248 – Lee Falls

Accessibility – Moderate

Height: Approx 50′-55′

Distance – 2.9 miles (out and back)

Beauty – 7

Photo rating – 8

Solitude – 7

GPS Info: LAT 35.2887 LONG -82.8271

Last updated – 03-20-2018

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The hike to Lee Falls as well as the waterfall itself combine to make this one of my favorites in the SC upstate. Slightly under 3.0 miles round trip, most of the hike is through a series of wildlife clearing with only the final section on a wooded trail. Once you get to the falls the trail gets steep and you’re going to have to climb over some big boulders and fallen trees to get into a good vantage. I was able to cross the creek for some different views as well.

To get to the trailhead from SC11 South make a right onto Dynamite Road. If you’re coming from SC11 North make a left onto Dynamite Road. Once you’re on Dynamite Road, follow it for 1.1 miles to Cheohee Valley Road and make a right. Take Cheohee Valley Road for just over 1.1 miles and make a left on Tamassee Knob Road. Half a mile down Tamasee Knob Road, make a right onto Jumping Branch Road. Take Jumping Branch Road for 1.5 miles and turn left onto Government Road FS715A. Follow this gravel road for 0.7 miles to a dirt parking area on your right. If you cross a narrow cement bridge you went to far.

The hike starts by passing the gate and entering the large wildlife clearing. I was here in March to the grass was ankle height. I’m not sure what it’s like in the summer. In the fall keep an eye out as you cross the open grassy areas since they seem to be a favorite place for bees to nest on the ground. This comes from experience. The first clearing will pass a break in the woods and lead you to a crossing of Tamasee Creek. Once across there’s a second wildlife clearing. The second field and third field are split by a band of trees. After the third field, there’s another crossing of Tamasee Creek there is a final wildlife clearing. When you get to the end of the fourth clearing, angle toward the right corner. A trail enters the woods. As you follow it you will have to cross several small creeks before the trail starts to ascend toward the rocky area. At this point it’s a boulder climb to get into place.

The waterfall is amazing and the hike isn’t too bad, making this a great stop. If you add it to Station Cove Falls, which is only a few miles away, you’re in for a great half day of waterfalls in the Upstate.

Lee Falls in Early Spring – March 2018
A slightly different view – March 2018

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