Twin Falls - Toxaway River
8-1-19 update - The last time I visited this waterfall was in 2017. At the time, US64 was being widened and walking along the road was extremely dangerous. That construction has been completed, but you still need to be very careful walking along the road!
Years ago, I saw a beautiful photo of Twin Falls in Thomas Wyche's fabulous book The Blue Wall, and had to find that section of the Toxaway River. No directions were given with the photo. I later found Twin Falls mentioned in Jim Bob Tinsley's book The Land of Waterfalls, and it turns out it's not too far below Toxaway Falls. My first visit to the falls was in May 2002 when my friend Harry and I did our trek down the river to Auger Hole Rd, then back up to the Frozen Creek parking area where we had dropped a vehicle earlier in the day. Twin Falls is only about 15 feet high, but it's a nice little waterfall in a beautiful setting and has an excellent swimming hole at the base. If you plan on going here, you should contact the park office and let them know your plans or at the very least leave a note on your dash stating where you are going and when you plan on returning.
Directions: From the intersection of NC281 north and US64 near Lake Toxaway, drive 0.4 miles west on 64 and park in the wide area on the right side of the road just before the bridge at the top of Toxaway Falls. This is also 2.2 miles east of where 281 south turns left towards the main entrance for Gorges State Park. This is not an official parking area, and the trail you are walking back to is not an official trail. From the bridge, you have to walk back east along 64 for 0.2 miles and this is a very dangerous area. Do not bring children here!
From the parking area, cross the road and immediately get on the other side of the guard rail. Do not walk in the road! There's kind of a path most of the way back to where you begin the hike, but in summer it's very hard to see in places due to some very high and thick grass. Almost immediately you will notice a steep path down towards Toxaway Falls, but it only goes down to the top section and is not the way to Twin Falls. Do not go down here. Keep going along the guard rail until you get to the wide gravel pull off area with the 'no parking' signs and a sign for the rules for Gorges SP. From here, go down hill past the wooden gate and pick up the trail. The trail is very obvious at first, but fades to almost nothing in places. If you have experience following trails like this you should be OK. If you lose the trail, just keep heading down the ridge line. This trail comes down to a flat area at river level at about 0.4 miles. You'll also be at a small tributary that empties into the Toxaway River very close to the top of Twin Falls. You'll have to cross the river above the falls to the rock on the other side. Plan on getting your feet wet. To get to the base of the falls, look to the right for a little trail that leads to a steep rock cliff with some ropes tied off. On my most recent trip in early August 2017, someone had tied off a nice new blue and red climbing rope with knots in it to assist in the descent down the 15' cliff. Don't count on this rope being there however. This section of cliff usually has seepage water running down it and you are a fool to try getting down without the rope. Once at the base, there's a bit of room to hang out and enjoy the waterfall.
The next section of river below Twin Falls is really beautiful, but requires rock hopping and river wading to see. Stay on the right side of the river if you want to attempt this. Some of the rock in the river has algae on it and is really slippery. Also, some of the bedrock is steeply sloped with areas of seepage running down it. You have to be able to navigate these steep sections, but do not step on the wet seepage areas. They are extremely slippery! Once you start sliding, there's nothing to stop you except the rock and river below you. Use common sense and don't try anything beyond your capabilities. Don't go on a rainy day as the entire area will be slick and almost impossible to walk on safely. Below are pictures from this area of the river.
on the next page are more photos from river level
back to Gorges State Park page