Bad Creek - Coon Branch - Lower Whitewater Falls - SC

July 12, 2005

HIKERS - Wanda Miller,   Wayne Miller,   Bob Presley,   Tony Presley,  Dan Ross, and Doug Russell.

TRAIL INFO. - Today, we traveled to the Bad Creek Project trail parking lot near the SC/NC border, with the intention of hiking on the Foothills Trail over to Lower Whitewater Falls. After hiking down the Bad Creek connector trail, we found that the footbridge over the Whitewater River was out! So, we hiked up the nice little Coon Branch Trail then back up to the parking lot and down the gravel road across the river bridge and connected with the Lower Whitewater Trail down to the observation platform for the falls.

Total round trip hiking distance - 7.1 miles

Trail difficulty rating: Moderate with several significant hills.

Directions: From SC - Take Highway 11 past Tamassee, to Salem, SC continue to the intersection SC 11 and SC 130. Turn left onto 130 and drive approx. 10 miles (very near the NC state line) to the Bad Creek entrance. There is an automatic gate that opens as you stop in front of the gate. Drive down the Bad Creek Road to the Trails Parking lot.

From Highlands, NC - Take Highway 64 East to Cashiers, turn right onto Highway 107 South for 9.3 miles. At Whitewater Falls sign, turn left to SC 130. Continue 2.3 miles to stop sign and turn left onto Whitewater Rd. (SR1171). Drive about a half mile to the Bad Creek Project entrance. There is an automatic gate that opens as you stop in front of the gate.

Another great day for a hike! Partly cloudy and humid with temperatures ranging from the mid 70's to the low 80's.

 

FLOWERS IN BLOOM: St. Andrew's Cross, Mountain Mint, Rosebay Rhododendrun, Whorled Loostrife, Rosin Weed, Flowering Spurge, Indian Pipes, Tall Bluets, Yellowroot, Daisy Fleabane, Buttonweed, Mountain Hydrangea, Sour Wood, Showy Rattlesnake Plantain Orchid, Yellow Star Grass, Mullein, Phlox, Whorled Coreopsis, Sweetshrub, Black-eyed Susan, Bergamot, Queen Anne's Lace.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Tufted Titmouse, Bluebird, Towhee.


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After walking down to the Whitewater River, we found the bridge out!
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From the bridge, we walked up the Coon Branch Trail where we passed by this bench sign.
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The Coon Branch Trail is a beautiful "old growth" forest trail along the river. On the return trip, this tree was being cleared by Duke Power workers.
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The river was roaring with excess water from frequent heavy showers the day before.
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Here, we head down the gravel road toward the Whitewater River Bridge.
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Looking down the river from the bridge.
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The Wild Hydrangeas were blooming nicely!
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Our lunchtime view of the Lower Whitewater Falls!
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This view of the river is just above the falls.
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The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r kneeling) Bob Presley and Doug Russell. (l-r standing) Dan Ross, Wayne Miller, Wanda Miller, and Tony Presley


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