This 125 mile loop drive begins at the South Carolina Welcome Center at I-85 Exit 1 and covers three states, three national forests, 12 waterfalls, several spectacular mountain vistas, and numerous unique shopping areas. Great any month of the year but especially during Fall Leaf Season. This is one of the best fall foliage drives in the Southeast. Be sure to take the route in the order given here, otherwise you will probably miss the most spectacular waterfall on the trip (Cullasaja Falls #6).
South Carolina Welcome Center: Be sure to stop at the welcome center before you start your trip. The SC Welcome Center features: a giant photo display of several of the waterfalls you will pass, a great view of Lake Hartwell, and special exhibits of the area as well as brochures and a very helpful staff.
? - Mountain Lakes Vacation Rentals and The
Curiosity Shoppes: Before you start your drive stop and pick up some peach cider and
the latest version of this map. We also stock a complete line of: Lake Maps, Topographic
Maps, Trail Guides, guides to falls not shown here, and other books of the area. The most
popular ones are available for you to order over the web.
Or if you want to spend the weekend, we have over 30 vacation
rentals available on Lake Hartwell.
Visit our web site www.rentalsonthelake.com or call 800-610-0020
During the Fall many farms, schools, and businesses in Oconee County SC decorate with Hay Bale Sculptures. (The Oconee Bale Trail) Hay bales take various forms such as "Tractors", "Giant Spiders", "Pumpkins", "City Scapes", and more.
Westminster, SC: Site of the South Carolina Apple Festival.
1 - Chau-Ram Falls: This county park is a hidden treasure. Picnic grounds, trails, and great views of Ramsey Creek Falls and the Chauga River. From Westminster take US 76 west 2 miles. Look for signs to Chau-Ram Park. (Closed Jan/Feb)
2 - Brasstown Falls: There are actually 4 separate waterfalls here, 3 on Brasstown Creek and 1 on Little Brasstown Creek. They are unsurpassed for beauty and easy access. From Westminster take US 76 west 11 miles to Brasstown Road (NOT Brasstown Church Road), turn left and follow for 4 miles. Look for FS751 on the right. Go 1/2 mile and park at the gate. The trail to the right leads to Brasstown Creek, to the left is Little Brasstown Creek. Both are easy 5 minute walks.
3 - Apple Country: Long Creek is famous for its apples. Stop at one of the many packing houses for a real treat.
4 - Bull Sluice: This rapid on the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River is a great spot to watch the action as the kayakers try to "Shoot the Bull" and avoid "Decapitation Rock". A 1/2 mile easy trail leads from the parking lot to the river.
Clayton, GA: - Chattahoochee National Forest visitor center.
5 - Black Rock Mountain State Park: Dramatic vista from the overlook.
Dillard, GA: Antique stores, cabbage fields, the famous Dillard House Restaurant and home of the "Foxfire" books.
Franklin, NC: Gem capital of the southeast. Gem museum.
Cullasaja Falls: 250 foot falls visible from your car. Narrow pull off on the right
side. Click on the picture for a larger image.
7 - Dry Falls: So named because you can walk under this 75 foot falls without getting wet.
8 - Bridal Veil Falls: You can drive under this 120 foot falls.
Highlands, NC: Cool mountain town with many unique shops and restaurants. Nantahala National Forest visitor center.
9 - Whiteside Mountain rises 2100 feet above the valley floor to an elevation of 4930 feet. The 2 mile loop trail (easy - moderate) leads along the south face and sheer cliffs 400 to 750 feet high. Outstanding views all year but especially in the fall.
Cashiers, NC: Dozens of unique craft shops.
10 - Silver Run Falls: 4.1 miles south of Cashiers you will see an unmarked pull-off on the left. Park here and follow the well worn trail across the creek about 1/4 mile to the 30 foot falls spilling into a picturesque fishing hole.
11 - Whitewater Falls: 1 mile after crossing into South Carolina you will see signs for the short side trip. At 411 feet this is the biggest drop east of the Mississippi. Easy access to the view.
12 - SC State Fish Hatchery: Scenic picnic area, trout fishing and trail leading along a trout stream to the Chattooga River.
13 - Oconee State Park: Lake, swimming, fishing, canoe rentals, interpretive center, trails, archery range.
14 - Stump House Tunnel & Issaqueena Falls: The tunnel has now reopened and the trail, picnic area and falls remain open. 200 foot cascade. Just south is the Sumter National Forest visitor center.
Walhalla, SC: Old German town, site of the annual Octoberfest. Try the Steak House Cafeteria for lunch.
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