Eastatoee Cascades is actually a sluice where the 30-foot stream is forced into a 4 foot sluice. Other big rocks around create plenty of white water in this small stretch. The stream is Eastatoee Creek, which is probably an affront to the stream in that it is not a creek. At this point, the stream is a good 30 feet wide, crystal clear and at least 2 feet deep all the way across making it larger than any number of streams referred to as rivers.
Eastatoee Creek has headwaters in the Jocassee Gorges before working its way down to Lake Keowee. This is a gorgeous stream managed by DNR and a great favorite of trout fishermen.
To get there, take US 178 north from Pickens to Holly Springs and the intersection with SC 11. Left on SC 11 for 5 miles to Roy F. Jones Road on your right. Follow the road for about 2 miles until it swings sharply to the right and Granny Gear Road goes straight. You’ll immediately pass a fire station on your left followed by a power right-of-way. In the right-of-way, you’ll find the entrance to the Granny Gear Anglers’ Access. A steep drive takes you down to the parking area.
You’ll see the access road through the right-of-way. Follow the road about a half mile to Eastatoee Creek where the road turns into a trail and begins to follow the creek downstream. You’ll notice how wide and deep the creek is. Look carefully and you can spot nice sized trout.
You’ll quickly realize there are houses almost right on top of you as you work your way down the trail. Not to worry, the trail is on DNR property, not private so you’re not trespassing. Before the 2nd house, you’ll notice the creek getting a little more rough then, at the 2nd house, you’ll be entering another power right-of-way. You’ll also notice the trail had to work through a boulder field. At the very edge of this right-of-way, you’ll find the sluice that makes up the major portion of the cascades.
Although the power right-of-way and the house looming over you sort of takes away from the effect, if you just concentrate on the creek, you’ll find this is a very attractive water feature.
Click here for a video of the sluice.