Explore the most popular trail running trails near Mountain Rest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

3 hours ago

This was a nice hike down and back up a gently sloping well marked trail. I enjoyed it but do not foresee myself coming back often. Next time: Tamassee Knob !

10 days ago

hike itself is ok, but the falls at the end, sitting in the middle of a jungle-like forest make it amazing! Did it early on a weekday and didn't see anyone else!

We parked @ Sloan Bridge and hiked to Burrell’s Ford and back. Consider doing the reverse if you want the more moderate hike the first half and don’t mind driving down the gravel road to Burrell’s Ford to start. Spectacular Spring day. Chattooga River was rushing. Fresh, new green growth and wildflowers abounded. Sections with lots of roots but others covered with easier pine straw. Great views along the way. Trail well maintained.

2 months ago

Very nice hike. Beautiful falls.

we took this spur trail off the Foothills trail. Pretty Falls, not difficult to get to at all. Just remember when you're going down hill to see the falls, you will be walking back up those hills.
on your way to the falls, listen off to your right. Quick little side trip to see another much smaller falls. when there today the water comes down the small rock cascade and then goes underground I believe. Pretty cool to see.

A nice, enjoyable hike. We parked one vehicle at Oconee State park and then drove other vehicle to pull off at Jumping Branch Trailhead. Got on the trail at Jumping Branch and traveled to Oconee. Distance is 4.6 miles.
If you have the time, take the side trail to Hidden Falls. It's worth the extra couple miles there and back.
Once finished Hidden Falls and heading back to Oconee State Park you will hear some rushing water off to your left. There is a smaller cascade just a very short distance off the trail. Super easy to walk to and it's a pretty cool little cascade where the water comes down a small rock face and then goes underground. It really is pretty cool.
All total from Jumping Branch with side trail to Hidden falls and to Oconee State park was around 6.6miles.

Did the trail on 12-19-17. I agree with some of the other reviews of the trail that I don't believe it is a "loop" but I could be wrong as we did not go all the way to the bottom. My girlfriend and I were able to get phone coverage and the GPS placed us on the trail up to the last switchback and then the real trail took us away from the trail seen on the alltrails map which led us to turn around and go back as it was getting late in the afternoon. Overall it was a good trail for all experience types, the waterfall a little off the path but accessible enough to get right to it. May do it again to see if the trail actually loops or empties at another point.

Beautiful waterfall at the end. The trail was not long. It is NOT kid friendly!! Just took two 7year olds and a 4 year old and it was too dangerous for them at the end. But if hiking alone this is a really cool hike.

The reviews are right, the short last bit to the falls is VERY steep going downhill. Once you're done viewing the falls and start heading back, you have to essentially crawl up what you just slid down. It was fun though! Definitely an adventure. If the rest of the hike had been as scenic as the end, I would have rated this higher.

Side note- the trails are not well marked. There are pink flags that are accurate for a while, but once you hit an odd shaped hump in the trail, you pretty much deviate away from the pink flagging and go through a trail that is much thinner and less defined than what you had gotten used to.

Second side note- there's no where to park. You have to park on the side of the road. The trail starts right off of the road with no sign.

This trail is not in the Ellicott Wilderness. It's about 5 miles or so away from this trail. This is in Sumpter National Forrest.


I only got a few miles in, but I had kids. I didn't want to turn them against hiking. I think it's a great hike though and if u get hot take a dip in the ice cold mountain water. I camped here once before and loved it.

Camped 2 nights on the river. Did some fishing. I'll use this trail again.

Falls are off a side trail about half away down the switchbacks. Could not find the loop back trail. After going past it at least .25 mile, we turned around and went back the way we came. Nice trail but easy to go too far.

11 months ago

Trail is fairly secluded and you won't see too many other hikers using it. The falls are decent but not something I would hike to often. I went when the water levels were low and the waterfall was not anything special. Fairly easy hike with most of the way back being moderate since it's uphill. There are spots on the trail that are a bit narrow. Overall a decent hike.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

90% of the hike was great. 10% was very difficult due to the steepness of the hike.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Very nice trail with excellent grades. There are a few good spots for camping and water points. Great views in the winter times.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Very good trail. Hiked it the last week of September with very nice weather. The trail had just been maintained so there were very few obstacles to navigate. The trail follows an old road bed, so the grade of the trail is a nice constant up of you start at the bottom.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Great camping and hiking!

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

This is a nice little trail branching off the Foothills Trail in Oconee State Park. We only met two other couples the whole time we were out, and I understand that this is fairly normal for this trail (not very heavily traveled) but I don't know for sure. I would rate the hike easy to moderate, with only a few places that might challenge the inexperienced hiker/walker. Even the "hard" hills are pretty short lived, and they are concentrated near the falls. The rest of the trail is a walk in the woods. Even if you struggle, the hike is worth the effort for the waterfall at the end. It is small, but cool. You can climb up to it if you dare, but I personally don't recommend being too daring because it can be very dangerous. It is probably best enjoyed from down below. I gave this trail four stars because it has a waterfall; otherwise I feel it is a solid three stars, simply because it is an ordinary, no-frills foot path. Other then the waterfall, this is just like any other trail with no real views or high points. I love to walk in the woods, but to me, four stars has to be more than just a walk in the woods...it was the waterfall that did it.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

The Winding Stairs Trail is a pleasant, mile and a half or two mile trail located in Sumter National Forest culminating with the Miuka Falls waterfall.

Elevation here is not daunting, and the trail is well maintained and clean. My daughter and I made it to the falls without any real issues, though the last bit of downhill to the river itself was actually pretty strenuous and slippery.

The waterfall was gorgeous, but we went over Labor Day weekend and the summer foliage still covered much of the river and the views. Still, standing beside the river itself, we were able to glance up and see a good portion of the falls without any obstruction. No one else was on the trail that morning, but as we drove by later in the day, there were a couple of cars pulled alongside the road at the trailhead. Still, there might have been five or six people in total on the trail the entire day on one of the busiest outdoor weekends of the year.

The hike out was relatively easy thanks to a couple of switchbacks. All-in-all, this trail is a nice addition to a larger day's activities. The waterfall is gorgeous and definitely worth experiencing.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Great trail! Waterfall was worth the hike- not much traffic either. My dog loved it!

Monday, July 04, 2016

One of the best experiences I've had. The trail wasn't too difficult, but the waterfall is worth any trek. Able to get in the waterfall and crawl around among the different tiers of the falls. Hardly any traffic on the trail, and we were the only people at the waterfall. Definitely a cool destination!

This is NOT a loop. It was a good point to point trail. We did it in the evening starting at the top and going down.

Monday, May 09, 2016

From the lake Oconee office we hiked around the lake till we came to the chestnut trail, which we followed until we saw signs for the hidden falls, took us from a little after 3pm till around 6:45pm. I would rate it a moderately difficult hike, with the most intensity coming in at the very end towards the falls. Watch your footing on the way out, the trail is narrow and the drop is pretty steep down into the leaves and tree tops. Be sure to bring water, a camera, and maybe a snack bar or two, and plan to be out before dark as it is black bear country.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The trail was well marked from beginning to end. One section was slightly confusing as you walk down and old road bed for about 100 yards, then need to veer off on the trail to the left. It would have been easy to stay on the road bed. The last quarter of the hike to the falls was narrow with some switchbacks, edged by a steep drop. The falls were beautiful and not crowded during our time there. My wife and I spent about two hours laying on the rocks relaxing and listening to the falls.

Not recommended for dogs only because of the last quarter of the hike.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

did this as part of the loop from burells ford to fork mt trail, to chatooga back to burrels ford

great camping

Saturday, April 02, 2016


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

This was a fantastic hike! 90% of it was gently sloping (from high to low) and beautiful; the last 10% was really challenging- more for me (age 45) than my son (age 14). The falls were beautiful and worth the effort to descend the last bit to the creek. The hike down took us about one hour and 15 minutes. The hike back up took about thirty minutes longer, with stops for rest. We would do this again for sure.

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