Lower Whitewater Falls and Coon Branch Natural Area

Walhalla, South Carolina

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4 Reviews
4 out of 5
Half a day's hike to an observation deck overlooking beautiful Lower Whitewater Falls and a walk through a virgin forest area alongside the Whitewater River. This area teems with wildlife. Raccoons and beavers are in evidence along the water, and feral hogs, bobcats, white-tailed deer, and black bears inhabit the forest. The sounds of warblers, tanagers, vireos and flycatchers filter down from overhead, and woodpeckers thrive here. After the fourth bridge you enter the Coon Branch Natural Area, a 20- acre grove at the end of the trail. It is a treasure of never-felled timber, a glimpse of what this area looked like centuries ago before the arrival of Europeans. The largest Fraser magnolia in the state grows here, 6 feet around and 86 feet tall. Giant tulip poplars, hemlocks, and chestnut oaks abound. The trail moves through the grove and over one last bridge before ending.
Hiking South Carolina

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking South Carolina

by John Clark & John Dantzler (Falcon Guides)

Half a day's hike to an observation deck overlooking beautiful Lower Whitewater Falls and a walk through a virgin forest area alongside the Whitewater River. This area teems with wildlife. Raccoons and beavers are in evidence along the water, and feral hogs, bobcats, white-tailed deer, and black bears inhabit the forest.

The sounds of warblers, tanagers, vireos and flycatchers filter down from overhead, and woodpeckers thrive here. After the fourth bridge you enter the Coon Branch Natural Area, a 20- acre grove at the end of the trail. It is a treasure of never-felled timber, a glimpse of what this area looked like centuries ago before the arrival of Europeans. The largest Fraser magnolia in the state grows here, 6 feet around and 86 feet tall. Giant tulip poplars, hemlocks, and chestnut oaks abound. The trail moves through the grove and over one last bridge before ending.

©  John Clark & John Dantzler/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Walhalla
Distance: 4.6
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: Half a day
Season: Year-round.
Local Contacts: Land Resources Division, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, 2221 Devine Street, Columbia, SC 29205; (803) 734-9108
Local Maps: Foothills Trail, Duke Power; Reid and Cashiers USGS quads
Driving Directions: Directions to Lower Whitewater Falls and Coon Branch Natural Area

Recent Trail Reviews

3/6/2018
0

Good condition trail and easy access thru Bad Creek. Beautiful falls. Good views through winter trees without leaves from the observation deck.


8/20/2009
1

Lower Whitewater Falls was beautiful. The trails in Duke's preserve are very well maintained and well marked. The Duke Energy trail head at Bad Creek is a quiet place to start. As a bonus, we hiked the trail to the top of Upper Whitewater Falls. It is a strenuous climb, but well worth it. The Upper Whitewater Falls is heavily trafficked, but the approach from Duke's preserve was quiet and serene. Allow about 3-4 hours to hike to both falls.


1/20/2002
0

NICE FALL WALK, NOT MUCH GROWING. IT JUST RAIN YESTERDAY AND FALLS WHERE NICE. HOPING TO MAKE IT BACK IN THE SPRING FOR THE NEW FOILAGE.


4/21/2000
0

If you are hiking on the Foothills trail consider this trail as a side-hike. Plan on staying at the campground close to the trail. There was a water source when I went. The view of the waterfall is great.



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May 2018