King Creek Falls

Sumter National Forest, South Carolina, USA

About King Creek Falls

Hiking Distance: 1.6 miles round trip
Suggested Time: 1 hour

Date first visited: 2012-10-15
Date last visited: 2012-10-15

Waterfall Latitude: 34.96619
Waterfall Longitude: -83.11519

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King Creek Falls is a nice 60-70ft waterfall (though I did see someone else say it was 75ft) with a satisfying flow and shape that made us wish we had brought a tripod (we ended up having to hold our breaths when taking long exposure photos).

Getting a good view of the falls without drenching our hiking boots involved precariously hopping slippery rocks and wet logs. We didn’t keep going to the mini-beach on the opposite side of the stream as we were pretty happy with the frontal views from the middle of the stream.

It turned out that we stumbled upon a couple of ways to reach this waterfall (though none of them were obvious from the car park as there was an absence of signs telling you where to go). We suspect that we started off with a longer path and then came back to the car park (accidentally) via a shorter and more direct path. So we’ll describe how we did this excursion, which describes both approaches in one shot.

King_Creek_Falls_005_20121015 - Walking on the wide road past the gate
Walking on the wide road past the gate

From the trailhead off the unpaved Burrells Ford Rd, we went behind a gate and walked what looked like a former road (logging road?) towards a clearing area with a couple of trail junctions and an info board saying something about camping. This was probably about a half-mile or so down from the car park.

Continuing on towards the Chattooga River, we happened to see a signposted trail junction for King Creek Falls. So we followed this trail alongside King Creek for a short distance before crossing over a bridge and keeping left at the fork to continue going upstream alongside King Creek (the right fork was for the Foothills Trail, which we didn’t do).

After another 0.2 miles of walking along ledge full of fallen leaves and some mild exposure to the creek below, we reached the cool and mostly shaded falls. As we said earlier, we did have to get onto some obstacles in the stream itself for better views.

When we returned from the falls, after crossing back over the footbridge over Kings Creek, we inadvertently went straight instead of going left and following King Creek back to the trail connecting with the Chattooga River. It turned out that the uphill trail we took ended up back at the car park in about 0.5 miles. Perhaps this was the shorter path to take to begin with for the King Creek Falls.

In the vicinity was also Spoonauger Falls. However, given our error, we weren’t about to go back down the gated road to find this 40ft falls then backtrack back up to the car park. So we skipped it.

King_Creek_Falls_002_20121015 - The car park for the trailhead
King_Creek_Falls_006_20121015 - The signposted spur leaving the trail that led to the Chattooga River
King_Creek_Falls_007_20121015 - Approaching a bridge over King Creek
King_Creek_Falls_009_20121015 - Narrower trail between the footbridge and the falls
King_Creek_Falls_010_20121015 - Last little hump before the final descent to the plunge pool and cove in front of King Creek Falls
King_Creek_Falls_011_20121015 - Looking down at the obstacles we had to scramble onto in order to get a better look at the falls
King_Creek_Falls_017_20121015 - King Creek Falls in shadow


From Walhalla, take the SC28 for over 8 miles before bearing right onto SC107. From there, take this highway for another 10 miles or so looking out for Burrells Ford Rd on the left. Turn left onto Burrells Ford Rd, which is unpaved, and follow it for another 2.3 miles to short turnoff for a fairly large car park area.

We happened to come here from Yellow Branch Falls, and it took us roughly 25 minutes to make this drive. I’d imagine it’s roughly 30 minutes or so to get from Walhalla to the trailhead.

For context, Walhalla was 26 miles (over 30-45 minutes drive) northeast of Toccoa, Georgia, 45 miles (an hour drive) west of Greenville, 93 miles (about 2 hours drive) south of Asheville, North Carolina, and 120 miles (about 2 hours drive) northeast of Atlanta, Georgia.

Bottom up sweep of the falls, but this one also shows some of the downstream scene

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Tagged with: sumter, national forest, long creek, walhalla, salem, tamasse, south carolina, greenville, waterfall, upcountry, chattooga river, spoonauger falls

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