This website encourages families, novice hikers, and weekend walkers to visit Upstate South Carolina's easy-to-reach waterfalls. It also serves to make known many attractive waterfalls within reach of residents of the Upstate. Most of these waterfalls are within the ability of the average hiker to reach on a day hike.
Many waterfalls are accessible by families with young children and mature adults and are encouraged to take advantage of great family times.
Another purpose is to present a glimpse of God's creation that He permits us to enjoy. As displayed on this website, the meandering trails and streams abound with beautiful and unusual wildflowers present throughout the year.
The magnificence of the waterfalls and wildflowers shows us God's handiwork. Through his handiwork, we glorify God as the Creator and Sustainer of our world and the universe.
Be prepared with a camera to capture the waterfalls, wildflowers, and scenic beauty of our Blue Ridge Mountains.
This website also presents some historical sites that afford everyone educational opportunities.
Some information presented on this website will help the more advanced hiker and waterfall enthusiast seeking to find some of the lesser-known and more hard-to-find waterfalls.
Some general information and photos of waterfalls, trails, and wildflowers are listed. However, specific driving directions and trail directions are complete in the book Waterfall Hikes of Upstate South Carolina, available for a reasonable charge at most State Park visitors' centers, local bookstores, outdoor outfitters, retail outlets, and online.
Few sights captivate the eye like a waterfall. An irresistible magic draws us to gaze in wonder at these natural fountains. Waterfalls are among nature’s most sought-after spectacles, attested to by the fact that many a mountain trail ends at the foot of a cascading stream. Their beauty and drama inspire poems of praise and tales of tragedy, and the danger posed by their perilous heights seems only to add to their allure.
Neither skillfully made photographs nor carefully chosen words can fully convey the beauty and drama of a waterfall. Scenes of such grandeur defy expression. Perhaps this is because a waterfall is as much an event as a place—the motion and the sound of falling water, the thunderous roar and drenching spray, the smell of fresh water on laurel-scented air—these delights must be experienced firsthand.
For untold ages, these places of wild splendor have beckoned from the ancient heights. Thanks to people who care, they beckon still.
Feature Editor at National Geographic Magazine
"Tom [King] knows the terrain and the trail well. As a volunteer with the U.S. Forest Service and the South Carolina State Park Service, he keeps the course clear, helping maintain the trails by cutting brush and building steps. One of our state's leading waterfalls experts, the Anderson native has hiked the Upstate since he was a teenage boy, finding and filing information on falls in Oconee, Pickens, and Greenville Counties. Tom's pictures and descriptions of falls resulted . . . in Waterfall Hikes of Upstate South Carolina. The book features pictures of, directions to, and comments on 125 falls in the area."
"After an opening section of his book in which he covers basic matters such as classifying waterfalls, making suggestions on how to photograph them, rating their beauty, and the vital matter of trails, King devotes the bulk of his 311-page book to individual waterfall hikes. For each waterfall he includes a description of its type (such as fan, block, sluice, or tiered), a rating, the stream which creates it, trail length and difficulty, height, hiking time, the U. S. Geological Survey quadrangular map covering it, and the fee (if any). There are also driving directions to the trailhead and careful, detailed descriptions of the walking portion of one’s waterfall adventure... In addition to being an inveterate hiker and waterfall wanderer, King is also a talented photographer. The book offers small inset photos of each waterfall, and on the facing page for most waterfalls there is a photo of a native wildflower. The result is something which transcends the typical guidebook to which hikers and wilderness walkers have become accustomed. Yes, all the information is there, but the reader/user gets a visual treat in the bargain."
—Spartanburg (SC) Herald-Journal
"King identifies 125 waterfalls in the Upstate, which he rates on appearance and accessibility. Take his trail ratings with a grain of salt—remember, he’s writing for families, not experienced hikers—but his driving and trail directions are precise, and his photos are helpful in determining whether you want to visit a particular waterfall. This book is a good resource for families with small children. Adults may enjoy the walking and solitude, but children need a destination—a purpose for going into the woods. In addition, most hikes are less than two miles roundtrip. King’s book is bound to become 'the' waterfall book for the Upstate."