GPS for waterfall: 34.89451, -83.10210
Water source: Tamassee Creek
Height: Approximately 75 feet
Lee Falls is a spectacular sight year-round. It’s been labeled as Oconee’s most scenic waterfall, and I would have to agree. The trail to Lee Falls passes through open fields and through the forest, across creeks and up and over fallen trees, until it climbs upward on the rock-covered hillside to the base of the falls.
Nearing the falls, the trail passes by a structure on the right that Thomas King refers to as a gold smelter, but I’m not certain I agree with him.
A little further along the trail on the left is an old lime kiln.
Parking: Going south on Highway 11, turn left onto Cheohee Valley Road. After 2.1 miles, turn left onto Tamassee Knob Road. In .4 mile, turn right onto Jumping Branch Road. Drive for 1.3 miles, and turn left onto 715A. Follow this road for .6 mile to a parking area on the right, just before you cross the bridge, GPS 34.89345, -83.08127.
Hike: The total hike to Lee Falls is approximately 3 miles round trip. It begins by crossing four wildlife clearings, then heads into the forest. The hike to Lee Falls is all trail; however, in the summer months, the clearings aren’t very clear if they haven’t been mowed – the grass and weeds can grow over 5 feet tall, and it is a jungle to try to hike through.
There are a couple of places on the trail where you might be tempted to follow the path to the right – don’t. Go left in both places, and follow the path up to the falls. Recently there has been some larger trees felled by the storms that have come through. Thankfully, they haven’t gotten in the way of the falls themselves, but they do present some obstacles along the way.