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Chute Falls

Chute Falls
Dan Goodwin

After Falls Creek crashes 150 feet down spectacular Falls Creek Falls, it rushes downstream for about 1000 feet to be squeezed between two canted pieces of granite creating a sluice called Chute Falls.

To get to the trailhead, take US 276 out of Travelers Rest toward Caesar’s Head. About a mile past the Cleveland, SC post office, turn right at the F-Mart (on your return, stop for a great hot dog) onto River Falls Road. Follow the road some 4 miles to Duckworth Road (just a short distance past the Gap Creek Road turn off). In about a mile, Fall Creek Road comes in on the right. Fall Creek Road will pass Palmetto Bible Camp then make a hard right after about a mile. At this hard right turn, you’ll see a small parking area on the left along with a kiosk marking the trail head. Technically, you will be in Jones Gap State Park at this point, but there is no fee at this location.

Access to the falls is both easy and difficult at the same time. Take Falls Creek Trail about half way (a little less than a mile) to the Little Falls Creek crossing. Past the crossing by 50 yards, the trail will turn sharply to the right and begin the steep, final climb up to Falls Creek Falls. At this turn, to the left is an obvious trail descending down toward Falls Creek.

While not marked at the start, you will begin seeing orange surveyor’s tape marking the way. Once you get down to the creek, you will begin working your way up the creek, a journey which will require 2 crossings. The total hike up the creek is 200 yards but the “trail” will begin to fade quickly after the first water crossing. Keep a good eye out for the orange tape on trees. There are also a couple of nice cascades on the way.

Access will put you directly in front of this 30-foot tall water feature. The “chute” is at the top with the bottom section of the falls being more of a true sluice.