Are you wondering where to go to find some beautiful waterfalls without traveling too far from Greenville, SC? You’re in luck because we have gathered all the information you need about finding waterfalls close to home, all in one handy place! Whether you want to take in a waterfall while enjoying a long hike or a waterfall that you can view with very little effort, local mom Kristina has all the details right here!
Waterfalls can be quite magical and we have so, so many near us in the Upstate. Waterfalls are beautiful any time of year also – surrounded by wildflowers in the spring, framed by greenery over the summer and perfect for swimming, delivering fall colors in autumn, and showing off (some) frozen beauty in winter.
It is incredibly important for your own safety and for the safety of your family, EMTs, and rescuers, to never play at the top or sides of a waterfall, even for a second or to get an Insta-worthy photo. Those rocks are slippery and many people have unfortunately lost their lives at waterfalls in our area.
For important tips on recreating responsibly, please see this story on the seven Leave No Trace principles.
Below are some of our favorite waterfalls near the Upstate, SC. But, if you love waterfalls you’ll want to take a look at this list of Waterfalls of the Southeast, loaded with waterfall hikes in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.
Waterfalls in & near Greenville, SC
You don’t have to go far to see the first waterfalls on this list. Pack a picnic, relax on the nearby swings, or take a walk through Falls Park on the Reedy River in downtown Greenville and see the beautiful waterfalls that run right through our beautiful city.
South Main Street and Camperdown Way
Distance from Greenville: 0 minutes – it is located downtown
Raven Cliff Falls
Take the two-mile long Raven Cliff Falls trail to view the gorgeous 420-ft Raven Cliff Falls from an overlook at Caesar’s Head State Park. There are also a variety of hiking trails within that park and the surrounding Mountain Bridge Wilderness.
Or if you’re a more experienced hiker, take the Dismal Trail to get to the suspension bridge that goes over the falls. It’s a tough 8+ mile loop but worth it.
8155 Geer Hwy
Distance from Greenville: ~hour
Jones Gap State Park
Known for its natural scenery, this 300 acre park is perfect for a relaxing day of exploration – and waterfall viewing of course. One of the more popular trails leads uphill to the stunning Rainbow Falls. It’s a strenuous trail but there are other waterfalls that are along the main trail.
This is a hugely popular park that now requires reserved parking ($5) on weekends in addition to the entrance fee.
303 Jones Gap Road
Distance from Greenville: ~an hour
Station Cove Falls
This waterfall in Oconee County near Hwy 11 is so, so stunning. It’s a big waterfall towering high dripping water from hundreds of small ledges. It’s also a very easy hike, about 1.5 miles round trip.
State Rd S-37-95
Distance from Greenville: an hour and 10 minutes
Chau Ram County Park
A little over an hour from Greenville, Chau Ram Park is called South Carolina’s “Best Kept Secret” by the Oconee County Recreation and Tourism Department. There is a 40 foot waterfall at Ramsey Creek plus the county’s longest suspension bridge here. You can also swim, hike and camp, all for only $2 per car load.
1220 Chau Ram Park Road
Distance from Greenville: an hour + 5 minutes
Table Rock State Park
Table Rock contains lots of awesome waterfalls easily accessible from the many trails that wind through this beautiful park. Trails are not stroller-friendly so be sure to either bring a baby carrier if you’ve got a little one or sturdy shoes for the younger kids. There is a fee to enter the park if you don’t have a park pass.
158 Ellison Lane
Distance from Greenville: ~45 minutes
Yellow Branch Falls
Located in Walhalla near Isaqueena Falls, Yellow Branch Falls are amazing. The falls are huge and picturesque and just a beautiful place to visit. This is a popular waterfall and trail so again, get there early if you want to experience it with less people.
2911-3023 Highlands Hwy
Distance from Greenville: ~an hour + 10 minutes
Looking Glass Falls
This wildly popular waterfall is right on the side of the road off 276 in Pisgah Forest in Brevard. We’ve seen it in every season and our favorite has been over the winter when it’s been partially frozen. No hiking is involved but you can take the stairs and ramps down to the bottom for some great photos.
Hwy 276, Brevard, NC
Distance from Greenville: ~an hour + 20 minutes
This one is perfect for smaller kids to splash around in a waterfall without any of the hiking. The waterfall is literally on the side of the road on SC 11 in Cleveland, SC as you drive towards Table Rock from Greenville. There is an easy mile loop trail if you’d like to hike.
Heading north on Route 11, the trail and pull-off parking are on the right side of the road.
Distance from Greenville: ~38 minutes
Located in Oconee County, Issaqueena Falls is located at the end of a short walk through what is known as Stumphouse Tunnel, which was originally constructed in 1852 to connect Charleston to Knoxville but was halted because of a lack of money.
As for the waterfalls, “legend has it that the falls is named for an Indian maiden, Issaqueena, who warning the white settlers of an Indian attack, was then chased by Indians and she appeared to jump over the falls. By actually hiding behind the falls (or some legend-tellers say she hid behind a stump, hence Stumphouse Tunnel), she tricked her pursuers and survived.”
And be sure to read KAG contributor Deidre Smith’s review of Stumphouse Tunnel and Issaqeena Falls.
Distance from Greenville: an hour + 10 minutes
Wright Creek Falls
This is an extra special waterfall since you can only get there by boat. It’s on Lake Jocassee and you can access the lake through Devils Fork State Park. Here’s a map of the waterfalls at this stunning lake. There is a fee to enter the park.
161 Holcombe Circle
Distance from Greenville: Devils Fork Park is an hour + 20 minutes plus another hour to 90 minutes of paddling (or take a boat through Jocassee Lake Rentals)
This family-friendly hike is located near Mountain Rest, SC, close to the Georgia border. The hike to the falls is an easy 0.3-mile hike, so it is perfect for families with small children. Once there, you can check out salamanders and small fish in the pools and discover the falls towering above!
Near Mountain Rest, SC
Ellicott Rock Wilderness
Distance from Greenville: 1 hour 55 minutes from Downtown Greenville.
Rainbow Falls at Gorges State Park
This is a different Rainbow Falls than at Jones Gap. You’ll have to travel into NC to see this beauty! If you’re lucky, you’ll get to the see the rainbow that gives it its name. The hike is a moderate 4 mile roundtrip hike.
Gorges State Park
976 Grassy Ridge Road, Sapphire, NC
Distance from Greenville: 90 minutes
If you’re looking for even more waterfalls, because really, who isn’t, then head over to our article on the North Carolina no-hike waterfall tour.
Find More Waterfalls to Explore!
Our huge guide to waterfalls of the southeast tells you all about waterfalls you can hike to in the Georgia mountains, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee. They make a beautiful day trip or addition to a family getaway.
Did we miss your favorite waterfall? If so, please use the comments to share your best spot!