Skip to main content
  1. Sports
  2. Recreation
  3. Outdoor Rec & Adventure

Chestnut Ridge Falls

See also

Chestnut Ridge Heritage Preserve is known for wildflowers and not waterfalls; however, this doesn’t mean there are not waterfalls worth visiting in the Preserve.

This particular waterfall is supposedly unnamed but, given the fact it is coming off the side of Chestnut Ridge, Chestnut Ridge Falls is appropriate. It is located about 100 yards past the end of the Chestnut Ridge Trail.

To get to the trail head, start at the intersection of SC 11 and SC 14 in Gowansville, SC. Take SC 11 west for 4.5 miles to Oak Grove Road. Right on Oak Grove for 1.0 miles to a blue sign indicating a parking area on the left. The trailhead is at the kiosk at the end of the parking lot.

Follow the Chestnut Ridge Trail 2.75 miles to where it ends on an old roadbed. There is a Preserve identification sign at that point. Turn left and go about 100 yards to where a feeder stream passes under the road. You would be able to see the waterfall high up less than 100 yards into the woods. There is a faint path but this is basically a bushwhack.

Care should be taken here to avoid trillium and other wildflowers that populate this area.

Chestnut Ridge Falls is a good 70 feet high, coming down in a split flow with both sides of the flow equal in size. Almost vertical, the rock face provides two sections. First, the top of half is tiered giving good sounds and white water. Then a very short plunge takes the water onto more of a waterslide and delivers the flow onto a group of boulders at the bottom.

Moving up the stream to the right, you can get right in front of the falls but you are so close, a full picture of the rock face is not possible. The best photographs come from the left side, which is accessed by crossing the creek a little downstream and working your way up into position.



  • Stephen A. Smith apologizes
    Stephen A. Smith: Ray Rice rant was 'most egregious error of my career'
    Domestic Violence
  • Maria Kirilenko slideshow
    Feast your eyes on the former fiance of Alex Ovechkin: The newly-single Maria Kirilenko
    20 Photos
  • New York Yankees fan returns lost Red Sox World Series ring to owner
    MLB News
  • Brees gets tested
    Saints Drew Brees says he has 10 years left in NFL, immediately gets drug tested
    NFL News
  • Bryan subdues burglar
    Former WWE champ Daniel Bryan holds down burglar with submission move
    Fight Sports
  • Grave defiler identified
    Die-hard Browns fan identified in Art Modell’s grave defiling video
    Crimes & Court