016 – Wildcat Wayside (Wildcat Branch Falls)

Accessibility – Easy

Height: Approx 30′

Distance – Roadside

Beauty – 8

Photo rating – 8

Solitude – 4

GPS Info: LAT 35.074094 LONG –82.596819

Last Updated: 04/01/2017

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This waterfall goes by several names and while not in North Carolina, It’s close enough for me. It can go by either Wildcat Wayside of Wildcat Branch Falls. The primary viewing for this lower section of the waterfall is from the side of the road. This vantage gives you a good view of the falls and the collection pool in front. Wildcat Wayside is the third in a series of falls on this stream. Maybe 100 feet to the left of the falls are steps that lead to the 10-foot middle falls. I have visited these two sections. Further upstream there is a 100 foot high waterside. From my research it appears that access to this waterfall has been restricted by State Park Service. Several websites have said they have closed the trail to the upper falls because of numerous accidents, where bravado overwhelmed commonsense. An excellent view of the upper falls is possible without crossing the dangerous boulders.

Wildcat Waysaide is is along a stretch where US 276 / SC 11 merge. Coming from Greenville, follow US 276 past the merger with SC 11 for five miles. A parking area for the falls is on the right. From Brevard, follow US 276 to a point 0.5 miles past the merger with SC 11. The pull off and falls are on the left. On my first visit the parking area was easily located by a boiled peanut stand, which as the only reason I noticed the falls as I was racing along at 60 MPH. Stairs lead to the middle section of the falls and a creek crossing that leads further upstream to the massive upper falls. Getting a look at the upper falls is planned for 2016.

You can take shots form the parking area or by climbing down to the right side of the collection pool. The lighting can be harsh depending on the time of day. Sadly the traffic racing past on 276 detracts from the overall experience. As does the boiled peanut stand. If you want to explore further, let’s head to the Middle Falls on Wildcat Branch.

Wildcat Wayside – June 2014
The stairs leading to the Middle Falls – June 2014