Cedar Mountain, NC
Misty Cavern Falls are a pleasant spot on a hot day with a low-volume cascade to cool off under and a shallow cave to explore. In winter, Misty Cavern creates some rather large ice formations. Be sure to register at the trail box before hiking. Start out on the Jones Gap Trail (blue-blaze) and follow it upstream for about one mile to the John Reid Clonts wooden footbridge. The Ishi Trail, blazed white, begins at the bridge and continues to follow the Middle Saluda River upstream. (The Jones Gap Trail crosses the bridge.) Follow the Ishi Trail uphill away from the river for .7 mile. The falls and cavern will be on the right.
Directions: Jones Gap State Park is off SC 11 in northern Greenville county. From Travelers Rest, SC, take US 276 toward Table Rock State Park, Marietta and Cleveland. North of the town of Marietta, US 276 and SC 11 will intersect and join together for a few miles. These combined roads will pass through the town of Cleveland. After a couple miles, look for the Big Bear woodcarving shop on the left and the F-Mart convenience store on the right. Turn right onto River Falls Road. There should be a sign directing you to Jones Gap State Park. Follow curvy River Falls Road and the park signs for about four miles to Jones Gap State Park. Park in the lot, follow a short path up the hill into the woods, cross the Middle Saluda on a metal footbridge and enter the park. An old trout pond from the Cleveland Fish Hatchery is on the right, the park bathroom is the near building on the right, and the park office/education center is the far building on the right. The Jones Gap Trail starts at the bulletin board at the wooden vehicle bridge (about 100 yards upstream of the metal bridge).
All photos © Allen Easler.