Ellicott Rock Trail is a 7 mile out and back trail located near Highlands, NC that features a river. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and fishing.
HIGHLIGHTS Hiking trail only (bikes, horses & atv's are prohibited) This wilderness area spans over 9,000 acres Leads down the Chattooga River Gorge, to the Chattooga River Offers great Hiking, Primitive Camping and Fishing Hike to where N.C., S.C. & GA meet on the Chattooga river Check out http://www.stayandplayinthesmokies.com/vendor/ellicott-s-rock-trail/
Trail is rather uneventful - pleasant walk in the woods, lots of rhododendron for shade in warmer months, not much of a view unless leaves have fallen. The elevation is noteworthy, but the switchbacks are so gradual, it isn't bothersome. A few trees down that required some navigating. Despite not being blazed, was easy to follow down to the river. Some sections were quite muddy - had a hard rain night before... When you reach "river level", decent campsite in front of you. Recommend looking at pics of the rocks so you can recognize them ahead of time. Saw some coyote & fox scat.
The trail condition was rugged as it is poorly maintained. Bring a machete! The rocks are very hard to find.
The trail itself is easy and follows an old forest service road. There are a lot of obstacles that makes it feel like an obstacle course at times, but it is still passable. There are no blazes that mark the trail but keep your eyes open for pink or orange tape on some trees. Commissioner Rock and Ellicott Rock are very tricky to find.
Fantastic trail for a light overnighter. Beautiful views and great opportunities for fish for a meal on the Chattooga River!