Virginia Hawkins Falls 

  

I finally found my way to Virginia Hawkins Falls in late April 2015.  I feel kind of silly for it taking so long, especially seeing how many times I have driven right past it.  It is a beautiful 25 foot waterfall that seems more difficult to reach than it really is.  From the trailhead, this was a 1.4 mile hike for me or 2.8 mile round trip.  Knowing where to turn and where to park are the only real challenges to overcome with this one. 

If you are familiar with Twin Falls in Pickens South Carolina and Eastatoe Falls just on the other side in North Carolina, then you are one step ahead of most.   On US 178, whether heading north or south, look for the big brown Foothills Trail Access sign at about 2 1/2 miles from the state line on the South Carolina side.  Turn in here and head up a twisty, rough dirt road for roughly 3.7 miles, ignoring the first parking area just up from US 178.  The road name here is Horsepasture Rd, although I did not see the road name at the intersection with the highway.  At the 3.7 mile mark, there will be a fork in the road with a large sign at a trailhead.  I stopped and got a closer look, and saw the map with Virginia Hawkins Falls. This is the Laurel Fork Heritage Preserve.  This was the spot I was looking for, so I parked in a perfect spot for one car right there and my hike began. 

   
    

The hike begins on a narrow trail heading downhill.  This does not last long as it comes to an old logging road that is excellent shape.  Take a right here. This was pretty much my only moment of uncertainty on this day. Going right seemed right, and it was.  Take this road for just over a mile.   The map calls this road the Laurel Fork Rd. It is downhill the whole way, but mostly at only a slight grade.  The return hike was pleasant as well.  There will be 3 or 4 creek crossings as this road follows a small creek the whole way.   

          

It was a very pleasant walk through the woods.  I had this entire experience to myself, encountering no other hikers on the trail or at the waterfall.  After the first mile is up, the creek is running on the left side of the road.  The right side begins to open up and a larger, much louder stream can be heard.  This is the Laurel Fork.  Soon there will be a sign at the area to make a right turn towards Virginia Hawkins Falls.  A very well constructed bridge is in place to cross the Laurel Fork and a trail follows the Laurel Fork upstream. This is your trail.  It is also the Foothills Trail. Follow it a very short ways and the beautiful waterfall you will soon see.

   
   

         
 From the sign area, there was a short trail heading downstream.  This led to a nice viewing spot isolating the falls .  A tricky few steps further down will get you out on some rocks in the creek yielding an even better photo op.  I was happy with this one.  It was a beautiful, elegant waterfall with lots of water from recent rains.  It was also a gray, overcast day, making it perfect for photos. If only I was this fortunate every time I have the chance to go exploring! 
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This waterfall lies north of Twin Falls and south of Eastatoe Falls on the US 178 corridor and the 3 of these make a wonderful half day trip.

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Author: waterfallshiker

I gave up the video game playing, TV watching lifestyle years back now. There just had to be more to life. I discovered a love for waterfalls on Christmas day 2008, at Elk River Falls in Elk Park NC. While not initially realizing it, this opened a whole new world, and lifestyle for me. I now love to spend my free time, hiking to waterfalls, and mountain tops in search of pristine views. This has also led me to a love of photography and blogging. While i am still not an expert at either several years in to this, I love the challenges that both offer me. I see my skills getting better at both as time goes by. Sharing what I see via social media brings me great joy. I love the feedback, good and bad. I love to see what others are able to show as well. I created my blog "WaterfallsHiker", originally to just help myself keep up with my travels, not really with any real purpose in mind. After 2 years on this blog, I see that It has evolved into a combination of an information site, and a place to show off my progress as an amateur photographer. I try to do it all and include some bits of my personality as well. It is something I really enjoy doing. When I am not working on this hobby, I can be found on a golf course, spending time with my beautiful fiance and her daughter, or working my 40 hours a week at Costco.

3 thoughts on “Virginia Hawkins Falls ”

  1. Awesome. Would you please email me at robinhiker@bellsouth.net.. I went and found it a few weeks ago. Went back today and by mistake stopped at mile marker 3.2 instead of 3.7 and ended up hiking a few miles on the Foothills Trail. Never made it to the falls. After back at the car i continued up on the right fork of the road but didnt see the trail I found so easily the last time. Thanks. Or text me at 954 632-7270

    Liked by 1 person

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