Spider Tunnel Falls
January 17, 2015Some time ago while perusing the Facebook group The South Carolina Project, I came across an intriguing photo album, Spider Tunnel Falls, by Darrin Hardin. That album's photos show off a beautiful yet obscure waterfall just off U.S. 276 near where it joins/splits with S.C. 11.
This waterfall was just too good looking to keep to myself, so I went with Eric Cunningham, Ed Clem and his son. I picked up Eric and met Ed and his son at a nearby parking area. We exchanged greetings and headed off to find our waterfall.
The waterfall is located on a creek, and this creek is the dividing line between public property on the right and private property on the left. We followed an ill-defined trail up the right side of the creek, and found a nice view of Table Rock.
We tried to stay as close to the creek as possible, but a cliff forced as off to the right away from the creek. We continued upstream and found a waterfall, but not the one we were looking for:
Nearby we found the remains of what was probably a still:
I had already determined the approximate location of the waterfall from property records, and had it loaded on my tablet.
I got the feeling we overshot the waterfall so I brought out my tablet. Yes, we had indeed overshot the waterfall so we headed back. After some careful searching, we finally converged on the right spot.
This is one pretty waterfall. The water flows into an opening...
...into this cavern.
The cavern is wide enough and tall enough to walk through, but when I tried my feet started getting numb from the cold so I reversed course.
According to Darrin, the name Spider Tunnel Falls was inspired by a fisher spider he almost stepped on by accident.
This waterfall definitely deserves another visit next summer.
Now that the location of the waterfall was settled, we moved on a former gas station Eric had said was a short distance away. We found it surrounded by bamboo.
The masonry remains, but everything else is gone. The concrete floor has so far prevented the bamboo from taking over inside the structure.
Of course when there's a bunch of photographers around, especially when one is named Ed, hijinx are bound to happen:
Eric also showed us the nearby location of the ruins of a bridge where Elizabeth Drive once intersected with U.S. 276.
The piers are located downstream from where the bridge once stood.
My quick research didn't turn up anything, but I suspect a flood wiped out the bridge and it was decided it wasn't worth rebuilding.
Here's a look at a 1968 aerial photo from Pickens County's GIS website showing the bridge intact. The bridge is near the top left beside the circled 17.
Next it was on to an obscure trail at Wildcat Wayside Park where two waterfalls can be found.
The first waterfall is Last Falls at Slickum, but a photographer was busy taking a photo with his tripod and we didn't wish to interrupt his work. So I lead them on to Sweet Thing on Slickum a short distance down the trail.
Ed spotted an umbrella. Can you?
We headed back to Last Falls on Slickum. The photographer was just finishing up, so we took our photos. I didn't bother using a tripod since I've been here so many times before.
There are additional waterfalls upstream from here, but Ed and his son had to head back. At least I left them wanting more.
Ed wrote about the adventure at his blog titled Adventures In Cleveland. He did one thing I should have done, and that's take video of the waterfalls. Check it out!
Here's the area where we visited this day:
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My photos from this trip are on an album on Flickr and an album on Google Photos.
Thanks to Eric, Ed, and his son for coming along today to share this adventure!