Oconee State Park offers the joys of a mountain retreat without the work. The historic park rests deep in the Blue Ridge foothills, with several picturesque but non-demanding hiking trails and well-kept cabins and campgrounds that have welcomed families for annual trips since the days the park was first built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. The parks fishing lakes offer bass and bream and the woods are full of wildlife, fur and feather alike. Oconee State Park also serves as the southern trailhead for the Foothills Trail, an 80-mile wilderness hike on the dramatic Blue Ridge Escarpment on up to Table Rock. Adjacent to Sumter National Forest, the park also serves as a jumping off point to the nearby Chattooga and Chauga rivers, hotspots for whitewater rafting and trout fishing. For those wanting to take it easy, Oconee State Park is an ideal destination. After all, its mailing address is the town of Mountain Rest.
This was a great relaxing and fun trail! Most of the trail is really easy, though it is not marked super well and can be a little confusing at some points. I did have to stop and question if I was on the path at a few points. You do have to cross through some creek beds, and the first one doesn't really have any rocks to step on, so be prepared for wet feet. There are also several fallen trees to climb over, but nothing difficult.
Once you get to the first little water fall, be prepared to climb. To get to the large, main waterfall, you have to go to the left and follow the not very well maintained path over fallen trees and rocks. It is definitely manageable, but also a little bit of a fun challenge and totally worth it if you make it all the way up right by the waterfall. If it was warmer out, I would have probably attempted to get closer to the mist of the falls.
We hiked this trail last summer... and hated it. The stinging nettles were very overgrown and we were wearing shorts (not smart on our part). We just hiked it again in January and loved it! The nettles were practically nonexistent. The part through the grassy fields is a nice cool down on the way back, especially after climbing up and down the rocks and logs. Overall it is a pretty easy hike though. The waterfall was flowing nicely after a bit of rain and snow melt. Picturesque and peaceful.