and Little Brasstown Creek
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Brasstown Creek and Little Brasstown Creek provide 4 really stunning waterfalls that are all very accessible and close to the parking area. A long hike is not required, however for one you'll need to be willing to wade a creek, and for the others, you'll need to scramble down a moderately steep, often muddy trail.
The parking area for all 4 of these falls is off Brasstown road, which turns off Highway 76 twelve miles northwest of Westminster, South Carolina in Oconee County. Turn onto Brasstown Road, which is labeled and paved. The waterfalls are off a Forest Service road, whose turn is about 4 miles down this road.
Brasstown road turns to gravel after a bit, but is in good shape and driveable by any vehicle.
Approximately 4 miles from highway 76, just before Brasstown Road makes a 90 degree turn to the left and goes over a bridge, you'll see a gravel road to the right. This is FS751, and is labeled with a small FS road marker on the right (you sort of have to look for it).
Turn here. The road ends at a parking area in approximately 0.4 mile.
The short trail to the falls begins straight ahead, beyond the boulders. It is well worn and easy to follow, and parallels Brasstown Creek the entire way. The three waterfalls are all within a very short distance, over which the creek drops 100 feet in elevation. Consequently the trail is also quite steep, and the day I was there, very muddy and somewhat slippery. But there are plenty of tree roots for hand holds, and as someone who has trouble with steep downhills, I had no trouble at all navigating the trail.
As you can see from the photo at the top of the page, you get a great view from above as you descend from the first waterfall to the middle one. This middle fall, with its gorgeous, vertical drop, also produces quite a lot of spray, which covers the trail, you, and your camera with moisture! If you look at the very top of the photo of the lower waterfall, you can see some of that spray even there. The middle waterfall is immediately upstream from this lowest one.
As impressive as the middle falls are, with their sheer, vertical drop, I really liked this lowest fall best. There is a massive, vertical rocky wall that extends far up the opposite side of the creek where this chute of water descends. There is also a large swimming hole at the base. Beyond here, Brasstown Creek levels out and follows a winding path on its way downstream. If you're careful, it is easy to wade along through the creek further downstream.
After enjoying these gorgeous three waterfalls, make the short steep climb back up the trail towards the parking area. To reach Little Brasstown Falls, you'll note a campsite to your right (as you're heading back towards the parking area). This is just before the wooden informational sign about Sumter National Forest.
Walk into and through the campsite to Brasstown Creek. If you look upstream, you can see where Little Brasstown Creek joins Brasstown Creek, right in a 90 degree turn of Brasstown Creek. The day I did this hike, I could actually see Little Brasstown Falls as soon as I turned into the campsite, but water levels were up quite a bit.
You'll have to cross Brasstown Creek to reach Little Brasstown Creek, and you'll note several areas where folks have done this. There are a couple large logs that have fallen completely across the creek, and if you have good balance, you could probably make it across on these, but since I'd already spent most of the morning swimming and wading by the other three falls, I just got in the water and waded across.
Little Brasstown Falls
There is a small grave marker/memorial at this waterfall, memorializing "Timmy", who died in 1999. I'd love to find out more information about him.
More pictures in my flickr set.
REMEMBER -- Safety First:
A site like this, with impressive, easily accessible waterfalls invites exploration. Please keep in mind that every year, a handful of people fall to their deaths around waterfalls. Moving water and wet rocks = slippery. Even wading in the creek downstream from all three of the falls has areas were fast flowing water (even it it's just knee deep) can easily knock a person off their feet.
Be very cautious, and resist the urge to head out to the top of a waterfall. Gravity never takes a vacation!