A pair of low falls with the perfect combination of openness and constriction. The top pool is so tight that it’s partially roofed, while the middle pool has broad sky with an ideal southern exposure and low-angle slabs so well adapted to lounging that the only thing missing is a sign saying, “Your Butt Here.”
At the top, the river has undercut the rock by about four feet, creating an overhang that forms most of the pool’s left side. Bummer is that it’s not right for jumping. Just below, at a second cascade, the river opens up into a pool close to 100 feet wide, although the deep part is only about one tenth of that. Happily, the sweet spot occurrs directly adjacent to sunning slabs and, taken together, it creates the choicest 800 square feet on the top of the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River.
Great for privacy, too. The water is audible from the trail, but not visible. And since the spur trail is pretty indistinct, I would say the expectation of privacy is excellent. There’s an even more private place farther up. From the footbridge below the hole reviewed here, hike one mile to a creek crossing. Look for a steep use trail to the river, then locate a couple of massive boulders in the river. Work your way above these.
Very prone to flash floods. Thundershowers in Highlands and Cashiers can be extremely dangerous. Check weather before you go.