Oconee County Waterfall Adventure
Sid's Falls, Maxie Duke Falls, Sparkle Falls,
Moonshine Falls, and Limestone Falls
with Jenni, Kyle, Angelina, and Ziggy
Saturday, April 20th, 2019
Group Photo at Maxie Duke Falls
L to R: Kyle, Me, Jenni, Angelina
and Ziggy in front
I have lived in South Carolina for 20 years now, and somehow a visit to Sid's and Maxie Duke Falls has managed to escape me! Jenni volunteer to lead to way to help me remedy this situation! Also joining us would be Kyle, Angelina, and their fur baby Ziggy!
A major storm system brought a deluge of rain to the area filling up the creeks. It also brought a little bit of a Blackberry Winter with morning temperatures in the 30s. I got a message from Kyle that they were running late, so Jenni and I decided to get started without them as we were both ready to get the blood moving!
We started out with Sid's Falls, which in my opinion is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the Carolina's! And even more so with high flow like we had today!
Jenni and Me at Sid's Falls
After Sid's Falls, we started the steep climb back out. Just as I was getting ready to leave Kyle and Angelina a note as to which way were were heading, Ziggy came by to great us! Kyle and Angelina followed soon after and we continued on down to Maxie Duke Falls!
Maxie Duke Falls
Kyle at Maxie Duke Falls
Next on our agenda would be Sparkle Falls which would be a new one for all of us! We decided to bushwhack/creekwalk downstream from Maxie Duke. We ran across a few other smaller cascades along the way!
Cascade downstream from Maxie Duke Falls
Even with heavy flow, we had no problems reaching the confluence with Sawhead Branch and followed that upstream to Sparkle Falls. This one exceeded all of our expectations!
Sparkle Falls on Sawhead Brach
Group Photo at Sparkle Falls
From Sparkle Falls, we continued upstream.
Jenni, Angelina, and Ziggy creek walking upstream on Sawhead Branch
We had hoped to reach the confluence of Shoulder Bone Branch, but the stream started getting choked in with growth. In hindsight, we probably should have stuck with the creek walk, but instead we chose to bushwhack from here back the to Sid's Fall trail which turned out to be the most difficult part of our adventure by far!
Kyle and Angelia! At this point, that log was "the trail"
Ziggy at Sid's Falls
Kyle and Ziggy at Sid's Falls
Angelina and Ziggy at Sid's Falls
Ziggy at Sid's Falls
Here are a few more photos from the hike back and the GPS Track from the first half of our day!
Kyle, Angelina, and Ziggy hiking the Forest Service road back from Sid's Falls
Jenni hiking by some Dogwood Blooms
There was still plenty of time left in the day for a few more waterfalls, so we decided to head on over to Moonshine Falls (not to be confused with the more well known Greenville County Moonshine Falls).
I had never heard of this one until Jenni messaged me about it earlier in the week. It is located on an unnamed tributary of the Chauga River!
Kyle by "Upper Moonshine Falls"
Thankfully the main drop downstream proved to be much more impressive!
Kyle and Ziggy at Moonshine Falls
Picture in Picture!
Angelina taking a photo of Kyle at Moonshine Falls
The lower drop of Moonshine Falls turned out to be nicer than expected, but this one really needs some good flow. During normal conditions, I would expect this one to be just a trickle!
After Moonshine Falls, we had time for one more short waterfall hike, so we finished up our day at Limestone Falls. The rain had started falling again, and my tripod decided to quit on my, so I didn't take a whole lot of photos.
A forest full of Trillium on the way to Limestone Falls
Since Limestone Falls is on Private Property, I am not going to post the GPS track. We did not run into any no trespassing signs, but that can change at any time!
I had an great day out in the woods with Jenni, Kyle, and Angelina! My complete set of photos is posted here: