Blue Hole Falls

South Carolina

A popular summertime swimming hole and waterfall destination.
(Video: 5 minutes 0 seconds)
+more (video transcript)
Hidden away in the Sumter National Forest of South Carolina, just north of Walhalla in the town of Mountain Rest, is the remote waterfall and swimming hole - Blue Hole Falls. Named for the large pool at the base of the falls, this beautiful spot in the wilderness is somewhat less popular than other nearby waterfalls and is a great hiking destination during the warmer summer months. This hike also includes the smaller Cedar Creek Falls, which is more of a cascade, that is just upstream from Blue Hole Falls.

The Sumter National Forest is one of only two national forests in the State of South Carolina. It consists of over 370,000 acres via several non-contiguous sections in Western South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. It is the home to a number of rivers and waterfalls supporting activities like hiking, backpacking, canoeing, horseback riding, camping and fishing.

Blue Hole Falls is located in Mountain Rest South Carolina about 1/2 mile off the unpaved Rich Mountain Road. From Walhalla, you head North on Highway 28 for about 10 minutes turning left onto Whetstone Road. After about 1 mile, turn left on Cassidy Bridge Road. After another mile, turn left onto the unpaved Rich Mountain Road. We couldn't find a road-sign for Rich Mountain Road during our trip but it was easy to locate. It is the first large unpaved road on your left after turning onto Cassidy Bridge Road. You will drive a little over 3 miles and make a right continuing approximately another 2 miles before reaching the trailhead. The trailhead isn't marked so just look for the small and somewhat obstructed forest road that veers off the right. There are no facilities at the trailhead.

The trail starts by following the small forest road leading into the woods. After about 3/10's of a mile, you will encounter a T with some boulders indicating the trail which goes to the right. At this point there are blue blazes on the trees marking the trail. Look for the double blue blazes next to a small trail and take that trail to the left leading down to the creek. This is just as the trail turns to parallel the Cedar Creek. You should end up on Cedar creek with a nice view of Cedar Creek Falls upstream and the start of Blue Hole Falls downstream. You can relax here a bit and enjoy the view before continuing.

You will need to cross Cedar Creek as the trail continues downstream on the other side. Be mindful of the water level and do not try to cross the creek if it is too high. We also recommend crossing the creek close to the base of Cedar Creek Falls so that you are not right on top of Blue Hole Falls. You may need to get your feet wet so be safe and take your time.

After you cross the creek, the trail continues downstream for about 100ft following the loose trail to the right of Blue Hole Falls until you arrive at the large pool at the bottom.

You can sit back and admire the view or, if you brought your bathing suit, you can wade in the large pool and even swim right up to the bottom of the falls. If you are lucky, you will have the falls and the pool all to yourself. If not, there probably won't be too many people there with you. Either way we are sure you will enjoy your visit to Blue Hole Falls.

This is an out an back hike so when you have finished, hike safely back to your car, again be very careful as your cross Cedar Creek.
Blue Hole Falls
Blue Hole Falls
Blue Hole Falls with Swimming Hole
Blue Hole Falls with Swimming Hole
Address & GPS
Rich Mountain Road
Mountain Rest, SC 29664
34.762341N, -83.189741W
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