A five mile round trip hike through a beautiful section of the forest takes you to the mighty Chattooga River and the wonderful Opossum Creek Falls.
In the far western corner of South Carolina, in the Sumter National Forest, is the 50ft Opossum Creek Falls. It is reached via a pleasant and moderate 2.4 mile one way hike. The trail wanders through an absolutely beautiful section of the forest, briefly touches the gorgeous Chattooga river, and then follows Opossum Creek upstream to the falls. This is a great hike and a destination that should be at the top of your list of waterfalls to visit.
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 home to a number of rivers and waterfalls supporting activities like hiking, backpacking, canoeing, horseback riding, camping and fishing.
The trailhead for Opossum Creek Falls is located on the unpaved Turkey Ridge Road in the community of Long Creek, South Carolina. While the road is unpaved, it is well maintained and easily traveled. Follow Battle Creek Road and look for the sign indicating the turn off for Turkey Ridge Road, then keep a lookout for the small pull off for the primitive forest service road 755F, it can be difficult to spot. Park along this service road, but don’t block the gate, then walk back on Turkey Ridge Road to meet the trailhead which is about 100 ft back the way you came. There are no restroom facilities at the trailhead or nearby. Opossum Creek Falls is about 60 minutes from Franklin North Carolina or about 90 minutes from Greenville South Carolina.
Look for the small trail marker and large boulders, indicating the start of the trailhead, there is also an informative signboard about 50 ft into the woods. The trail is very nice and is well marked with white blazes; although there are a few uphill stretches, it is generally downhill the first 2 miles until you reach the Chattooga River. You mostly parallel a small creek that will gradually grow as other smaller creeks feed into it on the descent down the ridge. This isn’t Opossum Creek but it is beautiful and does have a few cascades that you might catch a glimpse of if the trees are bare. Just after 2 miles, the trail reaches the large and beautiful Chattooga River which could be a destination itself. You can take a break, relax, and enjoy the river or continue on the marked trail that follows Opossum Creek upstream. The trail becomes a little more rugged, but is still very well maintained and easy to follow. It isn’t long until Opossum Creek Falls becomes visible through the trees.
Opossum Creek Falls is a beautiful waterfall that consists of a few upper cascades that feed into the large main waterfall. Even in the winter, the area stays green and lush. It is a wonderful destination that makes you want to hang around and enjoy the sights and sounds of the epic Opossum Creek Falls.
When you are finished enjoying the area, hike safely back up the trail to the parking area. If you didn’t relax and enjoy the Chattooga River on the hike in, be sure to enjoy it on the way out.