Hike a short but sweet quarter mile to the tumbling cascades of Issaqueena Falls, one of South Carolina’s most beautiful waterfalls located just across the Georgia border.

georgia hiking trails: 0-2 miles .25 miles
(round trip)
? Your mileage may vary! Accuracy of your GPS device, weather conditions, and stops along your route will affect your own recorded distance.
georgia hiking trails: moderate to difficultmore
difficult
?Our difficulty estimate, based on distance, terrain, elevation change, & ease of wayfinding. May vary daily due to weather, trail reroutes, downed trees, etc.
georgia hiking trails: dog-friendly Dog-
friendly
?Leashed dogs are allowed on this trail. We’ve loved hiking this route with our trail-loving Labrador Retrievers! Check out more of our favorite dog-friendly trails in Georgia for a great hike with your pup.

LOCATION:near South Carolina's Sumter National Forest

GEAR: Osprey Stratos 24 Backpack, our hiking gear list and Nikon D750 Camera

WEAR: Our ultra-soft Atlanta Trails shirts and mountain logo hats

It’s big on beauty, but short on distance: the quarter-mile hike to Issaqueena Falls makes for a fantastic family-friendly adventure. The hike explores a several-hundred-foot tall cascading waterfall at the edge of South Carolina’s beautiful Sumter National Forest, catching views from an observation deck before scrambling to the base of the falls.

Issaqueena Falls

With easy access and abundant beauty comes popularity, so the trail does get some traffic on fair-weather weekends. And its proximity to the nearby Stumphouse Tunnel, a historic railroad tunnel from the mid-1800s, makes this waterfall hike a popular one. Seeking some solitude at the falls? Arrive in the morning for a chance at having the falls to yourself – and some beautiful golden morning light on the trail.

Issaqueena Falls

Hike a short but sweet quarter mile to the tumbling cascades of Issaqueena Falls, one of South Carolina's most beautiful waterfalls located just across the Georgia border. #hiking #southcarolina #travel #outdoors #adventure

Issaqueena Falls: the hike

The adventure begins at a trailhead at Stumphouse Mountain Park just northwest of Walhalla, SC (view maps and driving directions). The hike departs southbound from the parking area and quickly crosses a small wooden covered bridge over Cane Creek.

The level trail continues south for several hundred yards, winding through thickets of leathery-leafed rhododendron and soon reaching a wooden observation platform that overlooks the enormous waterfall.

To reach the base of the falls, a steep but short trail descends below the observation deck to a rewarding vantage point that gives the waterfall a great sense of scale. This section of the trail is often somewhat muddy and slippery, so footwear with good tread is useful in navigating the steep downhill.

Issaqueena Falls

The base of the main falls makes for a great spot for a picnic – or simply just relaxing and admiring the beauty of the cascade. Although Cane Creek flows quite narrow upstream, the waterfall beautifully disperses over ledges and boulders to form a voluminous cascade that is exceptionally scenic, especially after some rain.

A narrow trail continues about 30 feet further alongside the waterfall, where Cane Creek begins to settle back to its meandering state. This section of trail is just as tricky (if not more so) than the original descent from the observation platform, and gnarly, uneven roots cover the trail. Tread carefully!

The return route to the trailhead follows the outbound hike in reverse, climbing up to the observation deck and through the covered bridge. The hike reaches the trailhead at a quarter mile, completing the adventure.

Nearby adventures

Several of our favorite adventures lie just across the state line in Georgia. Follow a particularly scenic stretch of the Chattooga River Trail along a broad, clear-flowing stretch of the Chattooga, one of the South’s few wild and unaltered rivers. The nearly-level hike begins at Russell Bridge on the South Carolina / Georgia border, visits the remains of a historic homestead, and ends at the river’s ultra-scenic river banks at Adeline Ford. Or for a shorter adventure, hike the Dicks Creek Falls Trail to the Chattooga’s banks, catching beautiful views of an enormous waterfall that tumbles into the river.


Issaqueena Falls Map, Directions & Details

Issaqueena Falls Trail Map
This map reflects our route when we last followed the trail. Trails and routes change frequently – so please refer to official trail maps for the latest route.

Updates

Did you have trouble accessing the trail, or notice some recent trail updates or storm damage? We'd love to know! Contact us here, and thanks for helping us keep this site updated!

Driving Directions



Parking

There's a $2 parking fee required at Stumphouse Tunnel Park and the Issaqueena Falls trailhead.


GPS Coordinates

34.807600, -83.121517     //     N34 48.456 W83 07.291

Elevation Profile

Issaqueena Falls Trail Elevation Profile
 
 
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Christian Murillo
Author

Christian Murillo is a professional Adventure and Natural Landscape Photographer based out of Atlanta, Georgia. His passion is getting outdoors as much as possible and inspiring others to do the same. His photography serves a purpose to not only show the natural beauty of the American Southeast, but also to motivate people to protect our natural spaces for generations to come. You can check out more of his work in Instagram @cmurillophoto and on his website, murillophoto.com.