Hiking Trail


(Sumter National Forest)
(Oconee County)


This moderately difficult, 15.5-mile trail runs parallel to the famous Chattooga River and through some of the finest wilderness in South Carolina. At points along the way, it shares sections with the Foothills and Bartram trails, but make no mistake, this trail is all about the wild Chattooga River watershed. The trail is popular among hikers because for many points along the way you won’t see a soul. Boating is prohibited along major sections of the river, so the countryside gets few visitors other than hikers or anglers. The Chattooga Trail's variety of terrains, sometimes rises on high bluffs and other times descends so close to the river’s edge that the trail floods following heavy rains. The northern terminus of the Chattooga Trail is Ellicott Rock, however, many hikers choose to shuttle cars between the southern trailhead and Burrells Ford Campground (which makes the hike 13.3 miles one-way).  Waterfall lovers shouldn’t miss this trail, since you can see a number of them here including King Creek, Spoonauger, Big Bend, Pig Pen, and  Licklog Falls.

Length: 15.5 miles one-way.

Fees: None.

Directions: Northern trailhead: From Walhalla, drive northwest on SC 28 for 7.5 miles and bear right onto SC 107. Drive approximately 10 miles and turn left onto Burrells Ford Road (FS 708). The parking area is three miles ahead on the left. The trailhead is at the northeast corner of the parking area behind a large brown signboard. If you just want to hike to Ellicott Rock, continue on Burrells Ford Road an additional 0.4 mile. A stone marker inscribed “Ellicott Rock Wilderness Area,” marks the trail.

Southern trailhead: From Walhalla, drive northwest on SC 28 to the South Carolina/Georgia border. Parking and the trailhead are on the right, just before the Russell Bridge, at the Ridley Fields parking area. Additional parking is available on the Georgia side.

Hours: No restrictions.

Camping: Camping is available at Burrells Ford Campground. Along the trail camping is permitted, except within 50 feet of the river. Within the boundaries of Ellicott Rock Wilderness Area, camping is permitted, but sites must be 50 feet from the river, any other water, or trails, and mile from any road. Campfires are allowed in existing fire rings. Camping is also available at nearby Oconee State Park. Call 1-866-345-PARK (7275) or go online at www.SouthCarolinaParks.com to make your reservations.

Information: Sumter National Forest, Andrew Pickens Ranger District, 112 Andrew Pickens Circle, Mountain Rest, SC 29664, Telephone: 864-638-9568.

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 South Carolina State Trails Program
South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism
1205 Pendleton Street :: Columbia, SC 29201 :: 803-734-0173 
Updated: July 21, 2005
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