Wildcat Branch Falls is a series of cascades just off HWY 276 in South Carolina, not far from Caesars Head and Table Rock State Park. When I say it’s right off the road, I mean you can see the lower branch falls from the road. There’s usually a guy selling boiled peanuts right on the northern shoulder. It’s a nice place to stop and stretch your legs. There’s supposedly good trout fishing in the Middle Saluda River on the southern side of the highway, but I can’t speak from experience. I can tell you that no matter what time of year you visit, the water will be very cold.
There’s actually a fairly new trail that allows you to hike above the lower falls view to the middle falls and the upper falls. It’s a very easy loop with a little elevation—maybe 1½ miles total. The loop starts at the old hearth. You should take the path to the right so that the falls increase in size as you walk. It’s a short and very kid-friendly hike. If you just want to see the upper falls and get back to your car, take the trail across the creek and walk the loop counter-clockwise. YOu’ll reach the falls in a few hundred yards and then can double back.
This is a great photo spot, so expect to see amateur photographers fiddling with their tripods to get that predictably boring long-exposure shot of the water. I should add that you can scramble to the top of the upper falls, but the rangers prefer for people to view it from the bottom. It seems like every year, someone falls off the slick rocks on the upper falls and dies.