Sunday, May 8, 2016

May 2, 2016 - waterfalls at Wildcat Wayside, Last Falls and Sweet Thing on Slickum Creek, South Carolina

Today I planned to head to South Carolina to reshoot the waterfalls on Wildcat Branch at Wildcat Wayside and to use the directions in Thomas King's Waterfall Hikes of Upstate South Carolina book to find upper, middle, and lower Millennium Falls on the nearby Slickum Creek. I began at Wildcat Wayside and you can find the directions on my site here. I was just calling this waterfall Wildcat Falls, but since the area has been fixed up, Wildcat Wayside Falls is appearing more and more. Wildcat Branch Falls is another name that you may see for it.

lower waterfall on Wildcat Branch

The lower waterfall on Wildcat Branch is right next to the road and is a very popular spot. It's one of the very few waterfalls that are wheelchair accessible. From the road level you can actually see the middle waterfall also, but the above shot and photos below are from pool level which is right below the road.

lower waterfall on Wildcat Branch

A set of stone steps leads up the left side of the waterfall and comes out at the top of the lower falls at a view point for the middle falls. It's very safe up here as long as you stay away from the top of the lower falls.

middle waterfall on Wildcat Branch

From what I remember, the trail kept going up the left side towards the upper waterfall which is about 1/2 mile up creek, but the trail has been rerouted across the creek to the right side and shrub debris and branches have been placed to try to block people from going up the left side. This wasn't good for me because that's where the directions to the Millennium Falls say to go. More on that later.

After crossing the creek, the trail heads up to a kiosk with info and a map of the new trail. I noticed immediately that it has a 4th waterfall in addition to the upper waterfall on Wildcat Branch. From the kiosk, the trail leads to what's left of the old picnic shelter - the chimney and foundation. There's also a placard with some info on the history of this area which was very interesting!

 After the chimney, the trail splits and becomes a loop. I'm pretty sure this wasn't here when I last visited the upper falls years ago. I took the left side of the loop which crosses the creek on rocks. In a short time I was at the base of the huge rock wall that is home to the upper waterfall on Wildcat Branch. The flow today was pretty normal for this creek, but I'd love to see it after some heavy rain.

upper waterfall on Wildcat Branch

I hung around here for a good while, then headed up the trail towards the other waterfall. This one is maybe 15' high and is on a tributary of Wildcat Branch. There wasn't much water flowing, but it's still a nice spot and the gurgling water was soothing to hear. Below is a shot of it, then video of all 4 waterfalls.

waterfall on tributary of Wildcat Branch

So now that brings me back to looking for the 3 Millinnium Falls. I thought that when I got back to the middle waterfall, I would just skirt the brush pile and continue from there. There were a lot of people hanging around, so I though it was best to save that for an early morning, or look for another way in. Instead, I decided to look for the nearby Sweet Thing on Slickum Falls that my pal Bernie Boyer found years ago. It's in the King book also and parking is right down the road. Directions are on my web site here.

Last Falls on Slickum is along the same trail and is actually only about 100' up the trail. It's a nice little waterfall - not big, but with some character.

Last Falls on Slickum

Sweet Thing is only maybe 5 minutes up the trail. The trail is a little tricky in spots, but very doable and worth it. I've been seeing pictures of Sweet Thing posted on FB for a while now and am embarrassed that it took me this long to go take a look. It's only 18' high, but set in a very beautiful grotto area. Below are some shots, then video of both waterfalls.

Sweet Thing on Slickum


  1. Rich, I am a fellow retiree/waterfaller/photographer who also lives in Hendersonville. While I usually hike with my dog or on my own, there are some hikes that work better as car shuttles and some that are best not to do solo because they can be treacherous. I was wondering if you and your wife might have any interest in adding somebody else to your network of waterfall hikers and perhaps doing an occasional hike together. If so, let me know.

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