A Short But Beautiful Hike, Wildcat Wayside Trail Leads To A Little-Known Series Of Waterfalls In South Carolina

(Editor’s Note: Do not deviate from the marked trail at this site or try to stand near the top of any of the waterfalls in this series. Fatalities have occurred as a result of leaving the trail. The most recent fatality here was in June, 2020.)

Asking yourself, “are there any waterfalls near me?” will usually yield at least one waterfall, especially here in South Carolina. Sitting in plain view for anyone traveling along South Carolina’s Cherokee Foothills Scenic Byway, Wildcat Wayside Falls can actually be seen from the highway – without pulling over. During the warmer months, in fact, passersby may spot a flurry of cars pulled off here and scores of people cooling off in the roadside waterfall. But what most people don’t know is the trail that begins next to this popular waterfall swimming hole leads to two more waterfalls further uphill that belong in this series of three falls.

Did you know this popular roadside waterfall swimming hole in South Carolina has two more waterfalls upstream, forming a series of three major waterfalls? All are accessible via a short and easy hike leading from the base of the lowest falls at Wildcat Wayside. The nature trail here is best used from March through December, but it is open year-round. For even more cascades, take this epic waterfall road trip through South Carolina. 

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Address: Wildcat Wayside, 5500 Geer Hwy, Cleveland, SC 29635, USA
The OIYS Visitor Center

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August 07, 2022

What are the best waterfall hikes in South Carolina?

With more than a hundred waterfalls in South Carolina, you’re never too far away from a cascade or two. The trail to King Creek Falls in South Carolina is one of the most kid-friendly hiking trails with waterfalls in South Carolina, clocking in at less than a mile. At the end of the trail, you’ll be face to face with the impressive 70-foot waterfall. For a longer adventure, consider the 8-mile hike to Confusion Falls, one of the best waterfall hikes in South Carolina. While it may be a little bit of a longer hike, you’ll be rewarded with not one but two stunning 12-foot waterfalls. There’s even a third, 40-foot waterfall on the trail, and Moonshine Falls is one of the few that you can walk behind!

What are the best hikes with a view in South Carolina?

You might be surprised to learn that some of the best hikes with a view in South Carolina don’t require a full day of hiking. Some of the best views in the state are on trails that are short and sweet, like the one-mile Waldrop Stone Falls Trail in Central that leads to a peaceful little waterfall. For endless marsh views, you can’t beat the two-mile hiking trail at Huntington Beach State Park, which also features beautiful oceanfront views to take in after your hike.

Are there any good swimming holes in South Carolina?

South Carolina may be a coastal state, but sometimes you just want a secluded little spot to splash around in, and the Palmetto State certainly delivers in the swimming hole category. Located in Table Rock State Park, Carrick Creek Falls is not only an easily accessible waterfall in South Carolina but the pool it cascades into makes for a refreshing dip after your 2-mile hike. For endless fun in the sun, head to Aiken State Park where you can enjoy a 14-acre spring-fed lake. Don’t forget the sunscreen!