Long Shoals is one of those places you drive by on the way somewhere else. You usually don’t have time to stop, plus, it’s probably just some rapids. Wrong. Long Shoals could easily be classified as a waterfall.
Little Eastotoe Creek drops more than 20 feet in this run of more than 100 yards. The entire distance is a playground of large boulders and exposed granite. It has long been used by locals and a visit will show why. Within this run, you have exposed granite “beaches,” sand beaches, slick waterslides, shallow pools for wading, big rocks for climbing and sunning, deep pools for swimming and, at the very end of the run, a 10 foot “jumping off rock” for leaping into a deep pool.
The creek comes in at the top and wanders through some large boulders and rapids before heading into a long sluice that is confined to the far bank, then into a series of pools before returning to a normal stream environment at the bottom.
The granite “beaches” are nicely sloped and go right into the water. On the upper section, you’ll find a plethora of “potholes” in the flatter granite. These were created by rocks swirling in them for many, many years. Some are quite deep and can be found filled with minnows and tadpoles.
Long Shoals is a roadside park, complete with picnic area. Take US 178 north from Pickens to SC 11. Left on SC 11 for 6.2 miles. You’ll see the Long Shoals Roadside Park sign. The park is on the left. Parking is immediately upon entering the gate and the creek is immediately below the parking area.
Next time you’re headed to a destination out that way, save some time to check out Long Shoals. You won’t be disappointed.