Around Greenville: Waterfalls Near BJU

by   |   estephen@bju.edu   |  
Wildcat Branch Wayside waterfalls

The town BJU calls home is friendly to city lovers and nature lovers alike. Greenville has a reputation for its beautiful downtown. But Greenville is also central to farms, lakes, forests and beautiful hiking spots. And what’s more rewarding than a hike that leads to a beautiful waterfall? For our nature-loving readers, we’ve compiled a list of beautiful South Carolina waterfalls an hour or less away from BJU.

Note that some of these waterfall trails require a small fee ($2–5) to hike.

Reedy River Falls

3.3 miles from campus

The most accessible location on our list! The central feature of Greenville’s Falls Park, this waterfall roars over boulders between the upper and lower parts of the wide, shallow Reedy River snaking through downtown Greenville. Get the best view of the falls from the Liberty Bridge, the pedestrian suspension bridge that floats through the park. Seeing this waterfall doesn’t require hiking gear or hours of time on the trail. The hardest part of visiting the Reedy River Falls is finding parking.

Wildcat Branch Falls

23.7 miles from campus

Wildcat Wayside is the home of three beautiful waterfalls.You can see the Lower, Middle and Upper Wildcat Branch falls along a short loop hike through this small park. The Lower Falls are visible from the parking lot.

Wildcat Wayside Park is one of several parks The National Park service laid out in the 1930s, built alongside highways for easy access. You can still see the chimney and foundation of the old picnic shelter at the trailhead. South Carolina State Parks has since adopted the area and revitalized it for today’s sightseers.

Falls Creek Falls

25.5 miles from campus

The hike to see the Falls Creek Falls is only 1.7 miles. But the 600-foot climb makes it a strenuous trek. Are the sweat and sore muscles worth it? Absolutely! The Falls Creek waterfall is 125 feet of cascading beauty that rewards you generously for the effort you put into the hike. The trail up the hill to the main falls features several smaller waterfalls along the way.

Mill Creek and Carrick Creek Falls

30 miles from campus

Table Rock State Park offers many stunning sights, including its namesake rock formation and an Insta-worthy lake. But it also hosts several waterfalls, the most popular being the falls at Carrick Creek and Mill Creek.

Carrick Creek is a shorter waterfall featured on the Carrick Creek trail, a 1.9-mile loop suitable for new hikers and kids. The hike to Mill Creek Falls is more daunting. You’ll need to take the Pinnacle Mountain Trail—an uphill climb best for experienced hikers—and find the Mill Creek spur trail. The spur takes you to a wooden bridge overlooking the falls.

Raven Cliff Falls

34 miles from campus

Raven Cliff Falls are part of Caesars Head State Park. This 420-foot-tall behemoth is the most dramatic waterfall on our list, and arguably the most rewarding to visit. You can enjoy Raven Cliff Falls from two vantage points. At the end of Raven Cliff Falls trail, you’ll come upon a covered observation deck that offers a distant view of the falls—a perfect place to stop for a picnic. From the observation deck, backtrack to where Raven Cliff Falls trail intersects with Gum Gap trail. Follow Gum Gap until it branches onto Naturaland Trust Trail, which crosses a swinging bridge that gives you a close-up look at the falls.

This intermediate hike, including a stop at the observation deck, is about four miles one way, so plan for a longer day trip.

Check out this list of parks and falls in South Carolina for more waterfalls and hikes near BJU. And before you head out, grab breakfast at one of these local breakfast nooks.

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