Falls Creek Trail 31

Greenville County, South Carolina

Distance1.0mi
Elevation Gain1,024ft
Trailhead Elevation1,194ft
Top1,795ft
Elevation Min/Max1194/1795ft
Elevation Start/End1194/1194ft

Falls Creek Trail 31

Falls Creek Trail #31 is a hiking trail in Greenville County, South Carolina. It is a mile long and begins at 1,194 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is two miles with a total elevation gain of 1,024 feet. The Trammell Lake (elevation 1,181 feet) reservoir is near the trailhead. There are also information yes and parking. The trail ends near the Falls Creek Falls attraction.

Falls Creek Trail #31 Professional Reviews and Guides

"This is part of the 11,000-acre Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, named for the two watersheds that are within its boundaries. Mountain Bridge is considered the best hiking destination in South Carolina, as it contains the most extensive trail system in the state.

Don’t let the short distance of this hike fool you—this is one grueling hike. The almost 600 feet in elevation change is signifi cant, and at times you will be climbing up tree roots. But the 100-foot waterfall at the end is spectacular, and the mountain views as you climb make it all worthwhile."

"An extremely rugged day hike along a mountain trail with great views, particularly of splendid Falls Creek Falls. This is a tough one, one of the most difficult hikes in South Carolina. The rewards, however, are great. Falls Creek Falls is a wonder, and Falls Creek above the falls makes a gloriously peaceful picnic spot. Hospital Rock is only one of numerous dramatic rock outcroppings encountered along the hike, which follows two trails: Falls Creek Trail and Hospital Rock Trail.

The flora and fauna here resemble those found elsewhere in the mountains, but, whether flora or fauna, there seems to be more of it. The chestnut oak and Fraser magnolia are taller; the mountain laurel and rhododendron come up even thicker. Other trees include hickory, tulip poplar, northern red oak, red maple, white pine, eastern hemlock, sassafras, holly, redcedar, beech, and Carolina silver bell. Among the wildflowers, expect to see galax, white snakeroot, rattlesnake plantain, closed gentian, violets, spotted wintergreen, wild hydrangea, wild ginger, beautyberry, and a variety of asters. Other plants include fox grape, switch cane, Christmas fern, and bracken. The heavy foliage makes birds difficult to spot, but you may see red-shouldered hawk, pileated woodpecker, or chickadee."

Falls Creek Trail #31 Reviews

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8/8/2009
My wife and I are in our fifties and have been hiking for a couple of years now. We attempted this hike with the view of getting to Falls Creek Falls. We weren't totally prepared for what was ahead. The mile and a half or so to the falls was uphill! Then of course, after we enjoyed the falls for about 30 minutes and nourished ourselves, we decided to continue on to see if we could get to "the rock". The next two miles were also uphill! Needless to say, we had to turn around and go back, for two reasons. First and foremost, we were exhausted and were running out of water. It was 95 degress that day and the humidity had to be around 90%. Secondly, we knew we had no way of getting back to our car at the Falls creek entrance. Anyway, we just might go back, when it's cooler and we have a car waiting for us at the other end! It was truly a memorable experience.
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4/2/2009
Took the trail in the reverse order mentioned in the trail guide and I'm not sure which path was toughest. Make sure you are in shape to ascend 1000ft. in the first half mile. Very treacherous and tiring. But I would not have traded the experience. Make sure to keep your footing. One slip (as I had) and it could be disastrous. The views were great. I don't recommend the Hospital Rock trail in the late spring to early fall because of foliage blocking the views. Make sure it is a cool day because you will warm up fast on this trail. Overall you ascend and descend on the order of 3600 ft. in a little over 6 miles. Not pleasing to the feet or the calves, nor the quads. So be in shape to tackle this one.
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3/15/2009
falls creek side: very tedious ascent, something like the ruins of a 60-story staircase made of clay and dust. and then you are nearly in the waterfall. and then you climb more and more and you are on the plateau. lack of trail maintenance kept me from getting much closer to hospital rock. into the training zone, and be prepared.
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3/14/2009
My New Years Resolution for 2009 was to "Start Hiking". I chose this trail with the intentions of just visiting the Falls Creek waterfall, which by the way is spectacular. After viewing the falls I felt like trudging on to Hospital Rock and Jones Gap State park. It was very rewarding decision, however probably a poor choice due to the fact that I am a little out of shape. This was a tough hike!! If you are like me (Novice Hiker), save this one for later. If you decide to take this hike.... you will be rewarded.
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10/8/2007
First off, the trail finder decription states that this is "one of the most challenging trails in SC". The adjective could be changed to "brutal" without reverting to hyperbole. That this is an understatement is evident about 10 seconds after parking the car at the eastern trailhead. The trail is essentially vertical. I knew I was in for a big time when I saw the "Yeti Crossing" sign. That being said, this has got to be one of the most rewarding hikes I've been on. The scenery at the falls and the mountain vistas were well worth the bruises, scratches and aching muscles at the end of the day. The trail was relatively dry. Had it been slick with rain, dew, snow or ice, I'm not sure it could have done. The steepness of the elevation change cannot be overemphasized. After the falls, the trail climbs in a series of switchbacks that seem to never stop. Once at the top you are rewarded with a brief level section and then you start down. This is the truly hairy part. After the climb up, the fatigue and rubber legs make the downhill sections very scary. Add that to the narrowness of the trail, the treacherous footing (roots and loose rock) and the incline and the scene is set for some interesting hiking. If I had to offer anyone any advice as to how to do this trail, it would be to plan for at least 8 hours to hike, take at least 4 liters of water per person, and TAKE YOUR TIME. Picking the day and time of year is important also. You should shoot for cool and dry after the leaves have turned. This trail has the potential to be truly dangerous, but with common sense and some planning it can be as rewarding for you as it was for me and my hiking buddy. I truly enjoyed this hike and feel a great sense of accomplishment at the successful completion of it.
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9/8/2002
Here is a trail that offers rewards if your willing to work a bit. I started on the east end of these two trails. There not to many trails in the area that start with this kind of uphill right out of the box, things level off a bit but don't be fooled the trail ahead is even more challenging. These trails have several payoffs in scenery. The first being the beautiful waterfalls you encounter several miles in. Immediately after the falls is a steep ascent and then you head deeper into the forest where you can enjoy the peace of mind that we so eagerly crave. Eventually you will come to Hospital rock and a series of sharply decending switchbacks before emptying out at Jones Gap State Park. You will need a shuttle or two cars unless you want to walk the road back to the other side. This is a great trail that is not overcrowded especially on a weekday or early on Sunday. Bring plenty of food , water , and determination.. This one is really fun. See you on the trail !!!
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Falls Creek Trail #31 Photos

Trail Information

Greenville County
Nearby City
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, Caesar's Head State Park, 8155 Geer Highway, Cleveland, SC 29635; (864) 836-6115.
Local Contacts
Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area map, available at Jones Gap State Park; Standingstone Mountain and Cleveland USGS quads
Local Maps