10 Best Waterfalls Near Greenville SC With Fun Hiking Trails

Greenville, South Carolina, lies in the heart of the Grand Strand and offers many beautiful natural attractions. A notable feature of this area is its waterfalls, making it an excellent spot to visit if you’re seeking breathtaking views.

Here are 10 of the best waterfalls near Greenville that you should see when you’re in town.

Waterfall

Best Waterfalls Near Greenville SC

1. Reedy River Falls

For those looking for a brief but stunning hike, Reedy River Falls is about as good as it gets. It’s relatively close to downtown and features gorgeous views and few crowds. The falls are split into two sections—the upper and lower falls—and are both spectacular, cascading over several ledges throughout a shaded forested area that feels untouched by humans.

“Awesome place downtown.  Great place to have a quick walk. We came during winter so not in full bloom but still tranquil and amazing views.”

2. Rainbow Falls

The falls are located on Falls Creek and spray over a 25-foot drop, creating a spectacular show. Rainbow Falls Trail is located in Caesars Head State Park, part of South Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountain chain.

The falls can be accessed via several trails, including Rainbow Falls Trail and Rocky Knob Trail. It’s said to be an easy to moderate hike with elevation changes totaling 700 feet.

“Great place! Next time we plan to spend even more time to see it all”

3. Raven Cliff Falls

For a day of scenic beauty and plenty of water, Raven Cliff Falls is one to check out. Traveling on Raven Cliff Falls Road off Town Creek Road, you’ll find these two waterfalls feeding into each other.

The smaller falls drop about 20 feet into a small pool surrounded by trees, while an 80-foot fall drops into cascades that empty into Lynches River. Because these falls are fed by groundwater (as opposed to surface waters), they are always running even during dry seasons.

“Beautiful tall waterfalls. The hike to the falls is a little long but well worth the effort.”

4. Wildcat Branch Falls

Tucked away on a private nature preserve, Wildcat Branch Falls is a magnificent sight. To get to Wildcat Branch Falls, take Greenville Road three miles east of I-85.

At Brooks Bridge Road, turn right and go 2/3 mile to the entrance on the left. The falls are visible from a small parking area across from the picnic shelter. A short trail winds through hemlock forest to two 20-foot waterfalls that cascade over rocky cliffs into a shallow pool.

“The Wildcat Branch Falls was a sight to see! The trail is right off the main road, with no parking lot so be sure to get there early to get a spot. The lower branch falls are seen immediately, and about a half-mile to 3/4 of a mile hike is needed to see the upper branch falls, which were really worth it. It started raining as we began our hike but with our trusty walking sticks and rain jackets we managed it well, although we got soaked.”

5. Jones Gap Falls

For those living near Greenville, one of the favorite activities of locals is to take a trip to Jones Gap State Park. When you first discover Jones Gap Falls, you’ll be amazed by how close it was to town and how beautiful it is. The hike down is easy (it’s less than a mile), and there are places you can rest on your way back up as well.

“Absolutely love this park. What an amazing place to go and connect with nature. Breathing fresh are and surrounding yourself with unbelievable beauty. I’m so grateful for places like this. The staff is awesome too! The park was full at first but the rangers were informative, polite, and respectful! Thank you for all you guys do!”

6. Falls Creek Falls

As of February 2022, Falls Creek Falls is unfortunately closed. But when it reopens, you’ll enjoy discovering one of South Carolina’s most famous waterfalls.

You have to drive through an isolated rural area to get there. The falls drop 200 feet into a natural gorge. This is a very secluded waterfall, but well worth it for nature lovers willing to put up with some challenges to see it.

“A nice hike, not so long, I think it’s about 2 miles maybe. Rewarding waterfall at the end, it’s beautiful also to look at the grass growing there. The trees you stumble upon the hike are also impressive.”

7. Pleasant Ridge Falls

One of our personal favorites, Pleasant Ridge Falls, is a gorgeous cascade located at Falls Park on Main Street downtown. No entrance fee is required!

The park is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for your viewing pleasure. If you’re into yoga and/or zen stuff, there are also some killer yoga classes offered here for only $5 (full price is $10) between 9:00 am and 10:00 am on Saturday mornings.

“The falls are very easy to find just a short drive to Marietta and turn into Hwy 11 in the Pleasant Ridge County Park. Several places close around to eat Marcie Joe’s Old Country Store is nearby. Great place for a family outing.”

8. Rock Quarry Falls

About a 15-minute drive from downtown, Rock Quarry Falls can be seen during any season but is at its best during winter and spring. Check out two nearby attractions for an added bonus: Jones Gap State Park and Reedy Creek Wildlife Refuge.

A short hike leads to three miles of trails (good for kids!), which wind through forests and wetlands where a variety of wildlife can be seen. Some of them include woodpeckers, squirrels, foxes, deer, and more.

“Incredibly breathtaking falls on a short, pedestrian hike through a gorgeous, sun-dappled forest. Great for dogs (on a leash, please!), kids, and people with little endurance for long hikes.”

9. Cedar Shoals Falls

Located on Cedar Shoals Road in eastern Greenville County, Cedar Shoals Falls is a natural waterfall created by runoff from multiple springs that cascade down Cedar Mountain. In addition to its two main falls, there are two smaller ones as well.

This multi-tiered waterfall makes for a beautiful destination hike with your family or friends. The area around Cedar Shoals Falls is also excellent for fishing and picnicking.

“Beautiful falls and I loved the hike”

10. Reedy Cove Falls

Located on Reedy Cove Rd just off Main Street, these falls are less than a mile from Falls Park, making them an excellent post-walk activity. The falls can be viewed from above and below (obviously both provide different views).

There is also a walkway that takes you through a portion of them. But it’s a fairly easy hike, so don’t expect any intense scrambling here.

“Nice drive to this secluded double waterfall tucked away in the back of a neighborhood. Short hike to an amazing view. Not many people to deal with and easy terrain for all.”

You can’t beat the whimsical magic a waterfall brings, and South Carolina has plenty to offer! Enjoy the beauty nature has to offer by visiting all of these close-by falls this summer.

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