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Waterfall Hike (with video): Oconee County's Yellow Branch Falls

Located in Sumter National Forest a few miles west of Walhalla in Oconee County, Yellow Branch Falls is an impressive, 50-foot falls reached by an appriximately 1.5-mile (one-way), moderately difficult hike. (Photo: James Richardson) Located in Sumter National Forest a few miles west of Walhalla in Oconee County, Yellow Branch Falls is an impressive, 50-foot falls reached by an appriximately 1.5-mile (one-way), moderately difficult hike. (Photo: James Richardson)

Located in Sumter National Forest a few miles west of Walhalla in Oconee County, Yellow Branch Falls is an impressive, 50-foot falls reached by an appriximately 1.5-mile (one-way), moderately difficult hike.

Although best viewed after a good rain, Yellow Branch remains very scenic regardless of flow. If it hasn’t rained for some time, the falls may be just a trickle of water over a series of ledges.

 

The hike: After a short hike (0.2 mile) on the Yellow Branch Nature Trail, you will come to the junction with the Yellow Branch Falls Trail. Hike about 1.3 miles to the falls.

Along the way, you will pass through groves of hardwoods and cross meandering creek bottoms before turning to circumnavigate the steeper terrain. Rhododendron and mountain laurel dot the banks of the streams.

Approximately one+ hour each way.

Wear sturdy shoes and use extra caution during wet conditions as the trail skirts the edges of deep ravines.

Getting there: From Walhalla, drive west 6.8 miles on SC 28 and turn left into Yellow Branch Picnic grounds (open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. year round).

More info: USDA website here

Nearby: Stumphouse Tunnel and Issagueena Falls, both less than a mile from Yellow Branch Falls.

Safety note: Waterfalls can be very dangerous! Do not climb on the rocks surrounding the falls.

Also on the Tribune: Waterfalls: Your guide to the 10 most spectacular shows around

Video by Carolina Aerials.