I always knew there were waterfalls somewhere in the St. Peter’s area but I never knew where they were and never bothered to go looking for them. Until recently, much of my hiking was done in the Highlands area of the island and I am only lately becoming more familiar with the Richmond county area. So when a friend suggested we hike to Oban Falls, I jumped at the chance and we agreed on that upcoming Sunday because it was supposed to be sunny and fairly warm.
I made the two-hour drive to St. Peter’s and met up with the rest of the group who would be joining us on the hike. The trailhead to the falls is located about fifteen minutes from the village of St. Peter’s – about five minutes on the main highway and another ten minutes along a side road that eventually switches from pavement to gravel. Almost everyone else in the group had hiked Oban before so they knew what to expect. I was told two things before we arrived; 1) the trail would be wet and muddy due to recent rains and 2) a friendly dog who lives in the home near the trail would be joining us. Apparently she thinks it is her duty to guide hikers along that trail that she knows so well.
Although the trail was a bit difficult, it wasn’t too long and soon we found ourselves at the top of the falls looking down a cliff. Upon closer inspection, I saw that there was a rope lying close to the ground and it was tried around trees all the way down to the bottom. One by one, others in the group began the descent. I wasn’t expecting any climbing to be involved in this hike and I debated for about thirty seconds whether I should attempt that slippery, muddy, dangerous looking descent. As usual, I erred on the side of danger, excitement and the prospect of trying something new. I grabbed the rope and carefully descended. It wasn’t dangerous at all except for that one tree that was attached to the rope but not quite attached to the ground.
Going up the rope was a little harder than going down. Once we all made it back to the top, we took a little detour to a nearby lake that was in the area. No one seemed to know the name of this lake but agreed that it’s most likely called Oban Lake, which would make sense. We had to leave the main trail and trudge through a swampy area in order to access the lake. It’s a good thing everyone else had a good sense of direction because I would’ve never found my way back to that trail! On the way back, we made another little detour to the top of the falls and hiked along the river for a bit.
The sun was starting to descend in the sky as we reached that old rickety bridge and made our way through that puddle-laden section of trail and back to our vehicles.