Ellicott Rock Trails
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Chattooga River Trail
More than 30 miles long, this trail cuts through the
center of the Ellicott Rock Wilderness. The Chattooga River Trail
begins on Highway 76 in Georgia across the river from the Chattooga
River Information Station . The trail ends within the Ellicott Rock
Wilderness at the junction of the Ellicott Rock Trail and Slatten
This is the trail to hike if you want to see the Chattooga
River. Designated a Wild and Scenic River on May 10, 1974 the river
is protected for it's entire 50 miles. Administered by the U.S.
Forest Service, a quarter mile boundary on both sides of the restricts
access to the river thus protecting the water quality. There aren't
any dams or development for the entire 50 miles of river. For more
information about the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River:
Wild and Scenic River Information>>
The Foothills Trail
South Carolina's showcase long distance trail skirts
the wilderness area border to the south and is part of a wonderful
loop hike that is described below. The trail follows the same path
as the Chattooga River Trail turning north just before the entering
For more Foothills Trail Information:
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As every hiker knows, a loop hike is the best way
to fully enjoy a wilderness area. If you would like to see most
of what this area has to offer, this is the hike for you.
This hike begins and ends at the Sloan Bridge Picnic
area. Un-signed, the picnic area is a quarter mile south of
the North Carolina border on Highway 107 just past the turn for
Highway 281 north. The loop begins on the Slatten Bridge Trail to
the right of the parking area. Follow the Slatten Bridge Trail through
as it passes through rhododendron thickets and a second growth forest
filled with hemlocks, pine and various hardwood trees. The galax
lined trail follows a downward grade for seven miles to the junction
with the Chattooga River Trail.
At the junction of the Chattooga River Trail there
is a large area that has many over-used campsites. After turning
left on the river trail, side trails to the river will become obvious.
Ellicott Rock and Commissioners Rock are in the river here between
the shoreline and Commissioners Island. Use extreme caution if you
decide to wade into the river to find both of these historic landmarks.
The river can become very dangerous in this section.
The sometimes rugged trail follows the river affording
great views and great camping opportunities. This section of the
trail can be crowded in the Summer and is the main destination for
visitors to this area. After crossing the East Fork on a log bridge,
the campsite become more plentiful. After hiking another three quarters
of mile a side trail to the right leads to Spoon Auger Falls. A
steep path leads to a delicate cascade nestled in the rhododendron.
After passing the side trail to the falls, the Chattooga
River Trail leaves the wilderness area. Turn on the well marked
Foothills Trail and head north. Follow this quiet section of the
trail seven miles back to the Sloan Bridge Picnic Area. This section
of trail follows an uphill grade away from the river. Few visitors
to the Chattooga River follow this section of trail so camping here
is preferred over a riverfront site.
Bad Creek Trail:
3.1 miles. Beginning in North Carolina on Bull Pen
Road this trail starts on an old road that turns into a path upon
entering the wilderness area. This is the shortest route to view
Ellicott Rock Trail:
7 mile round trip. Starting in Georgia this easy to
follow trail also leads to the famous rock. Upon reaching the river,
the wade to the rock is much more difficult than from the North/South
Carolina side of the river.
East Fork Trail:
3 miles. Starting at the Walhalla Fish Hatchery, this
is a short hike to the river. The trail is well maintained and has
some interesting rock formations along the way. Be sure to tour
the fish hatchery while you are here.
Other points of interest nearby
A US Forest Service administered site, this is the tallest waterfalls
in the east. The quarter mile paved trail is ideal for all family
members and leads to a spectacular overlook of the 411 foot Upper
Whitewater Falls. More information:
Stumphouse Tunnel Park
Chauga (Chow-gee) River Scenic Area
Nearby A 3,275 acre natural area that is a must see. The
Chauga River drops an average of 46 feet a mile making it a popular
destination for paddlers with a death wish. A poorly defined and
primitive fishing trail follows the west bank affording excellent
views of the Chauga Narrows and Riley Moore Falls. There is primitive
camping here and a small picnic area. The Chauga is a spot that
is more known to local fisherman than "out of town" hikers.
For information about camping and picnicking:
Bridge Hunt Camp>>
For more information from the Forest Service about this worthwhile
natural area call: (864) 638-9568.
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