The Bridge Hike In South Carolina That Will Make Your Stomach Drop
South Carolina’s many trails offer a variety of astounding destinations that include waterfalls, cliff side overlooks, valley streams, and more. But no other trail in the state doles out a bridge crossing like this one found in the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area of the Upstate. If this bridge hike doesn’t make your stomach drop, then it must be made of steel. Keep reading to get the full scoop!
Just past the Visitor Center for Caesars Head State Park is a trail head that leads to Raven Cliff Falls.
To be more precise, the trail is two-fold: you can take the relatively easy (yet still challenging since it's so long) trek that leads to an overlook on the near side of a gorge. This first part of the trail is probably the most popular — as people want to get a look at the tallest waterfall in South Carolina.
Raven Cliff Falls drops an epic 420 feet over and down a mountain.
Hiking to the first overlook belongs on everyone's must-do list, if only to see the state's tallest waterfall.
From the spacious wooden overlook on the near side of the gorge that's called The Dismal, hikers get a taste of the sheer size of Raven Cliff Falls.
The highest waterfall in the state exists thanks to the constant water flow of Matthews Creek. And if you choose to accept the challenge of the second part of the hike, then you'll get an up close look at Matthews Creek. The second part of the hike is a loop that winds all the way from the first overlook to where you'll cross over the top of the very start of Raven Cliff Falls — and a bridge that requires a bit of courage.
At first glance, you may consider the suspension bridge along the Raven Cliff Falls and Dismal Loop trail to be not a huge deal.
Scores of eager hikers have crossed the divide without incidence.
But there's one little thing you should know before you go if you get the least bit queasy in sticky situations.
The suspension bridge over Matthews Creek is only steps from the top of Raven Cliff Falls!
One misstep here and you could be in real danger.
Yet, hikers from all over the country travel to South Carolina for the challenge.
The trail itself is a pleasure, although the difficulty rating changes significantly once you get past the initial wooden overlook across The Dismal (the one at the beginning of this article).
From massive vertical cliff faces to fairy tale footbridges, deep forest stairs made of natural elements, and more, the trail to Raven Cliff Falls is a joy — and also rated
very difficult. If you want to take the entire hike and cross the suspension bridge over the top of the waterfall, you'll hike a total of 7.2 miles from start to finish. The hike is tough, bring water — and a friend to enjoy the spoils of nature!
Finding the trail head couldn't be any easier! Just drive a few hundred yards past the Caesars Head State Park Visitor Center. A parking lot is located on the left side of Geer Highway. (The address below is for the visitor center at the state park.)
Do you have what it takes to cross The Dismal and walk over this thrilling suspension bridge? A day spent on this bridge hike in South Carolina is one you won’t soon forget!
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8155 Geer Hwy, Cleveland, SC 29635, USA