Southern Region Viewing Area

LOCATION and PHOTOS

Sweet White Trillium.
Sweet White Trillium (Trillium simile). Photo by L.L.Gaddy.

Purple Toadshade.
Purple Toadshade (Trillium cuneatum). Photo by Robin Mackie.

Station Cove Falls.
Station Cove Falls. Photo by Gary Kauffman.

Station Cove and Falls

Forest: Sumter National Forest

District: Andrew Pickens Ranger District

Description: One of the largest wildflower displays on South Carolina can be viewed during March and April at Station Cove and Falls. The canopy is mature basswood, buckeye, and American beech, with a high diversity of herbaceous vegetation which is both tropical and more northern in origin. The cove lies along the Brevard Escarpment, and is underlain with amphibolite, a substrate high in magnesium and calcium. In March and April, it is difficult to walk through the cove without stepping on a wildflower. Most notable and showy include very large colonies of purple toadshade (Trillium cuneatum), New York violet, (Viola canadensis), mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum), acute-leaved hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba), and the rare sweet white trillium (Trillium simile).

Safety First: Station Cove is a very accessible area. The trail through the cove to the falls is flat. There is one creek crossing. Beware of slippery rocks near the falls. Avoid climbing the rocks near the falls and please stay on the trail. Always carry a snack, water and a light raincoat, and wear (comfortable) hiking boots, when hiking.

Directions: From SC11 in South Carolina, turn onto Oconee Station Road. Drive 2.4 miles (approximately 0.3 mile past Oconee Station State Historic Site) to the trailhead on the left. Take the 0.5-mile hike through the cove to a magnificent waterfall at the end.

Ownership and Management: This area is cooperatively managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the South Carolina Park, Recreation, and Tourism (Historic Oconee Station).

Closest Town: Walhalla, South Carolina.