As far as most people in the area know, the only cascades on the Reedy River are the falls in downtown Greenville – the existence of Cedar Falls is not well known except to residents of the Fork Shoals area.
To get to Cedar Falls, follow I-385 toward Columbia and take Exit 23 (Hwy 418 in Fountain Inn). Turn right and go 6.5 miles to Fork Shoals Road. There is a flashing yellow light and cell tower at this left turn. In 1.7 miles, you’ll dead end into McKelvey Road. Right on McKelvey for just 0.3 miles then left onto Cedar Falls Road at the Cedar Falls Baptist Church. In 0.8 miles, you’ll see the falls on your left. Carefully park on the left side of the road. Just up the hill from the falls is a “drive” through the fence that will allow you to park more safely, but it is rough.
At the time of this writing, a new 95 acre county park, Cedar Falls Park, was being built on the property just before the falls, so the future is bright for this waterfall. Scramble down to the bank to where the river makes a sharp turn for good photos of the falls. Then begin to work your way up the left side of the river. There is a path.
Cedar Falls is a granite rock face 500 feet long and 250 feet wide, similar to Pelham Falls. It begins at an old concrete dam standing 20 feet high that crosses the entire river. Guidebooks talk about the dam forming a nice block waterfall and even Google Maps satellite shots show water coming over the dam. This is no longer the case as the dam has been breached with the water now coming through an opening on the left side.
About 300 feet past the old dam, the Reedy begins a 15-20 foot drop over the ensuing 250 feet of rock face. To the left side of the river is what appears to be a old, 50-foot diversion dam. There are some other concrete structures nearby which look like they would have carried a pipe or aqueduct. This dam reaches out to the top of a small island beyond which is the 200 foot wide top of the falls.
The water coming over the diversion dam tumbles down along side this island to rejoin the river at the bottom of the falls. Water that comes down the falls itself spreads out from the old concrete dam and goes over several ledges that give the river small drops of 2-3 feet. The flow is then shifted to the left side of the granite face for a final couple of ledges.
What is surprising about Cedar Falls is the amount of noise. The presence of the diversion dam and the small plunges created by the ledges makes this a very vocal waterfall.