Winter Vacations in the Upcountry

The Upcountry is a fabulous place to visit for winter adventures. Despite the beautiful cover photo above looking out from The Red Horse Inn, we don’t get much snow, so our outdoor adventures are year-round. This includes vacation getaways and experiences for the whole family, like hiking and exploring waterfalls. We’ve compiled a great list of places to stay and nearby waterfalls for your next trip.

Chattooga Belle Farm and the Blue Ridge Mountains in Long Creek, SC.

To get the best views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and stay closer to nature this winter without sacrificing creature comforts, look no further than Chattooga Belle Farm. This 198-acre working farm offers multiple options for staying throughout the winter. Choose from lake houses, lodges, yurts, tiny homes, and bring-your-own RV or tent spots. Visit their distillery on-site crafts local bourbon, brandy, rum, moonshine, and vodka. They’re closed on holidays, but regular business hours include Monday – Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm. 

View of a yurt at Wildwater in Long Creek, SC.

If you want more of a glamping experience in Chattooga, SC, check out Wildwater in Long Creek, SC! Wildwater offers houses, cottage houses, cabins, yurts, and birdhouse cottages for rental. Their yurts include bunk beds, power, lights, and small heaters, situated in a wooded setting near a pond. The multipurpose building nearby has a full indoor kitchen, a screened-in dining room, an outside charcoal grill, and a fire pit for guests to use during their stay. 

Inside of a cottage at the Red Horse Inn in Landrum, SC. Taken by Allspice Photography, LLC.

For an upscale experience away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Greenville, take a drive up to Landrum, SC. The Red Horse Inn, an adult-only oasis, helps visitors find relaxation nestled in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The cozy cottages have fully updated kitchen and living areas, four-poster beds, full baths, and windows that showcase the breathtaking mountain landscape. Certain cottages have private hot tubs, while others contain large, inviting fireplaces. The main hotel boasts a bar with food and wine tastings, music events, and even an alpaca wine experience. This event is so popular it sells out in advance, where participants get to interact with alpacas after the food and wine pairings. 

Here’s a list of some wonderful waterfalls that include hikes for all levels:

Reedy Branch Falls

Location: Reedy Branch Falls Trailhead, 15760 Long Creek Hwy, Mountain Rest, SC 29664. Hike Length/Difficulty: Travelers along Oconee County’s US 76 enjoy this easy, short (0.2 mile) walk from the two-lane roadway, with a beautiful 30-foot waterfall tucked among the trees of Sumter National Forest. 

Fall Creek Falls

Location: 1 Fall Creek Rd, Mountain Rest, SC 29664. Hike Length/Difficulty: Fall Creek Falls is a strenuous hike with three waterfalls, each roughly 30 to 40 feet high, in a two-mile-long stretch.

Camp Branch Falls/Opossum Falls

Location: Opossum Creek Falls, Long Creek, SC 29658. Hike Length/Difficulty: Most of this moderate difficulty two-mile hike ambles along a rocky trail.  The hike to Camp Branch Falls is approximately 1.1 miles into the hike to Opossum Creek Falls. Leave the trail and take the scramble path down to the falls. To get back to Opossum Creek Falls, when you reach the Chattooga River, turn left onto a heavily vegetated path and scramble around rocks and trees for the last half-mile hike to the waterfall’s base.

Brasstown Falls

Location: Brasstown Road, Long Creek, Westminster, SC 29693. Hike Length/Difficulty: To get to Brasstown Falls, drive 2.6 miles down Brasstown Road. Continue 1.3 miles on the dirt road, and go right at the fork. You’ll see the trailhead from the parking area. The hike is approximately 1.5 miles (round trip) to reach all three waterfalls. Upper Brasstown Falls is accessed from the left spur of the trail; Middle and Lower Brasstown Falls can be accessed from the main trail. If you hike to the Falls on Friday or Saturday, check out Brasstown Creek Gathering Place for dinner (you’ll pass the restaurant on the way to the trailhead). The barbecue is delicious, only open Friday & Saturday evenings, and is cash only.

Riley Moore Falls

Location: Riley Moore Falls Trail, Westminster, SC, 29693. Hike Length/Difficulty: Explore this 1.9-mile out-and-back trail near Long Creek, SC. Generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 55 min to complete. This is a popular trail for birding, hiking, and walking, but you can still enjoy some solitude during the quieter daytime. 

Yellow Branch Falls

Location: 2907-, 3023 Hwy 28 S, Walhalla, SC 29691. Hike Length/Difficulty: Yellow Branch Falls is located in the Yellow Branch Picnic Area above Walhalla. This moderate hike is 1.5 miles long, and in the winter, when the trees are bare, you can see the Walhalla vicinity as you hike.

Whether you love hiking, exploring waterfalls, or relaxing with family somewhere new, there is something for everyone in the Upcountry! Don’t forget to view our other great travel guides to explore more options.

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