A 50ft waterfall in the beautiful Jones Gap State Park that is easily reached.
Located in the Upstate of South Carolina in the 4,000 acre pristine woodlands of Jones Gap State Park, is the namesake waterfall of the park – Jones Gap Falls. This 50ft beauty is an easy waterfall to visit as the trail is only about 1 mile one-way, has minimal elevation change, and parallels the gorgeous boulder strewn Middle Saluda River almost the entire hike.
Located in the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area of upstate South Carolina, Jones Gap State Park is a jewel among the South Carolina State Parks. Wrapped around the Middle Saluda River, Jones Gap State Park is a wonderful forest of beautiful creeks and waterfalls that supports a number of outdoor and recreational activities including hiking, camping, and fishing. There is also a very nice visitors center, state owned fish hatchery, and numerous picnic areas.
Jones Gap State Park is located at 303 Jones Gap Road in Marietta South Carolina. From the South you would approach via highway 276 or, from the North, you would approach via highway 25. Jones Gap is about 45 minutes from Greenville South Carolina or about 1 hour from Asheville North Carolina. There are restroom facilities present at the visitor’s center.
There is very limited parking available at Jones Gap which unfortunately can lead to delays when entering the park. This is a very popular spot and your best bet is to arrive early. There is also an admission fee for entering the park. As of mid-2016, when this episode was produced, the fees were $5 for adults, $3.25 for seniors, $3.00 for children aged 6-15 and children 5 and under were free. There is a fee station present at the parking lot or you can pay at the visitors center.
The trailhead to Jones Gap Falls starts just past the visitors center on the other side of the Middle Saluda River. From the parking lot follow the signs to the visitor center and then follow the signs to the Jones Gap Trail. The Jones Gap Trail is 5.3 miles but we are only going to be hiking about 1 mile of it on this trip. Make sure you register at the sign board before starting your hike.
The trail to Jones Gap Falls is very pleasant as it follows the river the majority of the hike. It is easy to follow and is marked with blue blazes. At about 1 mile the trail crosses the river over a very nicely constructed bridge that provides a great view of the Middle Saluda River. The trail then veers left and after a short distance you encounter the turn off up to the falls which is only about 100ft ahead.
Jones Gap Falls is a narrow stream that cascades down the exposed rocks creating a nice picturesque waterfall framed by the foliage growing along its edges. The falls pour into a nice clear pool at the bottom that is perfect for dipping your feet into. There are also a number of large boulders lying around that you can relax on while you enjoy the sights and sounds of Jones Gap Falls.
This is an out and back hike so when you are done enjoying the falls, hike back the trail to the visitors center and let the rangers know how much you enjoyed the hike.