Most people would be delighted with one good view of a beautiful waterfall. Brasstown Falls offers you four—in one easy hike.
Thanks to improvements to the trail, a pedestrian bridge and several new observation platforms, visitors now have the opportunity to see four different sections of the waterfall, each equally dramatic.
This hidden gem, tucked in the westernmost corner of South Carolina in Oconee County, was once considered a difficult and dangerous hike, requiring a steep descent on an unmarked trail to view two of the four sections.
Today, wooden steps, rock bridges and a log ladder allow visitors to climb down to the lower falls without risking life and limb. Observation decks, built into the side of the mountain, provide a fantastic vantage point for viewing the cascading water.
The entire hike to the four falls is just short of a mile long (one-way), making it an easy trek even for inexperienced hikers.
From the parking lot, you’ll walk about five minutes along a flat path before you reach a fork in the trail. To the left is Little Brasstown Falls, once accessible only by wading across the creek. A pedestrian bridge now makes the quarter-mile passage to the falls virtually effortless. The picturesque waterfall drops 20 feet over a series of moss-covered granite ledges before continuing its downstream run through a dense hardwood forest.
To follow the creek to its next three major drops, retrace your steps back to the fork in the trail and take the right leg. The first waterfall you’ll come to is Brasstown Cascades. It tumbles 50 feet down rock ledges into a calm swimming hole popular with families in the warmer months of the year. The new observation deck offers an ideal photo spot for selfies with the falls in the background.
From there, the path narrows and descends along the creek. With the new steps, it’s now much easier to make it down to the next section of the falls where the water plunges 35 feet from a long flat ledge, thus earning it the name Brasstown Veil.
More steep steps and a log ladder will get you to Brasstown Sluice, the final section of Brasstown Falls where the creek pours through a 15-foot chute, thundering down another 35 feet into a cove of calm water.
Located in the southern edge of Sumter National Forest, Brasstown Falls is one of Oconee County's most remote waterfalls. But the drive through the secluded and scenic Brasstown Valley adds to the adventure.
To get to Brasstown Falls, drive 12 miles on Highway 76 from Westminster and turn left on Brasstown Road. Continue 4 miles (the last 1.5 miles will be gravel), turning right on Forest Service Road 751 just before a small bridge. The parking area is half a mile up the road.
If you time your trip right, you can stop at Brasstown Creek Gathering BBQ Place for a plateful of slow-smoked meaty goodness. Open Fridays and Saturdays from 4-9 p.m., the restaurant is located on the same road you take to get to the trailhead. Order a plate from the menu, featuring pork, beef, chicken, ribs and an array of sides, and take a seat among the many indoor or outdoor tables. Sit back, fill your belly and revel over another great day in the South Carolina Upcountry.