Hiking in South Carolina's Waterfalls: 7 Trails for Couples!
Updated: Feb 9
South Carolina is a state filled with natural beauty and outdoor adventures, and if you're a couple looking for a fun and romantic getaway, then hiking to see South Carolina's waterfalls should definitely be on your bucket list. With so many stunning waterfalls to explore, it can be difficult to choose which trails to tackle! Some of these locations are good for a quick day trip and others could even be part of a camping trip if you’re looking for a longer trip away.
In this article, we’ll be highlighting 7 of the best hiking trails in South Carolina waterfalls that are perfect for couples seeking adventure.
Raven Cliff Falls
Located in the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, Raven Cliff Falls is a moderate hike that takes you on a romantic journey through dense forest and past several cascading waterfalls. The trail is 4.4 miles round trip and takes about 2-3 hours to complete. The main attraction of this hike is the 400-foot Raven Cliff Falls, which is one of the tallest waterfalls in the state. The hike itself is not too challenging, but there are a few steep sections and rocky sections, making it a great workout for couples who like to challenge themselves. Take a break at the falls and share a kiss under the mist of the waterfall.
You can find more information on this hike at South Carolina Trails.
Jones Gap Falls
Jones Gap State Park is a true gem in South Carolina, and it's home to several hiking trails for South Carolina waterfalls, but one of the most popular is the 3.5-mile round trip hike to Jones Gap Falls. The hike takes you along the Middle Saluda River, passing several smaller waterfalls before reaching the main attraction, Jones Gap Falls. This 60-foot waterfall is a stunning sight, and it’s surrounded by lush greenery that makes for a perfect picnic spot. Pack a romantic picnic, sit back, and enjoy the view with your significant other.
Find trail information here: South Carolina Trails.
Lower Whitewater Falls
Lower Whitewater Falls is a 2-mile round-trip hike that is perfect for couples who want to take it easy. This hike takes you to a beautiful 70-foot waterfall that is surrounded by rolling hills and a dense forest. The trail is well-maintained and there are several viewing platforms along the way, allowing you to take in the breathtaking scenery together. Hold hands and take in the beauty of nature at its finest.
Find more information here: South Carolina Trails.
Rainbow Falls is a 4-mile round-trip hike located in the Dupont State Forest. This moderate hike takes you through dense forest, past several cascading waterfalls, and finally to the main attraction, Rainbow Falls. The falls themselves are a stunning 80 feet tall and are surrounded by lush greenery that makes for a perfect picnic spot. The hike can be a bit strenuous in some sections, but it’s well worth it for the stunning views. Snap a couple of photos at the top and make memories that will last a lifetime.
Find more information here: AllTrails.
Cedar Rock Mountain
Cedar Rock Mountain is a 2.6-mile round-trip hike that takes you to the summit of Cedar Rock Mountain. The hike itself is relatively easy, but the views from the top are absolutely breathtaking. From the summit, you’ll be able to see for miles in all directions, and you’ll be able to take in stunning views of several waterfalls in the distance. This hike is perfect for couples who are looking for a challenge and are looking to get away from the crowds. Take in the view, share a kiss, and celebrate your accomplishments together.
Find more information on this trail here: AllTrails.
**Note this trail combines Cedar Rock Mountain with Big Rock Mountain Loop for a 5.9-mile loop that takes about 3 hours and 14 minutes to complete.
The trails around Lake Jocassee have many options for hikes with waterfalls. Lake Jocassee was one named one of the World’s Last Great Places by National Geographic. These trails are perfect for couples who enjoy a leisurely hike and stunning views. You will hike along the lake and pass by several waterfalls along the way. Many of the trails end at the lake, where you can take a swim, go fishing, or simply relax and take in the natural beauty.
You can find a couple of different options on this website: Jocassee Lake Tours. These could be done over the course of a couple of days, or you could simply pick one for a day hike.
Issaqueena Falls has a bit of history tied into it, while also being a beautiful view. This hike offers a fun and scenic experience. The trail is only 2.5 miles round trip, making it an ideal option for a morning or afternoon hike. The trail takes you through the lush forest, and along the way, you'll cross a series of boardwalks and bridges that give you breathtaking views of the surrounding greenery.
The highlight of the hike is reaching the base of Issaqueena Falls, which cascades over a large rock formation and into a cool and refreshing pool of water below. Couples can take a break and enjoy a picnic while admiring the beauty of the falls. Additionally, there are several spots for taking memorable photos, making this a perfect destination for nature-loving couples. Whether you're seeking a relaxing or adventurous hike, Issaqueena Falls has something for everyone.
The story goes that Issaquenna was a young Native American woman that lived in the area. She fell in love with a white settler. She found out her tribe was going to attack the settlers, so she tried to warn them. When Issaquenna’s tribe found out she betrayed them, they decided to hunt her down. The legend says that she faked her death by “jumping” off the waterfall, but she actually hid on a ledge until her tribe left. There is no proof she actually existed, but it is an interesting legend and a beautiful waterfall regardless.
Find more information on this trail here: South Carolina Trails.
Why go hiking in South Carolina?
In conclusion, South Carolina is a state filled with stunning waterfalls and incredible hiking trails. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, there’s a trail for everyone. These 7 trails are must-dos for any nature lover, offering breathtaking views, stunning waterfalls, and plenty of adventure.
So grab your hiking gear, hit the trails, and discover the beauty of South Carolina. Hiking to see South Carolina’s waterfalls is a must-do for any couple looking for a fun and romantic adventure.