Opossum Creek Falls

01/19/2016

On Tuesday, I met Pam and Wayne at about 11:15 am at our usual rendezvous location of Martha’s restaurant in Walhala, SC.  We were still wanting to do a hike, but because we were getting a late start, we figured that we’d stay in the general area and do something shorter. We decided that we would hike the Opossum Creek Trail, so we climbed into Pam’s vehicle and drove to towards the trailhead.

After arriving at the trailhead, we donned our packs and began our hike. I’ve not done this trail before, and with the leaves off the trees, the open view made it feel like an enchanted forest. I was almost giddy. I hope that Pam and Wayne didn’t notice. I can’t let on that I have another side to me that’s not just quiet and reserved.

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There were a few downed trees along the trail, including this one covered in lichens, that we either had to climb over or crawl under.

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Much of this tree has rotted away, so I’m a little surprised that it hasn’t fallen like some of the others.

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I thought that the dappled sunlight together with the different colors and shapes of the various trees and vegetation, was very pretty at this spot along the trail.

This is a view up into the canopy. As you can see, we had a perfectly clear blue sky for our hike.

Where’s Waldo? The trail had just switched back as it continued downhill. If you look closely, you can see Pam leading and Wayne not far behind.

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The trail stays close to Camp Branch for a while before crossing it. We made our way to the other side by boulder hopping. Fortunately, the three of us managed to keep our feet dry.

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This pretty little cascade is on Opossum Creek, and is not far downstream from the falls.

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That’s Wayne up ahead, following the trail as it passed through a rhododendron thicket.

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This was my first view of the falls as we approached the end of the trail.

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Opossum Creek Falls are supposed to be 50 feet high but seem to be even higher. Maybe they appear taller because the top of the falls are set so far back into the hillside that the water has a longs ways to tumble before it reaches the base.

Of the water falls that I’ve seen so far on my various hikes, I think that I would probably rank Opossum Creek Falls in my top three, right behind Triple Falls in Dupont State Forest, and Upper Whitewater Falls near the NC/SC state line.

This hollowed out tree was a few feet from where we were standing. We stayed for a while, taking in the beauty of the falls and of the surrounding terrain.

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Eventually, we turned around to begin the hike back to the trailhead.

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On our way out, we stopped at this sandy area along the Chattooga River, about 3 tenths of a mile from the falls. It’s here that Opossum Creek joins the river.

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The hike in had been mostly downhill and pretty easy. The hike out was moderately strenuous since we were about 800 feet below our vehicle.  In all we hiked a total of 5 miles for the round trip and climbed 945 feet. I really enjoyed this hike and am looking forward to doing it again.

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