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TimeOutside: Wildcat Wayside

Corey Glenn, Ass News Editor

Upper Wildcat Falls, a 150 foot cascade on the loop trail at Wildcat Wayside.

When the leaves fall, there is nowhere that I’d rather be than a crashing creek in the heart of a rhododendron thicket. Throw in a couple of waterfalls, and that would make it nearly paradise.

Fortunately, that perfectly describes Wildcat Wayside. This roadside park on SC Route 11 just across the Greenville county line starts off with a bang, with the first of four waterfalls visible from the road.

Pulling off the road, in a somewhat sketchy parking situation, a trailhead will lead up and over the first waterfall, crossing the creek between the first and second waterfalls, totaling almost a hundred feet of drop between them.

Following the trail deeper leads to the ruins of a picnic shelter and, well, the remains of the site’s place in history. During the boom of roadside-style businesses in the 1930s, the National Park Service developed a series of small, roadside parks. Wildcat Wayside was among the most successful, including opportunities for fishing, hiking and picnicking.

From there, a loop trail will take you up to the site’s main attraction, the majestic 150-foot Upper Wildcat Falls. Climb over rocks at the base to the other side of the creek where the trail continues on to a relatively minor 20-foot falls and back to the shelter ruin.

Altogether, a hike from the lot around the loop and back runs a little over a mile with a moderate elevation change. Be prepared to deal with slick rocks, puddles and ample mud, even when things are relatively dry.

Just 45 minutes from campus, Wildcat Wayside makes a lovely Sunday outing or afternoon date spot.

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Corey Glenn
Corey Glenn, Asst. News Editor
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