Ellicott Rock Trail

MODERATE 15 reviews
#31 of 88 trails in

Ellicott Rock Trail is a 7 mile out and back trail located near Highlands, North Carolina that features a river. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and fishing. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
606 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

fishing

hiking

trail running

forest

river

views

blowdown

This wilderness area spans over 9,000 acres. The Elliot Rock Trail is a hiking trail only. The trail leads down the Chattooga River Gorge and to the Chattooga River. It offers great hiking, primitive camping, and fishing. You can hike to where N.C., S.C. & GA meet on the Chattooga River.

hiking
12 days ago

We did this trail this on June 3. It's a beautiful walk along the Chattooga river. I love this river and enjoy being in this area. Unfortunately, there is a lot of brush on the river side of the river so you can't see the river the whole time but there are definitely places to get to the river and enjoy the view. I didn't feel the trail was strenuous but you will be tired when you get back to the car. I expect the view may be better in cooler weather. Never the less, I enjoyed the hike very much. We did find Ellicott Rock without much trouble. Use the recordings logged on this page and it will take you right to the spot. The water was up a good two feet while we were there. When you get to the spot on the trail the rock will be directly below you (heading north it will be on your left) at the water's edge. It was partially submerged when we were there so we didn't climb down to it. The water was moving a little too fast for comfort. The pink ribbon marking the spot is not there but there were several items tied in the overhanging trees marking the spot. This is a very good walk and took us over 4 hours. You can park in the parking area at Burrells Ford or you can drive a bit further down the road to the trailhead and park on the side of the road. The foot-traffic was light particularly after the first two miles. This place is crawling with critters. We saw 4 snakes (2 Ring Necks, 1 Rat Snake and 1 Copperhead), lots of lizards, snails, butterflies, beautiful flowers, a gazillion millipedes and so on. Your feet WILL get wet and muddy. as there are several water crossings. On a hot day it is a much appreciated cool-off though. We went through over 3 liters of water on this day. Luckily we brought our Sawyer squeeze-type system and didn't have to carry so much water weight. There were several beautiful areas around to take a snack, a dip or rest break. The river is amazing. The trail was not really marked - no blazes but it was easy to follow. There were only a time or two where we took 10 seconds or so to figure out where the trail cut through a large open area. There are a lot of dead and down trees on this trail. Some old and some freshly fallen. Some have fallen from the trail taking a chunk of the trail with it. Some areas are very rooty and you have to watch your footing. In places the bushes crowd the trail making for a tight walk. There were gnats galore and lots of mosquitoes so bring your bug repellent if you are bothered by them. I brought a small towel and ended up fanning my head the whole time to keep the mosquitoes out of my face and the gnats out of my nose and mouth. I would definitely do this hike again.

camping
Monday, June 12, 2017

We just backpacked and camped there this weekend. We really enjoyed it! The trail does have a number of downed trees, some small and some not so small, across the trail. It was a little over 3 miles from parking just beyond the trailhead to the camping spots along the river. The first 1 mile in is mostly uphill and the last 2 miles are mostly down hill. Obviously the hike out is more challenging. There are 2 very nice camp spots by the river. Ellicott Rock is actually a little further down the trail- marked by a pink ribbon on the right. We thought the marker was out on the island, but now I believe the rock is directly below the ribbon, on the bank (after looking at another post on here). I think we were standing in it . We did not hike further down the trail. The first 3 miles do not have nice camp sites, besides the 2 on the river. I'm not sure what else is down stream. Bring a fishing pole - lots of fish in the river! Great hike and camping- would definitely do it again!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Once you understand this rock, etched by the foremost topographer of his time, your excitement will match its historical significance. It's difficult to find, as it mark's the undoing of Georgia and both Carolinas. A war was fought and people died over its disputed location. The hike follows the mighty Chattooga River upstream. The rock is on the south bank facing the river. A treasured hike. Feel the history.

hiking
Friday, October 16, 2015

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.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

The trail condition was rugged as it is poorly maintained. Bring a machete! The rocks are very hard to find.

hiking
Sunday, February 08, 2015

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.

hiking
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Fantastic trail for a light overnighter. Beautiful views and great opportunities for fish for a meal on the Chattooga River!

hiking
2 months ago

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2 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sunday, April 09, 2017

hiking
Monday, November 02, 2015

hiking
Friday, November 15, 2013