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The Narrows Cascades

The Narrows Cascades.  Note the ice sheet on the rock in front.
The Narrows Cascades. Note the ice sheet on the rock in front.
Dan Goodwin

It is always astounding to find a waterfall without a name. Such gorgeous creations deserve to be named. This particular waterfall is in Eastatoe Creek Heritage Preserve just below The Narrows. The fact that it is just a few yards from a much bigger and better known waterfall could explain why it has never been named; however, that’s not a good reason. A much less imposing Cedar Creek Falls was named despite it standing just a few yards upstream from the Blue Hole.

It was decided to name this waterfall The Narrows Cascades. It stands about 12 feet high and reaches across the creek from bank to bank providing a strong, wide falls. The falling water creates a distinct wind that you can feel when standing at the large flat rock in front of the base of the falls.

As you approach the gorge floor on the trail switchbacks, you will notice water sounds coming from two distinct locations. One of these is, of course, The Narrows itself. The other is The Narrows Cascades.

To see this waterfall, take US 178 out of Pickens and cross Hwy 11. About 8.1 miles further up 178, you’ll encounter Laurel Valley Road on the left immediately past a small bridge over Eastatoe Creek. Turn left here and within about 20 yards, you’ll see, on your right, another single-lane gravel road leading into the treeline. This is Horse Pasture Road. Turn onto Horse Pasture and in 0.2 miles, you’ll see the parking and kiosk for the Foothills Trail. In another 0.2 miles, you’ll find a smaller parking area on the left for the Eastatoe Gorge Heritage Preserve. There is a red gate across the trail along with signs for the preserve and the spur trail into the Preserve.

Follow the trail 2 ½ miles into the gorge. After the trail descends via switchbacks down to the valley floor, you will find a sign for The Narrows and a spur trail leading off to the right. Follow this spur around the knob to a viewing platform for The Narrows. Enjoy the view and the thunderous sounds then backtrack up the trail about 20 yards. You will find an informal, yet obvious, trail descending straight down the ridge toward the creek. At the bottom, you’ll end up on what looks like a logging road. Actually it is an old railroad bed, a sister line to the old railroad running one valley over along Reedy Cove Creek.

Follow this railroad bed downstream for a few yards to the waterfall.

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