may have been an old road heading down at some time in the past. Now there is just a very faint trail heading down, but it doesn't come out at the base of the waterfall and there are no side trails leading over to the Toxaway Falls. You have to try to follow this trail down to the river, then bushwhack back up to the base. Do not attempt this if you don't have any off trail experience! Remember, this is not an established trail or an official access point to visit the park, but at least now the east side of the waterfall can't be developed! Maybe some day there will be an official trail down to the falls, then on down to Twin Falls. At the present time, US64 is being straightened and rerouted in that area and there is a lot of construction going on from the dam heading east. I revisited Twin Falls today (8-4-17) by parking at the dam, then walking back to that gate and heading down, but there's not any shoulder to walk on to speak of and this turned out to be the most dangerous part of the trek. Hopefully the situation will improve greatly when the construction is finished. Do not walk in the road or you will get run over!
I've explored different sections of the river at different times and the following photos are from the various trips. They begin at Toxaway Falls and head down river as far as Step Around Falls below Auger Hole Rd. The first page of photos is just Toxaway Falls.
Next stop is Twin Falls. Click to continue the Toxaway River tour.
Or if you're bored already, you can...
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