Chattooga Trail

Walhalla, South Carolina

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8 Reviews
4 out of 5
A two day backpack on an undulating trail along the Chattooga river; a pristine National Wild and Scenic River. The Chattooga is a wild, rushing river with crashing waterfalls, coves lush with mountain laurel, and banks covered in brilliant wildflowers. The Chattooga Trail is a favorite of hikers, who, because boating and rafting is banned along this stretch, share their delight only with other hikers and the occasional fly caster near Burrells Ford. Fans of the movie Deliverance may recognize the terrain south of the Russell Bridge, where much of the film’s whitewater footage was shot. Despite the large number of rapids on the Chattooga, locations for taking a cool dip abound. The trail travels along the Chattooga River for much of the hike, often along the river’s banks and sometimes high up on the bluffs. The mountains and cliffs on the Georgia side of the river form a scenic backdrop. You ascend and descend frequently as you cross numerous small streams and wind your way around and through a seemingly endless series of coves and ravines.

Chattooga Trail Professional Review and Guide

"A two day backpack on an undulating trail along the Chattooga river; a pristine National Wild and Scenic River. The Chattooga is a wild, rushing river with crashing waterfalls, coves lush with mountain laurel, and banks covered in brilliant wildflowers.

The Chattooga Trail is a favorite of hikers, who, because boating and rafting is banned along this stretch, share their delight only with other hikers and the occasional fly caster near Burrells Ford. Fans of the movie Deliverance may recognize the terrain south of the Russell Bridge, where much of the film’s whitewater footage was shot. Despite the large number of rapids on the Chattooga, locations for taking a cool dip abound. The trail travels along the Chattooga River for much of the hike, often along the river’s banks and sometimes high up on the bluffs. The mountains and cliffs on the Georgia side of the river form a scenic backdrop. You ascend and descend frequently as you cross numerous small streams and wind your way around and through a seemingly endless series of coves and ravines."

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Walhalla
Distance: 15
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 2 days
Season: Year-round.
Trailhead Elevation: 2,250 feet
Top Elevation: 1,500 feet
Local Contacts: Andrew Pickens Ranger District, Sumter National Forest, 112 Andrew Pickens Circle, Mountain Rest, SC 29664, (864) 638-9568.
Local Maps: Trail Guide, Andrew Pickens Ranger District, Sumter National Forest, Forest Service; Chattooga National Wild and Scenic River, Forest Service; Tamassee, Satolah, and Cashiers USGS quads.
Driving Directions: Directions to Chattooga Trail

Recent Trail Reviews

10/9/2008
0

Rewarding hike. Fine river scenery. Had a little trouble with the trail markings.


8/12/2008
1

beautiful area, quite scenic and easy hiking. Avoid the weekends and hike during the week and you will likely have solitude.


6/17/2006
0

I traveled the Chatooga/Foothill Trail from the Burell Ford trailhead south to Big Bend Falls. The trail is suffering from errotion and is very rooty. You must constantly watch your footing. There are numerous existing campsites along the river and all were empty the weekend we were there. Many of the river side campsites at Burell Ford campground were occupied with families, but no one else was spending the night on the trail. The river itself is clean and beautiful with numerous small rapids and pools for swimming. The water temperature is a little on the cool side, but it was definatley refreshing. At night the air is cool by the river and made summer sleeping very nice and we actually used our sleeping bags to warm up in the middle of the night. Overall, I rate this area 6.5 out of 10.


3/13/2006
0

The Chattooga is a good weekend trail with lots of waterfalls and good campgrounds. My two favorite waterfalls were Big Bend and King Creek falls (even though Spoonauger gets a lot more attention). We made base camp at Burrell's Ford campground and did all the trails in the area.. BEWARE: Ellicott Rock is "obscure"! Great trail for beginner backpackers.. I definitely would recommend the sandy beach campsite on the way to Lick Log Falls--it's beautiful!


10/21/2005
0

We hiked North on this trail and had a very pleasant hike. The first four miles to Licklog falls are an easy hike-good for a first time backpacker or if backpacing with children. The river is beautiful and the trail is wide and flat. Past the falls, the trail became more difficult. many trees were down, causing some awkward and amusing climbing and crawling scenes. The trail is suffering from erosion so roots and shaky ground make the going slow. My hiking partner and I suffer from ankle and knee issues, and this part of the trail hurt us a bit. We thoroughly enjoyed the view of the river and even in the height of fall backpacking and fishing season, we saw few people. The trail was, however, a Leave No Trace nightmare. Socks dangled from trees, Pepsi bottles littered the ground, and we continuously picked up litter. Additionally, the campsites were too close to water and often right on the trail, really hurting the illusion of solitude.



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May 2018