468 – Splash Dam Falls

Accessibility – Hard+

Height – 35′

Distance – 14.2 (out and back)

Beauty – 8

Photo rating – 8

Solitude – 10

GPS Info: LAT 35.04635 LONG -82.94608

Last Updated – 01-07-2023

Last Visited – 09-18-2021

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If you have a 4X4 you can shorten this hike quite a bit, but the drive to Hilliard Falls is unnerving. I have never done it but the last time I made this hike, everyone else drove to Hiliard and I hiked. The reviews of the drive were unflattering. If you can drive most of the way, my description will help some.

My hike began on Musterground Road, which is accessed from Bad Creek in South Carolina. The Foothills Trail can be picked up 1.2 miles down Musterground Road. It is on the opposite side of the road as the spur trail to Lower Whitewater Falls. A mile into the hike you will enter North Carolina. At 3.3 miles you will come to Coley Creek Falls, which is trailside.Just over a mile past Coley Creek Falls (4.4 miles from Musterground Road) you will reach the spur to Hilliard Falls. It is 0.2 of a mile to reach the base of Hilliard Falls. Head back to the foot hill trail and make a left (continuing in the direct you’ve been going. This is where it gets hard to describe. At around 7.0 miles, which includes the detour to Hilliard Falls, its time to leave the trail. There is no landmark, other than if you’re quiet you can hear the falls. Pick the place that is the least steep, and carefully head down. It is a steep 0.1 to 0.2 bushwhack with lots of small cliffs to content with. Try and keep the falls to your right so you end up downstream. If you come out above the falls, getting to the base is no fun. If you do this correctly, you will come out downstream of a traingular tunnel the creek passes through, The falls is just upstream. Been three times, and when you catch it in the right conditions, wow.

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