Raven Cliff Falls Trail, Gum Gap Trail,
Naturaland Trust Trail, and Dismal Trail

Picture of Raven Cliff Falls across valley from above on Dismal Trail

Warning:   This data is out-of-date. Trails, roads, and landmarks change.
You should obtain current information before attempting any hike.

Date Hiked: 3/23/96

Length: 8.3 miles

Type: loop

Difficulty: 4

Scenery: 4

Blaze: red on Raven Cliff Falls Trail (#11), blue on Gum Gap Trail (#13), pink on Naturaland Trust Trail (#14), light blue (sometimes purple) on Dismal Trail (#12)

Main Features: views, Raven Cliff Falls, bridge above falls, dangerous overlook, two-cable bridge, cliff (The Cathedral)

Animals: chickadees, broad-winged hawk

Location: Caesar's Head State Park, South Carolina

Follow highway 276 north for 1.1 miles past the Caesar's Head State Park headquarters on the left. The trailhead parking lot is on the right below the road's level. The second paved road to the parking area is the entrance. The Raven Cliff Falls Trail is across highway 276 opposite the southern end of the parking lot (the end closest to park headquarters).

Note: Hikers must register at the trailhead and deposit their halves of the hiking permits at the end of their hikes.

Approximate Altitude Changes
Descend 50 feet from parking lot to dam at 0.2 miles
Ascend 125 feet from dam to ridge top at 1.1miles
Descend 1,425 feet to creek at 4.8 miles
Total Ascent: 1,600 feet

0.0 parking lot
walk out the exit and cross the road to the trailhead
descend on gravel road
0.2 turn right across dam near maintenance building
begin ascent
0.3-1.3 winter views to south and southwest
0.4 gain ridge top
0.8 short spurs on left go to boulders with partial views
descend stairway through rhododendron
1.1 ridge top
1.3 rain shelter on right
turn right on blue-blazed Gum Gap Trail (#13)/Foothills Trail
1.6 gate
turn left onto road at red post
2.8 turn left on pink-blazed Naturaland Trust Trail (#14)
3.2 climb down ladder
rocks on right offer good view of Matthews Creek
3.4 bridge across Matthews Creek above Raven Cliff Falls
3.7 dangerous overlook on left offers obstructed views
4.1 pass base of impressive 120-foot cliff called "The Cathedral"
(covered with icicles; piles of ice along base; beautiful)
4.8 two-cable bridge across Matthews Creek
(top cable broken - tough crossing)
5.0 turn left on Dismal Trail (#12), light-blue blazes (sometimes purple)
5.2 turn left on logging road
6.2 boulders on left offer view of Raven Cliff Falls across valley
6.5 turn right on red-blazed Raven Cliff Falls Trail (#11)
6.9 ignore Gum Gap Trail (#13) on left
8.3 parking lot


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