Chattooga River Trail is a 8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Mountain Rest, South Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 8.0 miles Elevation Gain: 547 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

walking

running

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

This trail reaches the popular Ellicott's Rock. This wilderness area spans over 9,000 acres. It offers great hiking, primitive camping, and fishing. You can hike to where N.C., S.C. & GA meet on the Chattooga River.

muddy
rocky
4 days ago

nice trail running along the river. busy busy busy with hikers and campers and families throughout. i think i saw ellicott rock. lots of downed trees to climb over or go around. none too difficult. there's a tree fallen on the bridge to cross the river. seems still sturdy.

backpacking
blowdown
bugs
muddy
over grown
11 days ago

Was an okay a long the river trail a lot of over grown and tress down wasn’t able to see the rock.

hiking
blowdown
bridge out
over grown
washed out
11 days ago

hiking
24 days ago

Beautiful river views - great for fishing and camping but the trail is pretty measly and overgrown if you’re looking for a long hike.

hiking
blowdown
25 days ago

Still a great trail through the Ellicott Rock Wilderness, but there is a ton of blowdown, I assume from the storms earlier this year.

hiking
1 month ago

Good hike, seems more of a trail to get to a spot to either fish or camp, versus a hike to see something. Easy and nice!

backpacking
5 months ago

I backpacked for one night on the Chatooga river trail. In on a Saturday and out on Sunday. Others parked their cars right on the road by the trailhead, ,I parked in the Burrels Ford parking lot about half a mile from the trailhead and about 100ft elev higher than the trailhead. That's a pretty steep hike back up to the lot after hiking out. On my trip, I only had to climb over 2 downed trees and they were easy. The crossing at bad creek wasn't difficult. I put on my sandals to cross on the way in, but on the way out I did it in my boots. It was a beautiful hike. Saw 4 other people over my 2 days.

hiking
blowdown
6 months ago

Beautiful hike on the Chattooga nearly the whole way. Couldn’t find Ellicott Rock but it’s on an island in the river. There’s a yellow marker on the right of the trail which might indicate where it is. We also saw a sign on the other side. It’s about 3.5 miles in. A few trees down but nice trail.

hiking
blowdown
muddy
rocky
6 months ago

Great trail to hike. Enjoyed the hike with my family and is certainly on the easier end of a moderate hike. There is some elevation change but the transitions are mostly subtle. There are a few places along the trail that require some work. There are quite a few (10-12) trees down across the trail. Most require you to scramble over or under. A few actually have cutouts in them to help give you footing or give you an easier climb over. There are several water crossings. Some are just small runoffs and just wet your shoes (wear appropriate footwear) while others require you to walk across rocks. There is one with an awesome log bridge and another (very close to Ellicott and Commissioners Rocks) that is just a single board across a culvert. One thing that may have recently changed that is NOT reflected in the other reviews is the difficulty of finding Ellicott and Commissioners Rocks. One of the trees that was previously standing on the trail just above the rocks has fallen! This is the tree shown in the photos with the NC Game Lands diamond-shaped tags. It's laying on the side of the bank partially submerged in the river now. You can still see the tags on the tree if you look closely but it's quickly being covered by brush in the area. The only marker still at the rocks is the tree just before this with the SCGS small metal disc nailed into it. This disc is about the size of a quarter so it's hard to spot if you're not looking. Someone has carved into the tree just before this with an arrow pointing down to the rocks on the bank below. THIS IS WHERE THE ROCKS ARE. You can see the top of both Ellicott and Commissioners Rocks from here (see pictures I uploaded). You have to climb down the bank (not the easiest but definitely doable in several locations in this area) to reach the rocks. Water level was at average height on our visit and both were accessible but another 1'-2' of water would've made Commissioners Rock inaccessible and Ellicott Rock very tough to get over to. Check the water levels before you visit if seeing these rocks is a must! If you reach the open camping area carved out of the brush by the river just after crossing the SC/NC State Line, you've passed the rocks. Be aware on this trail for critters as well. We saw two ribbon snakes, a black racer, and an infamous (venomous) Copperhead. These were all seen within .2 miles of the rocks and were right along (and even in the middle of) the trail. This was also in 45-50 degree weather near very cold water in the morning to midday. Parking is no problem. There are several areas off of Burrells Ford road to park near the SC/GA bridge on both sides as well as at the Burrells Ford campground parking lot. Plan for 4-5 hours to hike out, stop at several great riverside overlooks, a few drink/snack breaks, find and view the rocks, and the hike back. I also recommend visiting Spoonauger Falls which is only a .1 mile hike that turns off the trail just after the you begin the hike from the Burrells Ford Rd. trail head. There is a sign clearly marking this trail as well. Be prepared for slippery conditions on many of the rocks you cross, muddy areas on the trail, and many roots and rocks sticking up out of the ground that are sometimes covered by leaves. As long as you have the right footwear and are ready to see some cool history from the early 1800s, you'll love this great riverside hike!

backpacking
6 months ago

First real backpacking experience for my teenage son and I and it’s great.

hiking
7 months ago

Yellowjacket nest in the middle of the trail! Coming in from the south, it is after three sets of orange flagging - possibly pink tagging very near the spot. Large nest, could step directly into it as it is on the backside of a root. I've got a waypoint in my recording - exercise caution! Ellicott Rock can be rather easily missed. Do your research, know what you are looking for, check out previous recordings, and keep a lookout for the silver tag. A very cool historic site!! Make sure to stop by Spoonauger Falls on the way back.

hiking
9 months ago

Easiest moderate I’ve ever done. It’s wet, slippery in some places and shady. Don’t know how you can miss Ellicott Rock, it’s the size of a dump truck sitting in the middle of the Chattooga.

hiking
10 months ago

This is a great trail for beginners. Not a lot of elevation and steep climbs. Make sure you wear shoes with good traction. The water was clear and beautiful even though it had rained earlier in the week and the week prior. There were a lot of spiders(on the trail and campsite). There were very few bugs or mosquitoes. I didn’t even use bug spray. The weather could not have been any nicer. It was sunny but the canopy provided a bunch of shade. The temperature was perfect. It must have been in the 70’s during the days and dry and dipped down in the 50’s-60’s during the evening. We hiked out and could not find Ellicott’s Rock. Maybe next time. Plenty of campsites along the river. Large sites available too for large tents.

hiking
10 months ago

I love this trail. we were never able to locate Ellicott's Rock but still it's a beautiful trail!!

hiking
muddy
over grown
Sat Mar 02 2019

The trail was nice enough but pretty muddy with a lot of ankle-twisting roots. Had to duck/crawl under so very many rhododendron that created a canopy over the trail at times. Some water crossings required wet feet. Most of the camp sites were huge, open, and showed evidence of heavy use but were nice, nonetheless. I found a site that with a bit more seclusion that served me nicely. It had great water access but too fast to take a dip and cool off. Tons of fishermen but I didn't see any other hikers with packs nor anyone setting up camp (save for one camp that I saw on my way back out. Still too early for ticks and bugs. The trail doesn't appear to have a clear terminus at the northern end (or I just didn't reach it). I think I overshot my intended end-point and the trail became increasingly difficult with obstacles difficult to navigate with a full pack until I gave up on the slow and annoying progress and went back to the campsite I wanted to stay at, anyway. This was my first trip after moving across the country a year ago and some naturing was sorely needed. the trail did the trick, but also left me wanting for a little more.

hiking
blowdown
muddy
rocky
scramble
Mon Feb 04 2019

Lots of trees blown down, and lots of places to jump water sources.

hiking
Sun Nov 18 2018

Awesome trail.. plan to get your feet wet.. with rain the past 4 days, we could not find the rock due to high and fast water. maybe next time. the trail is awesome, and the scenery is better. You can see and hear the river most of the way.

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