King Creek Falls – Winter 2016

King Creek Falls was the main waterfall I was here to see on this late February afternoon.  I made a full day of it though, stopping along the way at White Owl Falls, and Spoonauger Falls.  Both Falls had impressive waterflows.  It was a dreary, cloudy day.  It had all the makings of an epic waterfall journey.  After visiting Spoonager Falls for the first time, it was a short ride back up Burrells Ford Rd to the parking area for King Creek Falls.   After the unexpected trees and fallen Rhodo that made the last 0.1 mile of Spoonauger Falls much more challenging, I was wondering what this 0.9 mile trek had in store for me.  My answer came sooner than expected.  There was a large truck parked near me with 2 older gentleman.  They had been along the trail maintaining it and were putting chainsaws away.  This was an interesting sign.  I had a quick chat with them and they mentioned that it was pretty passable.  After hiking it, I was so, so thankful for their efforts. The first half of this trail would have been much more difficult without them.   
Those Pine trees just don’t seem to hold up well to late winter, early spring storms.  There was much more downfall on this trail than the one on Spoonauger just down the road.  The main difference, the trail maintainers had already been here.  There had also been some fresh trail sign painting, marking the Foothills Trail and King Creek Trail.

After the bridge crosses King Creek, this was where my luck ran out.  There were still some fallen rhodos to work my way up and over, under, in and around.  The trail was so narrow here, rising quickly on one side, and dropping steeply on the other.  I had no choice but to work through it, camera gear and all.  I made my way on to King Creek Falls and it was impressive.  Gone was the half sun half shade of the first visit.  I had a much better waterflow, and I had it all to myself.  

The best views require crossing the creek, which was somewhat tricky  in higher water.  The tree crossing it was not as sturdy as I remember it though.  I have a feeling the rotting tree will be gone some day and this will be a wet crossing.  That would be ok, it’s worth it!  Here is a short video of King Creek Falls:

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Long Creek Falls Along the Chattooga

 It was a late January Sunday afternoon.  We had just spent 1-2 hours exploring each waterfall at Brasstown Falls.  It had already been a great day, and a great weekend as well.  I had spent time the previous day in NE Georgia seeing waterfalls, and had seen some waterfalls the same day before Brasstown.  I could have left for home and been fine…..but that is just not how we roll.  I always try to squeeze in as many waterfalls as possible per trip and usually the hard part is deciding which ones NOT to visit and to save for a later day.  After Brasstown Falls, we had a short meeting of the waterfall minds.  Sids Falls was very close by, but most of us had just recently visited this one.  Daniel had this thing for Kings Creek Falls, which is beautiful and a must-see…but being probably an hour away was just not practical.  It really came down to 2 waterfalls, that were just moments away: Opossum Creek Falls or Long Creek Falls.  They were both very close by.  The trailheads were maybe 1 mile apart on the dirt Turkey Ridge Rd. They were also both on the Carolina Mountain Club’s Waterfall Challenge 100 (WC100) that I have been working on for several years and had yet to see.  One person in the group had been to these before and warned that Opossum Creek Falls was over 5 miles round trip while Long Creek Falls was around 3 miles round trip.  Being Sunday afternoon now, and long drives home awaiting everyone, we opted for the shorter Long Creek Falls.  It turned out to be a very good choice. Continue reading “Long Creek Falls Along the Chattooga”

Issaqueena Falls

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Issaqueena Falls is a beautiful 100 foot waterfall, just 6 miles or so north of Walhalla, SC on HWY 28. I first noticed this waterfall on New Years Day 2014 on my first trip to Yellow Branch Falls. As I left Walhalla on SC Hwy 28 heading north, I could see a waterfall on the side of the mountain across the valley as HWY 28 began to climb. As I continued to climb, I came to my destination of Yellow Branch Falls and spent the afternoon there. However, directly across the Hwy 28 is the entrance into Issaqueena Falls. After driving down the mountain some from the entrance, I am pretty certain that Issaqueena Falls is what I was able see from SC 28.
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