Reedy Branch Falls Is a Hidden Treasure in Oconee County

By:Marie McAden


Travelers along Oconee County’s US 76 would never know that just a short walk from the two-lane roadway is a beautiful 30-foot waterfall tucked among the towering trees of Sumter National Forest.

Reedy Branch Falls, also known as Burson’s Falls, is hidden in a secluded cove not 300 yards from the black top. While it’s easily accessible, it’s also easily overlooked.

There is no sign or trailhead directing passersby to the falls — just a pull-off with a stone wall and columns that look like the entrance to a private residential community. That’s because the property was going to be developed for home sites, only the US Forest Service bought it before the first house was ever built.

A US Forest Service placard on the iron gate is the only evidence visitors will find indicating the property is public land. To get to the cascade, you have to walk around the gate and down a gravel road, built when the property was first being developed.

You might think you’ve reached the end of the road when you get to the remains of a concrete bridge that once traversed the creek. But if you look to the left, you’ll see a trail through the woods. From here, it’s just a five-minute walk to the waterfall.

Reedy Branch flows over part of a 100-foot wide rock ledge, spilling onto a series of moss-covered outcroppings and into a shallow pool. From there, the creek winds its way through the forest, eventually emptying into the Chattooga River.

The cascade is framed by lush vegetation on either side, enhancing the beauty of Mother Nature’s handiwork.

Visitors will find plenty of rocks at the base of the falls to sit and enjoy the view or a picnic lunch.

If you’re traveling in the area to raft or fish on the Chattooga River, don’t miss the opportunity to check out Reedy Branch Falls. The pull-off is on the left side of the highway, a third of a mile past Chattooga Ridge Road heading north on US 76.

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