Hidden Falls Oconee State Park, SC
DURATION 2-3 hours
There And
Back Again
Hidden Falls

Enjoy some solitude and an impressive waterfall while hiking on the Hidden Falls trail in Oconee State Park. Nestled in northwest South Carolina, the Hidden Falls trail follows the 76-mile long Foothills Trail for half it's distance. At 4.8 miles and not too difficult, this is a great trail for most hikers.

Park at the western terminus of the Foothills Trail. There were only two other cars there on a sunny June weekend so don't worry too much about getting there early. Follow the paved path across the road to begin the hike. For the first mile, the trail is easy and well maintained as you follow along yellow, black, and white blazes. Even without the blazes, all intersections are well marked with signs. Be prepared for spider webs if you're the first on the trail and after heavy rain, there will be some muddy sections.

Hike for half mile before the trail crosses Station Mountain Road, a dirt road that also serves as part of the Palmetto Trail. Immediately afterward, the trail splits with the Tamassee Knob trail to the right and Hidden Falls to the left. From here the yellow blazes disappear for a while before returning with a black "HF" painted on top of the yellow.

At just past the halfway point, the trail connects with Old Horse Bone Road, a wide gravel road. Turn right down the road then shortly afterward, left off the road back into the woods. Again, everything is well marked with blazes and signs pointing the way. This is also where the hike begins to lose elevation, descending 400 feet over the next mile with the last half mile dropping at a steeper rate of 500 feet per mile. The trail also becomes a little less maintained from here, with several downed trees and low hanging branches but nothing too difficult to get around.

As you reach Hidden Falls, you'll hear 60 foot falls before you see it. A series of large cascades, Hidden Falls is quite powerful and impressive. From the base, without a pool or large creek or even a lot of people, you really feel surrounded by the dense foliage. It feels like you discovered a hidden waterfall in the middle of a jungle. After enjoying the tranquility of the waterfall, head back the way you came, which will be more difficult going out than in.

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Elevation Map Length (miles) by Elevation (feet)
Slope Breakdown
Elevation Gain
Elevation Range
Grade Range
Elevation Gain
0 - 250 ft/mi
~ 0 - 5 %
1.3 mi
156 ft
250 - 500 ft/mi
~ 5 - 10 %
0.8 mi
294 ft
500 - 750 ft/mi
~ 10 - 15 %
0.3 mi
194 ft
750 - 1000 ft/mi
~ 15 - 20 %
412 ft
69 ft
1000+ ft/mi
~ 20+ %
128 ft
27 ft
For out-and-back hikes, elevation loss is the same as the gain.
Terrain Map Click to control map
length4.8 miles
difficulty4.8 Easy
duration2 - 3 hours
features Dog Friendly  Waterfall 
trail typeThere And Back Again
elevation gain690 ft.
park/forestOconee State Park
visitor infoPark Office / Visitor Center
624 State Park Road
Mountain Rest, SC 29664
hours7am - 7pm (Sun - Thurs)
7am -9pm (Fri - Sat, Daily during Daylight Savings Time)
9am - 5pm (Park Office / Visitor Center)
parking fee$5/Day, Annual Passes Available
trailhead coordinates 34.863228, -83.098235 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°51.79, W 83°5.89 (Degree Minutes, MinDec)
N 34°51'48'', N 34°51'48'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Trailhead Directions
34.863228, -83.098235 (Degree Decimal, DegDec)
N 34°51.79, W 83°5.89 most GPS units use this one
N 34°51'48'', N 34°51'48'' (Degree Minutes Seconds, DMS)
Google Map It
After passing the pay station, the road splits around the park office with access on both sides. Follow the sign to the right for the Foothills Trail, then stay straight. The parking lot will be on the right.
Parking Capacity
17 parking spots including 1 handicap spot.
Stop by the park office for free maps and information. Drinks, snacks, and merch are also available.
The trail needs a little maintenance as there are several fallen trees and low hanging branches, though nothing too difficult to get around.
After rain, there will be several very muddy sections. There are also a few steep drop offs, so pay attention to children and pets.
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Reviews / Comments
Average Review Rating
4 (1)
hikethesouth-5 years ago
Great Secluded Waterfall
The hike itself is ok, nothing really special but the waterfall makes it worth the trip. This doesn't seem to be a very popular hike as there was almost no one else on the trail on a sunny weekend day in June, so if you like solitude this is a great hike to find it on. If you want to add a few miles, combine this with the Tamassee Knob trail.
Easy | Hiked Summer 2018
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