Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Station Falls at Station Cove, Oconee Station State Historical Site

Water cascading over rocks to a pool eighty feet below, and a cove filled with spring wildflowers.

This past spring, we drove to the Upstate to attempt a hike at Jones Gap State Park. While we planned for, and brought clothes accordingly, for temperatures in the 50's, we've been gone from the region long enough to have forgotten temperatures in the shadows of the escarpment can be vastly lower than in Greenville. Hearing our dilemma, a park ranger at Jones Gap recommended Station Falls at Oconee Station Historical Site.

Oconee Station is located off a road of the same name, at the eastern edge of Oconee State Park in the heart of lush, remote Oconee County. The South Carolina Parks website states Oconee Station was once a military compound and later, a trading post, and that two structures exist today. Had we known that at the time, we would have meandered around the site a bit more, but we knew only of the falls and rumors of acres and acres of spring wildflowers.

The rumors were true. As it turns out, the trail to Station Falls runs through an area called Station Cove, and in the springtime, the forest floor is bursting with wildflowers. Here are a few photos from our short hike at this hidden treasure.


Trillium

Hepatica
Mayapples
Partially-opened Bloodroot
Sunlight kept us warm, but it prevented us from getting a decent photo of the falls. The foamy water looks more like icing dripping down the rocks.



I can't recommend driving all the day to Oconee County just to visit the falls, but it's a great side stop for those in the area. For more information, go to www.southcarolinaparks.com/oconeestation/introduction.aspx

On the way to Oconee Station, we stopped at a waterfall we've long seen along the side of Highway 11. A trail was recently completed, making for a nice detour on the way to destinations such as Caesar's Head, Table Rock, and those in Pickens and Oconee Country.



A terrible reminder of the need for caution around waterfalls.


Enjoy the outdoors, but please do it safely.





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