Falling for the Upstate

Bryanseye

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Waterfall thread (bad puns are my specialty)

Some gorgeous territory and UC's home turf. If any of you visit one, please give us a write-up so that others (local or not) may get an idea for their own trips. The descriptions were compiled from a few sources; mainly upcountrysc.com/Waterfalls

I am also sensitive to keeping some spots less advertised to cut down on land (over)use issues. This list was taken from the brochure available at tourist spots around SC and is already about as public as can be. If you have another gem that you want to share, there are A LOT of them, please feel free.


These destinations are prime for impromptu outings if anyone needs to head out. Post up, someone may join you.

Waterfalls.jpg


1. Bee Cove Falls – It is a difficult two to three hour hike through rough terrain to reach the multi-tiered, stunning Bee Cove Falls. It drops 40 feet over multiple layers of granite and fans out at the base before it is forced through a sluice to begin the next drop of 30 feet. It continues on dropping 40 feet and then another 20 feet. You will approach the falls from above so use caution when you are near. It's best to descend with the falls on your left. Hike length is 2 miles.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 34.9744 Lon: -83.0519

2. Big Bend Falls – Big Bend Falls gets its name from the hairpin turn in the Chattooga River just above the falls. You'll find a 30 foot drop which includes a 15 foot block waterfall, the highest single drop on this Wild and Scenic River. Below the falls are small sandy beaches and large boulders to relax and picnic. The hike takes you through a forest of mountain laurel, white pines and hemlocks. Expect a two hour hike (one way) along this 3.4 mile trail.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 34.9533 Lon: -83.1193

3. Blue Hole Falls – Cedar Creek rushes 75 feet down a narrow gap and into a beautiful blue pool, from which the falls gets its name. Its described as more of a cascade than a falls, but it surrounded by pristine wilderness. The half-mile trail to the falls requires steep descents, climbing over ledges and a fording of Cedar Creek.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 34.7616 Lon: -83.1897

4. Brasstown Falls – This easy 20 minute hike is family friendly at only 0.1 miles. Brasstown Creek tumbles 120 feet in three consecutive drops: Brasstown Cascades--50 feet, Brasstown Veil--35 feet, Brasstown Sluice--35 feet. The trail will lead you to the Cascades and its calm pool. To reach the other two sections requires steep descents and crossing large boulders. It is not recommended for the novice hiker. But a short distance upstream is the beautiful Little Brasstown Falls.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 34.7182 Lon: -83.3038

5. Bull Sluice Falls – Bull Sluice is a prominent rapid on the Georgia and South Carolina border on the Chattooga River, which was featured in the film Deliverance. You can often see kayakers and rafters running this dangerous IV+ rapid, which drops 14 feet. A paved trail leads part of the way on this 0.2 mile hike to an observation platform. Its convenient location off of the US76 bridge makes it a popular destination.
GPS Waypoints for the parking area: Lat: 34.8147 Lon: -83.3051

6. Chau Ram Falls – The 40-foot waterfall is made when Ramsey Creek empties into the Chauga River. This is an excellent location for a family outing as the falls are by the parking area of Chau Ram County Park which has sandy beaches, shelters, camping sites and a suspension bridge--the longest in the county. There are more waterfalls down river and well-maintained paths will lead you there. There are over 4 miles of hiking trails along the river.
GPS Waypoints for the parking area: Lat: 34.6817 Lon: -83.1454

7. Chauga Narrows – The fast flowing Chauga River is squeezed into a chute which drops 25 feet over a 200-foot run creating a Class VI rapid. Fisherman and hikers will enjoy the easy 20-minute walk to the Narrows. The fishermen will be delighted with the supply of stocked brown and rainbow trout and the many remote pools. Hikers will enjoy the view, the wildflowers and the abundant wildlife including white-tailed deer and turkey.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 34.8271 Lon: -83.1727

8. Cheohee or Miuka Falls – Cheohee Road Falls is a roadside falls located on Cheohee Road (FS 710). This 20-foot fall has little stream flow. This small cascade is a great stop along the way to Wash Branch Falls, Crane Falls, and Secret Falls.

9. Fall Creek Falls – 3 falls along 2 mile hike, parking on Fall Creek Rd off Chattooga Ridge Rd west of Walhalla.

10. Hidden Falls – This is an excellent hike for all members of the family. After approximately 1 mile on the Foothills Trail you will see a clearly marked sign directing you to Hidden Falls. Yellow blazes on the trees along the trail provide direction, as you wind along the hillside. As you walk, you will be entertained by the sounds of Tamassee Creek, which is hidden by dense underbrush. Hidden Falls flows over a series of granite ledges and drops 60 feet. It is best viewed after a rain. Several rock benches provide a place to sit and enjoy the galax, rhododendron, and ferns as you dangle your feet in the creek.
Hike length: 2.1 miles
GPS Waypoints Lat: 34.8262 Lon: -83.1863

11. Issaqueena Falls – It is an easy 10 minute hike to the base of this beautiful falls, named for an Indian maiden who hid on a ledge of the falls to avoid capture as she fled to warn her English lover of an Indian attack. A well-maintained trail leads from the parking area to a platform for viewing this 100-foot cascade of Cane Creek. Nearby is a picnic area and Stumphouse Tunnel, which is 25 feet high, 17 feet wide, and although it was not completed as a railroad tunnel, extends 1,617 feet into the mountain. You can walk a ways into the tunnel, but there may be water and you will need a flashlight to find your way.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 34.8071 Lon: -83.1213

12. King Creek Falls – This might be the perfect falls to visit with the whole family. It is an easy 0.6 mile hike to a picturesque 70-foot waterfall where you feel you could relax all day with your feet in the water. King Creek topples over a tiered rock face that slants backwards, making the falls seem much higher than 70-feet. The trail runs through a mixture of hardwoods, rhododendron and mountain laurel.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 34.9665 Lon: -83.1121

13. Lee Falls – One of Oconee County’s most scenic waterfall, this 75-foot high falls has no official trail. But hikers and hunters have been making the difficult, 1.5 mile trip here for hundreds of years. Tamassee Creek feeds the falls and the surrounding vegetation which includes botanical rarities such as Oconee bells and bulblet ferns. A spray cliff also buttresses the waterfall, allowing a quasi-aquatic habitat of amphibians, mosses, and ferns to thrive. You'll cross several streams on the way to falls, so be prepared to get your feet wet. Hunting is allowed in this area so wear brightly colored clothes.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 34.8947 Lon: -83.102

14. Long Creek Falls – The path to Long Creek Falls is not an official forest service trail so there may not be permanent markings. Regardless, this 1.6 mile hike is delightful because of the wildlife and, in the summertime, the abundant wildflowers like violet skullcap, white rattlesnake plantain and foamflower. The 50-foot, multi-tiered falls of Long Creek are 30 yards from the Chattooga River, which is where the trail ends. Look for a spur trail to Top-of-the-Rock for a spectacular view of the Chattooga.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 34.7852 Lon: -83.3235

15. Opossum Creek Falls – This falls is very picturesque, but requires a two-hour trek that involves negotiating a few large rocks and trees at the end. The 50-foot Opossum Creek Falls is at the end of a 2 mile hike along a forest service trail shaded by hardwoods and bordered at times by wildflowers. The difficulty occurs when you reach the Chattooga River and turn to go up Opossum Creek along a heavily vegetated path for a time-consuming half-mile hike to the base of the falls. This area is excellent habitat for wild turkey, bobcat and even black bear.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 34.7575 Lon: -83.3142

16. Pigpen Falls – Less than a mile hike down the Chattooga Trail offers two waterfalls: the two-tiered, 80-foot Licklog Falls and the 25-foot stack of Pigpen Falls. Licklog Creek tumbles into Pigpen as two long, divided veils which empty into a sandy pool. Farther down the trail is the first section of Licklog, a two-tiered 30-foot high falls with a sandy bottomed swimming hole. Another 50 yards down the trail is the second section, a 50-foot tier that dumps directly into the Chattooga River. To see the Licklog Falls from the trail is easy, but the descent to the base of the falls is quite difficult. A large camping area is nearby.
GPS Waypoints for Licklog: Lat: 34.9294 Lon: -83.1305; GPS Waypoints for Pigpen: Lat: 34.928583 Lon: -83.1292

17. Riley Moore Falls – It may not seem that a 12-foot high waterfall on the Chauga River would be much to see, but then consider its 100-foot span and that it is classified as a Class VI whitewater rapid. The falls features a large natural pool and broad rocky beach. A large sandbar in the pool makes it possible to walk up to the base of the falls. The 45 minute hike (1 mile) takes you through a hardwood forest of oak and hemlock. The Chauga River gets few visitors so you may find that you have this beautiful location all to yourself.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 34.740917 Lon:-83.1795

18. Secret Falls – This falls of Crane Creek is well named and it will become even more secretive over time as the vegetation continues to conceal it. The waterfall cascades down a hillside in several tiers and flows along a long, narrow granite outcrop finally ending in a deep pool. After a downhill hike of approximately 1.8 miles through a mostly hardwood forest, part of it bushwacking a short distance off the Winding Stairs Trail, you will reach Secret Falls. While at the falls you may see or hear wild turkey, ravens, warblers, buntings, thrushes, deer and possibly a shy feral hog.
NOTE: Miuka Falls can also be reached by hiking the Winding Stairs Trail.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 34.9251 Lon: -83.0872

19. Spoonauger Falls – This 50-foot falls, also known as Rock Cliff Falls, is set back into a hillside and surrounded by heavy vegetation as it rushes over a stepped rock face in a broad sheet. Fed by Spoonauger Creek, the falls is named for the Spoonauger family who lived at the top of the falls. This is one of the more popular waterfalls in this area because of the easy 20-minute hike and its camera-friendly appearance. During daylight hours, tiny bats tuck themselves into crevices in the rock face of the falls.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 34.9746 Lon: -83.1097

20. Station Cove Falls – An easy, 30-minute hike through a beautiful Appalachian cove forest takes you to Station Cove Falls, a stepped 60-foot waterfall. Station Creek drops from its headwaters atop Station Mountain to eventually form this falls. It is nearby (about 1 mile) Oconee Station State Historic Site, which the county's first European settlers built in 1792, and is also known as Oconee Station Falls or Station Falls. In the spring and summer, countless wildflowers bloom along the trail. You may see trillium, mayapple, pink lady’s slipper orchids, bloodroot, and redbud. The boulders at the base of the falls make a nice area for picnicking.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 34.8495 Lon: -83.0854

21. Whitewater Falls (lower) – Whitewater Falls consist of an upper and lower section and is the highest series of falls in eastern North America. It is one of the most visited and photographed falls in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Lower Falls is located 0.5 mile down the Whitewater River from the Upper Falls (which is in North Carolina). The Lower Falls is a dramatic 200-foot drop, which can best be viewed from an observation platform at the end of a 1.9 mile trail. By the time Whitewater River charges into Lake Jocassee, it has plummeted more than 700 feet in just over half a mile.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 35.0161 Lon: -82.9929

22. Yellow Branch Falls – 60 feet of multiple irregular rocky ledges make for a spectacular waterfall, especially after a period of rain. If it hasn’t rained for some time, the falls may be just a trickle of water over a series of ledges. It is an hour long moderately difficult hike (1.3 miles) along an easy to follow trail that runs through groves of oak, tulip tree, pine and black gum. Yellow Branch Falls is located in the Yellow Branch Picnic Area which has several tables and a large shelter with a rock fireplace. It is a delightful setting surrounded with rhododendron and mountain laurel with a babbling stream flowing through it. Wear sturdy shoes and use extra caution during wet conditions as this trail skirts the edges of deep ravines.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 34.795017 Lon: -83.13405

23. Laurel Fork Falls – This 80-foot high waterfall is located at the head of a narrow cove at the NE tip of the Toxaway River arm of Lake Jocassee. It can best be reached by a boat launched at the Devil's Fork State Park main boat ramp. Once you navigate into Laurel Fork Creek cove and catch the initial view of the falls, find the crescent-shaped grotto behind the rocky tower. The waterfall goes into hiding until you round the last of the crescent, then, suddenly, it flares out into mid-air before plunging into the lake. Hiking into the waterfall involves a strenuous five-to-six hour hike of 8.4 miles from US 178 on the Foothills Trail. You will follow Laurel Creek and at times crisscrossing the stream on permanent bridges and at one point a suspension bridge. An overnight trip is suggested. Wear bright colors during hunting season.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 35.0316 Lon: -82.894

24. Twin Falls - Though this waterfall goes by many names including Reedy Cove Falls and Rock Falls, once you see it you won't forget it. 70-feet of bare granite and rushing waterfalls make this a beautiful sight. The left and larger of the falls tumbles from a height of 75-feet over a massive slab of granite, while the right side manages a short drop onto another stone and then slides down a 45-degree slope before rejoining its brother. It's a fine show for an easy 15-minute walk along the .025 mile trail which leads to a viewing deck with seating. The falls and trail are located on a private nature preserve. You hike at your own risk.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 35.0134 Lon: -82.8178

25. Falls Creek Falls – This 125 foot waterfall is often overlooked. It is only 1.7 miles to the falls, but the trail ascents approximately 600 feet during this strenuous hike. But the view is worth the effort as this waterfall has a great deal of large flat ledges that makes this one of the finest waterfalls in the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 35.1397 Lon: -82.5378

26. Jones Gap Falls – A moderate one mile hike from near the Jones Gap State Park Headquarters leads to this 50-foot falls descending over a rugged stone staircase. The trail to the falls follows the boulder-strewn Middle Saluda River, which is in sight most of the way. Several pools in the river provide wading opportunities and salamander hunts. Excellent bird watching.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 35.1258 Lon: -82.595

27. Moonshine Falls – This tributary of Matthews Creek gets its name from the illegal activity carried on at the falls. Old moonshining barrels remain in a cave behind the upper section. This waterfall plunges like a veil 40 feet over a dark granite cliff, strikes a ledge, turns 90 degrees and plunges into a pool. A great view is from behind the upper section of the falls. The 3-mile hike to the falls begins at Asbury Hills Camp. The trail is open to the public but when camp is in session (June 1 through the first week of August) the trail can be crowded with campers. Please call the camp for permission: 864-836-3711.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 35.0947 Lon: -82.6315

28. Rainbow Falls – Plunging over a granite cliff surrounded by granite walls, Rainbow Falls is spectacular. The 140-foot drop of Cox Camp Creek is breathtaking. Located on Camp Greenville property. It is a strenuous 45 minute downhill hike to reach the falls. You must register at the camp office before beginning the trek. Not recommended for small children. Hike length: 0.5 miles
GPS Waypoints Lat: 35.1339 Lon: -82.5884

29. Raven Cliff Falls – This 400-foot waterfall of Matthews Creek is one of the most scenic and photographed waterfalls in the state. It was named for the ravens that breed in the high cliffs forming the falls. Over 150 species of ravens have been identified in this region. There are two areas to view the falls. One is from the official viewing deck about a quarter of a mile across from the falls. The other is from a rock outcrop near the start of the Dismal Trail, which offers a profile of the upper falls. DISTANCE: 2.2 miles to first view, additiional 0.5 to second view
GPS Waypoints: Lat: 35.1056 Lon: -82.661

30. Reedy River Falls – Downtown Greenville. The challenge is parking, then enjoy the area.

31. Wildcat Branch Falls – This popular waterfall, also known as Wildcat Wayside Falls, can be viewed by everyone as it located roadside on Highway 11. This 30-foot waterfall is last in a series of three formed by the Wildcat stream. About 100 feet to the left of the falls are steps that lead to the 10-foot middle falls and the 100-foot upper falls. NOTE: the State Park Service has closed the trail to the upper falls because of the many previous accidents. But an excellent view of the upper falls is possible without crossing the dangerous boulders.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 35.0748 Lon: -82.5968
 
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Bryanseye

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Ill start

#25 - Falls Creek Falls: Not to be confused with Fall Creek Falls near the Chattooga, this fall is near Jones Gap State Park. Turn off Hwy 11 at the F-Mart and drive on the UC adopted road section. Keep an eye out for the well marked Duckworth Rd and another right at the bible camp turn. The trailhead is on your left after a short drive.

The hike is rated strenuous, and that is pretty accurate for sections. It is 1.2 miles to the falls following purple blazes up steep hills with lots of toe catching roots. We still did it with a 4, 6, and 9 year old, and an infant in a sling. The baby wasn't a very good idea, but we survived.

The trail approaches the falls in the space between an upper and lower section. The temperature drops easily 10 degrees here. Not much space immediately off the trail, but out on the falls gives plenty of sitting room to catch your breath and enjoy the views before heading back.

From the base
IMG_0253.JPG


Sunset in the holler
IMG_0260.JPG


Rock scrambling
IMG_0262.JPG


Upper section
IMG_0263.JPG
 

tabraha

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17. Riley Moore Falls – It may not seem that a 12-foot high waterfall on the Chauga River would be much to see, but then consider its 100-foot span and that it is classified as a Class VI whitewater rapid. The falls features a large natural pool and broad rocky beach. A large sandbar in the pool makes it possible to walk up to the base of the falls. The 45 minute hike (1 mile) takes you through a hardwood forest of oak and hemlock. The Chauga River gets few visitors so you may find that you have this beautiful location all to yourself.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 34.740917 Lon: -83.1795


We did this one last September and it was great. The FS road that leads to the parking area is sometimes confused for a walking path and scary for passenger cars so people will park at the intersection but it's a cake walk for any stock truck and laughable in a Land Cruiser. Just turn onto it and drive another mile or so to the parking area. That said if it started to rain, I think I'd want a Land Cruiser to get back out; it would be slick on top! :)


*Not my video:

Google Maps Link

We hit Chattooga Belle Farms prior to this and I'd highly recommend that as well. It's just a few miles away. This pic is from the deck of their dining area:



There is a nice swimming hole below the falls and gentle current so the kids can float a couple hundred feet, get out and go float that little strip again.


The hike from the parking area is about a mile one way and not difficult IMO.
 

Bryanseye

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Bump. I forgot to post this trip, but a good time to resurrect this thread.

6. Chau Ram Falls – The 40-foot waterfall is made when Ramsey Creek empties into the Chauga River. This is an excellent location for a family outing as the falls are by the parking area of Chau Ram County Park which has sandy beaches, shelters, camping sites and a suspension bridge--the longest in the county. There are more waterfalls down river and well-maintained paths will lead you there. There are over 4 miles of hiking trails along the river.
GPS Waypoints for the parking area: Lat: 34.6817 Lon: -83.1454

This is NOT an isolated, peaceful destination. Bring the kids, a cooler, and some inner-tubes (as several dozen other families have). The actual waterfall is right by the parking lot, then follow a trails to a series of shoals and small drops to play in. If one swimming hole is too crowded, keep going and try the next.

983632D7-A966-4AAB-BFAE-2C8CE4A10583.jpeg


F602E13B-9487-4214-9266-206455943B7A.jpeg
 

Bryanseye

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Off map, and up into NC, is short hike to 50' Little Bradley Falls. Turn right at the Saluda exit off 26, then follow it until you find a traffic jam of cars parked along the road (3-4 miles). The trailhead is on the right just as the creek flows under the road. I was able to park right at the beginning of the trail, and suffered one door ding because of it from an Audi full of hipsters that realized while they were talking about it that I was the driver and sped off. :devil:

You have the option of going left or right at the trailhead. Right is a dead end along the creek (or follow the worn path up the steep hillside to connect with the actual trail). Plan for wet feet, there are two water crossings that sandals are perfect for. It is a well worn trail, but the red blazes are faded and it is easy to take the wrong turn at an intersection. Basically, you want to follow the creek on your right, until the main crossing then it will be on your left to the falls. There are several reviews of this destination where people never made it to the falls due to going the wrong way.

Once at the waterfall, there is a nice wading pool and some boulders and beach. For as much traffic as this place appears to get, there wasn't much trash and we picked up what we could find on the way out.

Also, be careful at the small boulder field that you cross about 3/4 in. The rocks are wet and random here. We met an injured hiker and was able to offer first aid for a bleeding nose bridge. I left the finger with a 45 degree bend the wrong way for a doctor.

3B685392-2D17-4F5F-BAD7-640C8618A163.jpeg


7C8F4C04-0648-4440-B02E-F038CE7EAE25.jpeg

It was breezy today, which made a headwind that sucked driving up the grade, but was very refreshing coming off the waterfall.
4BEADB06-2B4B-4CBD-8BAB-A0DFDEEFDBB4.jpeg
 
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I did a few sections of the Foothills Trail the last weekend of April. Heavy rain the week before made for lots of water at the local waterfalls. Here are a few pics of some of the waterfalls mentioned above in the list.

King Creek:

image1 (2).jpeg
king creek.JPG



Pigpen?? Lower section. I would have had to get in the middle of the river for a better shot of these falls. I didn't want to hike the next 8 miles with wet feet.

Pigpen.jpg
 

Bryanseye

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17. Riley Moore Falls – It may not seem that a 12-foot high waterfall on the Chauga River would be much to see, but then consider its 100-foot span and that it is classified as a Class VI whitewater rapid. The falls features a large natural pool and broad rocky beach. A large sandbar in the pool makes it possible to walk up to the base of the falls. The 45 minute hike (1 mile) takes you through a hardwood forest of oak and hemlock. The Chauga River gets few visitors so you may find that you have this beautiful location all to yourself.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 34.740917 Lon: -83.1795


We did this one last September and it was great. The FS road that leads to the parking area is sometimes confused for a walking path and scary for passenger cars so people will park at the intersection but it's a cake walk for any stock truck and laughable in a Land Cruiser. Just turn onto it and drive another mile or so to the parking area. That said if it started to rain, I think I'd want a Land Cruiser to get back out; it would be slick on top! :)


*Not my video:

Google Maps Link

We hit Chattooga Belle Farms prior to this and I'd highly recommend that as well. It's just a few miles away. This pic is from the deck of their dining area:



There is a nice swimming hole below the falls and gentle current so the kids can float a couple hundred feet, get out and go float that little strip again.


The hike from the parking area is about a mile one way and not difficult IMO.
Finally did this today and followed the Chatooga Belle Farms recommendation. Favorite waterfall so far for the family with a fun drive down a road that could need 4wd getting back out if wet. Much deeper for us than pictured by others, I had to swim to the base.

The panorama at lunch was amazing.
 

Bryanseye

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4. Brasstown Falls – This easy 20 minute hike is family friendly at only 0.1 miles. Brasstown Creek tumbles 120 feet in three consecutive drops: Brasstown Cascades--50 feet, Brasstown Veil--35 feet, Brasstown Sluice--35 feet. The trail will lead you to the Cascades and its calm pool. To reach the other two sections requires steep descents and crossing large boulders. It is not recommended for the novice hiker. But a short distance upstream is the beautiful Little Brasstown Falls.
GPS Waypoints Lat: 34.7182 Lon: -83.3038
Google maps will get you close but then lost when it announces you have arrived at your destination and there is nothing around. The actual last turn is not signed and not on the map, but you will take a right just before a small bridge.
2015623


Park at the dead end and hike a short trail along a few campsites. The trail will get noticeably tougher as you get to the lower section (I didn’t even let my kids go all the way). Nice water flow and wading pools.

2015626

2015632


We ate at Humble Pie afterwards. To continue the Google nav issues, the address wasn’t listed correctly and we were routed to some random house. We had a picnic lunch in the cooler anyway so started towards Bull’s Sluice instead when we saw it 8 miles past where Google said. After speaking with the owner he had just found out about the problem the same day so we both submitted update requests. If it doesn’t work for you, try Chatooga Whitewater Outfitters since they share the parking lot. Good pizza, cold beer, quiet and friendly place.
 
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