Exploring the Many Waterfalls of the South Carolina Upcountry


I have always been an outdoors kind of person. When I was younger I enjoyed playing outside, no matter what time of year it was. I grew up going on camping trips, to the beach, hiking, and more. This love of the outdoors has not changed now that I’m an adult. In fact, since moving to the south, it’s increased!

South Carolina has so much to offer when it comes to the outdoors. There are 47 state parks, all of which offer a multitude of opportunities to get out there and explore nature.

One fantastic feature that many of our state parks in the Upstate (and areas nearby the parks) boast is waterfalls. In fact, South Carolina is home to over 100 waterfalls that range in height from 40 feet tall to 700 feet tall. That’s pretty amazing!

I don’t know about you, but when my family is on a camping trip or a day trip to a state park, there’s nothing we love more than taking in the beauty of one of these majestic waterfalls and maybe even cooling off in one as well. Below are a few of my family’s favorite waterfall spots.  

1. Table Rock State Park

Table Rock is my family’s favorite SC State Park. We go camping there every September. One of our favorite things to do at Table Rock is to go hiking. Right at the beginning of the trails is where you’ll find the beautiful waterfalls. What I love about the waterfalls here, is that you are able to swim there.

There is an upper falls area, where you can wade around, catch some crawfish, and even slide down one side. The lower falls area (pictured above) has a waterfall you can go underneath, with a pool of water for swimming at the bottom. We love going on our hike and then cooling off in the water afterward. Always refreshing!

If you’re hiking at Table Rock and want to view more waterfalls while doing so, be sure to take the Carrick Creek trail. It’s an easy to moderate difficulty hike that is a two mile loop. It’s great for families and you will see plenty of waterfalls along the way!

2. Oconee State Park

We visited Oconee State Park for the first time this year, and we really enjoyed it. There are seven different hiking trails at Oconee, but if you take the Hidden Falls trail, you will be rewarded at the end with this beautiful 50-foot waterfall.

It’s a two-and-a-half-mile hike one way to the waterfall, but once you get there you can sit on the rocks, and cool off your feet in the small creek that runs below the falls. We really enjoyed sitting on the rocks and taking in the beautiful scenery. Keep your eyes open for wildlife too. When we were there, we saw an Armadillo enjoying the creek as well. 

**Side note: You can pick up an SC waterfall guide at the park office. This will show you the locations of 35 different waterfalls located in Oconee, Pickens, and Greenville counties.

3. Paris Mountain State Park

Paris Mountain State Park has one of the most beautiful lakes in the Upcountry. At least, in my opinion. At one end of the lake is a dam with water cascading down the side. It’s a beautiful site to take in. The waterfall is easily accessible from the Lake Placid hiking trail. Just follow the trail around the lake, down the stairs, and you’ll be treated to this gorgeous view. 

These are just three of the MANY breathtaking waterfalls in South Carolina. But there are so many more to visit and enjoy! For a comprehensive list, check out the South Carolina Upcountry website. Then you can plan your own trip to see these majestic places. 

Have you been to any of the SC Upstate waterfalls? If so, which ones? Share in the comments!


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