In 2010, while working through Tom King’s book “Waterfall Hikes of Upstate South Carolina,” the Grandfather Mountaineers visited gorgeous Sid’s Falls on Shoulder Bone Branch near Long Creek, SC. King also documents another waterfall on Shoulder Bone Branch appropriately named Shoulder Bone Falls.
The description of the trail is that it is a private drive off Damascus Church Road before reaching the trailhead for Sid’s Falls. A cabin sits at the end of this drive, facing the waterfall. But, search as we might, using maps and satellite images, no such drive could be found on Damascus Church Road. Neither could a cabin be found along the Branch.
I even contacted Tom King to see if he could give me more information about locating the trailhead. In that the information was gathered for the book prior to 2008, he did not remember specific details as to the location of the private drive.
And so the question stood unanswered for almost 5 years.
In early April of 2015, a hiking friend of mine, John Cowan, was following the directions in my article on Sid’s Falls when he saw surveyor’s tape between the 3rd and 4th meadows on the trail. My description cites surveyor’s tape at the end of the 4th meadow. Thinking he had found the tape I mentioned, he left the trail and headed toward the branch whereupon he encountered the top of a waterfall with a house at the base. Realizing he was at the wrong waterfall, he backtracked to the trail and continued on to find Sid’s Falls.
John thought this might be Shoulder Bone Falls and, when he recounted the tale to me, I was convinced it was. It fit precisely the description given in Tom King’s book.
I went back to my maps and satellite imagery to check the section of branch that would lie “between” the 3rd and 4th meadows. And what should I spy but a small spot of white in the trees. Zooming in, the spot appears to be angular and not whitewater. The spot was close to the branch but not right on the streambed further eliminating whitewater. King’s book says Shoulder Bone Falls is ½ mile upstream from Sid’s Falls, the precise location of the white spot. The clincher, though, was a short road, on the map as Shoulder Bone Road, that ended right at the white spot. This had to be the private drive that serves as the trail.
It turns out that the private drive is not off Damascus Church Road at all, rather it is off Battle Creek Road, which would explain why we could not find the trailhead.
With all this new information, the next step will be to run down to Long Creek and check out the location. Stay tuned.