Summary: Popular, scenic trail to one of the most beautiful waterfalls in South Carolina. There are two hikes, one to the overlook which is the one where most pictures of the waterfall are taken, and one to the suspension bridge over the top of the falls (where Matthew's Creek runs in). We took the suspension bridge option.
Arrive early, because on the way back, we encountered several 'groups' of people sightseeing. But, It was peaceful on the way there (we arrived around 7:50 am). Great views since leaves had fallen. Once we got to the descent leading to the bridge, you could feel the temperature drop dramatically and it was cold (daytime temp though was ~70-75). You can access the creek before the falls pretty easy to get some good pictures. The suspension bridge is a nice piece of work also. Great views from above, but not the popular view you may have seen in books. Such creation of rocks and water is awe inspiring though.
Trailhead: Very easy to find. Coming from Greenville on US HWY 276, head toward Caesar's Head State Park. Approximately 1 mile past the park visitor center is the Raven Cliff Parking lot (clearly marked). Turn into the second entrance to park. Get there early because the lot fills up quickly since also allows access to other trails and is a popular hiking spot. If full, can park on road above lot (per park ranger). (Lat:35.1158 Lon:-82.63871)
Trail Guides for Raven Cliff Falls- Suspension Bridge:
Hiking South Carolina
by John Clark & John Dantzler (Falcon)
by SC State Trails Program ()
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: Caesars Head State Park, 864-836-6115
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Brian Bain, who has posted 6 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by NW on 8/28/2012
Great hike, but if you bring your dog and take the longer route (suspension bridge and all) be aware that you have ladders to climb and a cold, knee-high creek to cross. My dog doesn't like crossing over so I have to carry her every time. Chilly-willy!
Reviewed by DJ on 10/19/2010
We done the complete loop and went to the outlook to veiw the fall before going to the bridge, trail 11, 12, 14, 13 back to 11 to the parking lot. It's 9 miles and it took 7 hours. We took a short break, 3 to 5 minutes a few times and hung out at the falls and bridge for about 45 minutes. It was a great trip, but next time I'll take 11, 13 and 14 to the bridge and maybe up to the stone wall.
Reviewed by Brett on 10/13/2007
We decided to hike to the observation deck, because we thought it would make for good pictures. We were very surprised when we got there and the deck was easily a mile and a half away from the falls. It was kind of a let down of a view, but the hike it self was beautiful. Very peaceful, and would like to do it again one day, but next time would definitely go to the bridge.
Reviewed by erica vw. on 11/4/2006
This hike was difficult, but fun. I am not a very experienced hiker (or in shape) but was still able to do it. I would definitely recommend going down Dismal trail and up Naturaland trust rather than staying on Gum Gap if you're doing the loop. Going up Dismal was just that-Dismal. We were exhausted at the top of that mountain. There were very pretty sights and many great photo opportunities. Make sure to bring the camera and lots of water.
Reviewed by Rachel on 5/28/2004
This is a great waterfall! Very beautiful and definitely worth the trip! I also want to reccomend the great views from Caesars Head State Park. It is breathtaking! Raven Cliff Falls is a great hike and a great day trip! You definitely want to have several rolls of film with you because you will want to stay here a long time....
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Keys: South Carolina Hiking, South Carolina Trails, South Carolina Hikes, Greenville County Hiking, Greenville County Trails, Greenville County Hikes