John Danner Falls

Waterfall GPS: 34.75396, -83.31236 (upper section)

Water source: Unmapped tributary to Opossum Creek

Waterfall height: greater than 80 feet (upper section only)

This is a spectacular find by Christopher Cockfield. And, because of its close proximity to Sid’s Falls and Maxie Duke Falls, it was only natural to name this one after John Danner, the third in the trio of Oconee’s original waterfall chasers.

Falling in multiple sections, this series of falls may not have much water in the dryer summer months. I visited after a period of heavy rain.

The bonus to visiting these falls is that along the way, if you go when the leaves are off of the trees, you can get a spectacular over-the-valley view of Sid’s and Sparkle Falls.

Crossing Opossum Creek is necessary to reach these falls. Using caution, and finding an area where the water isn’t too deep or too swift, this is not a problem. Your feet will get wet, even in lower water.

From the bottom up, this is the first drop that you come to. It’s about 12 feet high, maybe, but very scenic.

Next up is this one, also 12-15 feet high:

And, the very top falls. This drop is easily 80 feet high, probably more. I think Christopher says is 100-120 feet. It has some large trees down at the base, so the ideal pictures come from along the rock wall on river right, which prevents you from seeing the very top of the falls. I’ve included a cell shot from river left, looking up, where you can catch a glimpse of the uppermost drop. On this day, I did not climb up to get a shot of that drop, but it is possible to do so.

Parking: Heading west on Highway 76, turn left onto Damascus Church Road, which continues to the right past Chattooga Belle Farms. Approximately 1.8 miles from the intersection, turn right onto Turkey Ridge Road. Drive for approximately .6 mile, and park in the pullout, GPS 34.76192, -83.30404.

Hike: This hike follows the old logging road until it hits Opossum Creek. From there, it is a short bushwhack up the stream to visit the falls. This hike is fairly straightforward in terms of direction, but you will need to be comfortable crossing Opossum Creek and bushwhacking. The hike to the upper section of the falls is just under one mile.