Only 12ft high but over 100ft wide, Riley Moore Falls is one of our favorite waterfalls.
In the far Northwest corner of South Carolina, in the Sumter National Forest, is the 12ft high, but 100ft wide, Riley Moore Falls. It is an absolute upstate treasure with a very large, pleasant, and relaxing viewing area on the shore of the Chauga River. We really didn’t know what to expect when we made the short 1 mile hike to the falls but it quickly became one of our favorites. It is difficult to put into words, but there was something very soothing about Riley Moore Falls that made us just want to hang out and enjoy it a bit longer than we normally would have.
The trailhead to Riley Moore Falls starts at the end of the unpaved forest road – FS 748C. The trail to the falls from this point is only 7/10’s of a mile; however most cars won’t be able to travel along FS 748C, it is pretty rough, and will have to park and start the hike at the beginning of the road which adds another 3/10’s of a mile to the hike. For most people, the hike will start at the intersection of Spy Rock Road and FS 748C. Spy Rock Road is also an unpaved road but is in great shape and shouldn’t be a problem for most vehicles. The trailhead is about 20 minutes from Westminster or Walhalla South Carolina, 80 minutes from Greenville South Carolina, or about 2 hours from Atlanta Georgia. This is a very remote area and there are no restroom facilities onsite.
If you aren’t able to make it to the trailhead with your vehicle, hike along FS 748C until it ends at a small parking area at the bottom of the hill. From here the trailhead is clearly marked and easy to spot. The trail is wonderfully maintained and an easy hike. It is marked with purple blazes and has very little elevation change as your gradually walk your way down to Chauga River. As you near the river, you will hear the falls in the background. A few steps down a short hill will have you on the wide and spacious shore of the river where you can relax and enjoy the beautiful Riley Moore Falls.
The large swimming hole and sandy shore make this a popular spot in the summer months where you can walk right up to the base of the falls. During our visit in February, it was a little too cold for getting in the river so we just enjoyed the falls from the shore. This is really a nice area with plenty of space to sit and relax or plan ahead and bring a picnic. You could easily spend hours just hanging out along the river bank close to the falls.
This is an out and back hike so when you are done enjoy the falls, hike safely back up the trail to the parking area.