Pigpen Waterfall Oconee County South Carolina
Travel,  Waterfalls

Waterfall Hike on a Hot Sunday in July

Are you as tired as we are about quarantining?

Sick of looking at the same four walls each weekend?

The cancellation of many bbq competitions has left us stranded at home.

A couple of weeks ago, feeling a bit imprisoned, we ventured out on a hot July Sunday searching for a beautiful waterfall.

Station Cove Waterfalls

Living in the western Carolinas allows us quick access to some of the most beautiful, picturesque waterfalls in the southeast.

Station Cove Falls is in the Sumter National Forest, Andrew Pickens Ranger District.

At a height of 80′, it is a massive rock cliff formation that has to be seen to appreciate.

The abrupt drop and gorge do not appear to run from a specific water source, except for a small lake near the Oconee Station State Historic Site, www.southcarolinaparks.com.

The hard-packed dirt path is clearly marked with a large sign identifying native plants to be on the look-out for during your hike.

As we followed the wide path, the air-cooled from the heavy, tall canopy of trees.

We crossed three wooden footbridges, as we meandered through the forest.


At the fourth footbridge, another trail appeared, which would have taken us to the Oconee State Park, but we wanted a waterfall, so we headed left.

We continued on the main trail until we could hear Station Cove Falls in the distance.

A set of stepping stones leads you down to the basin of the falls.

Because of the height, and recent rain, the roar of the falls was thunderous, causing us to yell, just to hear each other.

The hike is an easy 1.6 miles. However, it is not a wheelchair friendly journey, as they’re a few steps at each footbridge.

Station Cove Falls is named for the historic Station House which is the oldest structure in the Upstate of South Carolina.

The house was originally a military compound to protect against the Creek and Cherokee tribes, ironically, it later became an Indian trading post, used for many years.

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Pigpen Waterfalls

The hike to Station Cove Falls was so easy and it was early afternoon, so we decided to tackle another hike.

Staying in the Sumter National Forest, we traveled 20 minutes north to Morton Mountain.

Finding the trailhead was intimidating.

The paved road ends and I was apprehensive about turning onto a dirt road (Nicholson Ford Road), in my Nitro.

I thought for sure we were on private property when we crossed two small creeks flowing over the road.

Finally, we arrived at a small parking lot and saw a large sign marking the trailhead.

Be cautious, there are many small paths throughout this area, just ignore these and head into the woods on the main path.

The trail will make a slight descent and you will find a large clearing, off to the side, which looks like a primitive campsite.

Because of the excessive rainfall, the clearing was more like a swamp area the day we hiked.

WATERFALL BACKGROUND with text click here for more travel postsWe continued and crossed a small footbridge and followed the creek line.

After a 1.4 mile hike, Pigpen Falls appeared in a clearing.

A steep descent leads down to the base pool of the falls.

Although steep, there are rock steps to help with footing.

A huge rock provides an excellent photo op of the falls.

Proceed with your hike by crossing the footbridge over the cascades of Pigpen Falls.

Only about .25 of a mile you will hear the roar of the Chattooga River.

Licklog Falls

Turn to your right and you will see a 25′ waterfall drop, Licklog Falls.

During the summer, the canopy is just too thick for a great perspective.

We plan to return in the winter to soak in the full view. That is if the road is accessible.

If you venture down the incredibly steep cliff, you can reach the river and look upstream to the falls.

The climb back up is very strenuous. We did not attempt.

Licklog Creek flows into the headwaters portion of the Chattooga River, known for whitewater rafting.

There is also a “Chattooga River Trail,” accessible in this vicinity.

It is a 40-mile long trail that follows the banks of the river and borders both Georgia and South Carolina.

Check out the video compilation of all three waterfalls, on our YouTube channel:


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