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Raven Cliff Falls

Cleveland, South Carolina

based on 2 reviews



7.76 miles

Elevation Gain

2185 ft

Route Type



Added by Brett Kelly

This loop trail will take you to the gorgeous Raven Cliffs Waterfall in Caesars Head State Park, which can be seen from a peaceful overlook, or accessed by a large suspension feet which is 30+ feet above the falls! Steep, rocky terrain mixed with old logging roads makes for a diverse hike with plenty of views of wildflowers, rock outcrops, and Matthews Creek.

Location: From the intersection of US276 & SC11, head Northwest on US276.  Drive to the top of the mountain, 1 mile past the visitor's center, and The Raven Cliff Falls Parking Area and trail head will be on your right. 

After parking in the Raven Cliff Falls Parking Area, the trailhead is located right across the street. You will see a brown sign that reads "The Foothills Trail - Caesars Head Access" There are forms for hikers to fill out at the trailhead, please be courteous and fill them out and leave a fee if applicable.

The Raven Cliff Falls Trail starts off as a wide gravel trail as you being your hike.  After a short distance, the trail starts to narrow and turns to the right. After approximately one mile, you'll start to descend down three flights of wooden steps.

Continuing on the trail for about another half mile, you'll arrive at a shelter at the junction of the Gum Gap and Raven Cliff Falls Trails. From here, you can continue the loop to the falls or stop for a quick look at the overlook to give you a view of what you're hiking toward. Keep following the Raven Cliff Falls Trail and after ~0.25 miles, you'll arrive at the Raven Cliff Falls overlook. 

From the viewing platform, you'll enjoy of a vista of the 420 foot drop from across the valley. If you're feeling hungry or winded, this is a good spot to stop for a break with benches averrable. Once you're ready to go, retrace your steps to the junction, then head out on the Dismal Trail.

If you brought trekking poles, now might be the time to break them out. The Dismal Trail has a descent of around 2,000 feet during your portion of the loop. You will have some opportunities to get a side view along this trail as well as listen to Matthews Creek trickling in the background. Once the Dismal Trail runs into the Naturaland Trust Trail, head right at the junction to continue the loop.

NOTE: on the Naturaland Trust Trail just past the campsites, there is a cable section. If the water is high, you may need to use the bottom cable for your feet while holding the top cable to cross. When the water is lower you'll be able to cross hopping along rocks and using the cable for balance.  As you continue along the trail and start your climb, you'll see an ~150ft rock named The Cathedral.

As you continue, you'll hear sounds of the falls, but not have many opportunities to view it except for a faint spur trail leading to a viewpoint, but best to stick to the loop.

You'll reach a series of metal rung ladders, which direct you toward a suspension bridge. This bridge offers an incredible view of Raven Cliff Falls from just above the base of the 1st tier. Please be courteous of other hikers and don't stay on the bridge too long when admiring the falls. 

Continuing on, you'll have a few additional viewpoints of smaller waterfalls before connecting with the Gum Gap Trail. You will continue on the Gum Gap Trail until you connect with The Raven Cliff Falls Trail, which you'll take back to the trailhead and parking area. 

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Dog Friendly
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Raven Cliff Falls Reviews

Wonderful hike!!! To get to the suspension bridge it is at least 9 miles, not 8.8. One of the trails, the purple one, has been closed for a few years but the map was not updated. We hiked the red to blue to pink.

This a moderate trail leading you to some beautiful falls.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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