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Ellicott Rock Wilderness continued 

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Chattooga River | Ellicott Rock Home

Ellicott Rock

In 1811 David B. Mitchell, the governor of Georgia, contracted the  Pennsylvanian surveyor, Andrew Ellicott, to determine the northern border of his state. For years the border between North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia were disputed.  Because the borders in this area was in dispute, this was a haven for thieves and other ner' do wells that wanted to avoid law enforcement. The area was referred to as the "Orphan Strip" and was a dangerous place to travel. 

I walked about 20 yards past the junction to a tree with two ribbons nailed to the trunk. Here there is a trail down the bank that leads to the river. After securing my pack I slid down the path a few feet and landed in the river. The river here is split in two by Commissioners Island. After wading through the river and stumbling over very slick rocks I located the Rock that I came for. Just above the water line, was a very old inscription that has lasted for nearly 200 years. I stood on the rock with very soggy feet and tried to imagine what the river looked like in 1811. The forest that lines the river is dense and does not allow easy access. The forest is second growth, lots of hemlocks and hardwoods. It's hard to describe what it feels like to stand on the famous rock but it is almost worth the danger and wet feet to stand here.

East Fork

After clambering back up the river bank and lowering the pack from a tree, I continued down the trail. Many campsites line the trail here, most with river access. This is without a doubt a very busy trail during the warmer months and with good reason. There are few rivers more beautiful than this. I crossed the log bridge over the East Fork and encountered a large group of Boy Scouts. Their leader asked me for directions to Ellicott Rock and I feigned ignorance. A large group of Boy Scouts "plowing" through the fast moving river is a recipe for disaster. 

At approximately three quarters of a mile past the East Fork trail junction is a side trail to Spoon Auger Falls. This is a short and worthwhile side trip. Just past the Spoon Auger side trail is the junction with the Foothills Trail. Turn on the white blazed trail and begin the 6.5 mile uphill climb to the trail head. This section of the Foothills Trail is not used heavily and passes through a quiet hardwood forest. The campsites along this section are not heavily used and are highly recommended. 

For more information regarding this area contact:
GA Chattahoochee NF Tallulah Ranger District >>
NC Nantahala NF Highlands Ranger District>> 
SC Sumter NF Andrew Pickens Ranger District>>

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