Hidden Falls is hidden no more. For a couple of years, I have been trying to “find” these falls but “things connected with life” kept me from hiking to this beautiful water fall that truly is hidden.
The 2.4 mile trail was easy and well maintain. No problem and a nice hike for families. It is listed as moderate but I would say easy. But it is listed as a hike just off the much more difficult Foothills Trail. We chose it on a Friday because we want to continue to hike trails that are not over crowded. I only saw one other group on this trail and it was a young mother with her two young children.
I don’t have photos of it, but we got into a horrendous downpour on the way out. So, I think we went back up and out in half the time. It lightened, thundered, and hailed! The camera quickly went into the day pack as we got “soaked to the bone!” Plus, it felt like it was going to rain for 40 days! The falls are so tucked into this mountain that you literally do not have a good view of a threatening sky. So, surprise!
But on the way down, there was plenty of dappled sunlight.
The trail wraps around the side of a mountain and is very level. It is always fun to look across switchbacks.
You also travel through fern glades that catch up and hang onto every ounce of sunlight. Clearly marked yellow blazes on northern red and chestnut oak trees provide direction, while hiking through this very lush area. As you walk, you will hear the Tamassee Creek flowing through the dense underbrush that camouflages its existence.
We finally caught our first glimpse of Hidden Falls from a distance!
This water fall is at the mercy of the weather and rain fall amount. On this day, there was a gentle flow. But during extreme dry conditions the falls may not be more than a 50-foot trickle dropping over a series of rock ledges. Downed trees and huge rocks, create a small area where you can sit and enjoy the surrounding rhododendron, ferns, and wild life while dangling your feet in the water.
Trail head is in Oconee State Park. Begin at Foothills Trail trail head. Trail will split at Old Horse Bone Road. Follow the sign left that says Hidden Falls Trail. Hidden Falls Trail is a 5.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Mountain Rest, South Carolina. It features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
Gratefully on this day, we hiked a shorter version and was able to get back to the car during the storm. The trail quickly became a river! So, I won’t be looking to repeat this adventure anytime soon.
1. From Walhalla, drive northwest on SC 28 for approximately 8.4 miles and bear right onto SC 107. Continue on SC 107 to Oconee State Park and enter the park.
2. After the Fee Station turn right and drive to a small parking area on the right, just beyond the entrance to Cabin Area 14-20. The trailhead is on the left at the Foothills Trail sign.
3. Start your hike on the Foothills Trail.
4. Cross the junction with Station Mountain Road, and continue to the sign directing you to Hidden Falls.
5. After you hike approximately .7 mile, you will descend on some steps to Old Horse Bone Road. When the road splits, follow the left fork and continue to the falls.