On a recent trip to the Jocassee Gorges, I had a chance to check out the S.C. Department of Natural Resources' trail to the top of Twin Falls (also known as Reedy Cove Falls). While it doesn't offer much of a view of the falls - at least not in the spring - it's a pleasant mile-long hike through some very interesting terrain.
The trail follows portions of the old Appalachian Lumber Company railroad bed, and remnants of track twisted from past floods can be found along the way - an eerie reminder of the powerful force of nature.
You'll start your trek on forested roads and follow an improved trail up a hillside through hardwood and pine forests. Look for several extraordinarily large beech trees along this portion.
As the trail begins to follow the creek's path, the terrain gets rather rocky. Three foot bridges and numerous timber steps have been built to make the hiking easier. A small outcropping near the top of the falls allows you to peer through the trees and catch a glimpse of the waterworks. I've been told in the winter you can see the Eastatoe Valley, where Reedy Cove Creek joins Eastatoe Creek. The freshly sprouted leaves on the trees obstructed the view when we hiked the trail in April, but while we couldn't see much of the falls, we could definitely hear it.
If you walk a little ways past the end of the trail, you'll find a series of pretty cascades that feed into the falls. It had rained hard the night before our hike, so the water roared past us in torrents.
Allow yourself about an hour to make it up and back the 1.1-mile trail. To access the trailhead, take U.S. 178 to Cleo Chapman Road. The small hiker parking area is about a half-mile up from the intersection.
The best view of Twin Falls is from an overlook at the bottom of the cascade. It's an easy 1-mile hike to the waterfall, where you'll enjoy a spectacular view of Reedy Cove Creek thundering down massive slabs of granite.