Explore the most popular hiking trails near Mountain Rest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

I have sectioned about 45 miles of this trail on 2 separate visits. I keep coming back because I love the area so much. I will say it is a legit backpacking trail and not to be taken lightly if you intend to make a go of it. I agree with another reviewer who said it is hard to rate the terrain; some sections are quite easy and mild and other sections are rugged, steep, and hard on your body whether you're young or old. Of the sections I have done, Oconee to the beginning of the Chatooga river was easiest. The easterly section of the Chatooga and the section from Sassafras to TRSP were the most rugged. Expect slow going through those parts and some sore feet! Be in shape and allow 5-7 days to do the whole trail depending on your experience level. All in all it is really lush and beautiful terrain and there are so many cool trees, waterfalls, rivers, and rock formations to see. Water sources are plentiful in spring. There are no resupply options or town crossings, although there are rural road crossings every 5-10 miles and some very cool volunteer shuttle drivers listed on the FHT website. I highly recommend Jim Simpson, he is the man!! He picked me up on an hour's notice when I had some health issues and had to get off trail for the night.

I am rating this in advance only because I have sectioned much of it already. I am thru hiking it starting in the morning after a quick stop at the rei for a fuel can. wish me luck! :)

Quick hike from the parking lot with a beautiful waterfall at the end. Really enjoyed this one after camping along the Chattooga River the night before.

hiking
6 days ago

hike itself is ok, but the falls at the end, sitting in the middle of a jungle-like forest make it amazing! Did it early on a weekday and didn't see anyone else!

hiking
9 days ago

This hike was worth it and had a pretty good view at the end. Went May 13th and there was definitely a bunch of trees and branches to dodge as you ascended up and down the path. I don't know if I'd do it again, maybe in the winter time when there wasn't so many trees brushing up against me (waist high at the tallest). Don't forget to wear long pants!
I'd call it somewhere between easy and moderate.

hiking
10 days ago

Short easy hike a a nice waterfall with a small swimming hole. Great spot to cool off during the hot summer months.

well maintained, even with the previous hurricane damage. BEAUTIFUL trail and excellent camping areas.

If you have trouble finding the start of the trail based on this apps directions like I did than drive past the cherry hill recreation center and about a mile or two up the road is a side road to the left named F708. Turn down that road and drive about 3 miles down the dirt road until you see the sign for a campground. Park in the campgrounds parking lot and walk down past the gate towards the campground and go to the very last campsite along the river. There will be a sign for the Chattooga River trail which is the trail you should follow. There will be an area where the trail splits into three directions, just keep following the green and white blazes along the trail until you see the small side trail that leads to the falls. It's not an official path so it is slightly dangerous to trek down but it will take you out right beside the falls which are breathtaking.

Nice short little hike with an amazing view of the waterfall. Took my 3yr old with me and he did great. There are a lot of roots along the path, but otherwise a great hike.

In May 2018, hiked from Table Rock to Bad Creek (45 miles) in 2.5 days. I would second everything that Bradley Glenn said in his review here and won't repeat it, except to recommend getting Scott Lynch's little guide to the trail. I kept it in my back pocket and consulted it frequently. In addition to what Bradley said, I would highly recommend the following campsites (2 of which we used, the others of which we saw): 8.6 miles from Table Rock (no name), on Lake Jocassee after Heartbreak Ridge (don't take the first one you see, wait for the picnic tables--the ones closest to the bridge over the Toxaway are best), Thompson River, and Virginia Hawkins Falls. This hike is A LOT of up and down. If you don't normally hike with a stick or trekking poles, you should still use them on this hike if only to save your knees on the downhills. We saw two adolescent black bears on this hike, both of which ran off with a little yelling. Hang your food or bring a bear canister. Expect isolation, at least in May. We had spectacular weather and saw maybe a dozen people over 2.5 days. Thompson River, Viriginia Hawkins Falls and Horsepasture River are perfect lunch spots. If you are following the Lynch 5-day thru hike plan, I'd recommend including Hearbreak Ridge at the end of day 2 instead of the beginning of day 3. You have another long, tough climb already early in day 3 after crossing the Toxaway River, and knocking out HB at the end of day 2 prevents having to start the day with 2 tough climbs. If you want a challenging trail that is well-maintained and free of crowds, the Foothills Trail is a great choice. If you need a shuttle, Google Lake Jocassee Tours and ask for Randy Cobb to shuttle you. Good guy and on time.

This was my first ever hike. It was beautiful, but not a great hike for a first hike. I recommend for someone who's used to hiking and does it often. It's mostly up hill. Had a great time, but won't try anymore hikes over 4 miles anytime soon.

backpacking
28 days ago

Love it. My buddy and I hiked it October 2016. Took us 5 nights, 6 days. Not to bad for our ages, 58 and 61. Don’t take the trail lightly, it’s very tough. Would love to do it again, maybe.

Good hike plenty of water on trail.

Pretty little hike, kid friendly. We started at trailhead off Nicholson Ford Road. The gravel road goes on for a while, but it eventually dead ends at the trailhead. Follow chatooga River trail until it branches off left to Liklog Falls, and Pigpen falls. From what I understand, Pigpen falls is off a side trail.

We parked @ Sloan Bridge and hiked to Burrell’s Ford and back. Consider doing the reverse if you want the more moderate hike the first half and don’t mind driving down the gravel road to Burrell’s Ford to start. Spectacular Spring day. Chattooga River was rushing. Fresh, new green growth and wildflowers abounded. Sections with lots of roots but others covered with easier pine straw. Great views along the way. Trail well maintained.

hiking
1 month ago

Good Hike River view some places on river to get water

on Tamassee Knob Trail

1 month ago

Break taking

backpacking
1 month ago

Through hiked it in 5 days, a lot of elevation change. Not to be taken lightly.

I would say easy/Moderate trail. Some narrow paths, and a lot of roots. However we took our 2 & 3 year old kids and they walked it there and back no problem. In fact my 2 year old was tugging on me to hurry. It’s definitely worth the hike. Very serine, and the waterfall is absolutely beautiful.

The road getting to the trail was a little rough. You drive over two creeks. The trail is beautiful. The waterfalls are clean and flowing strong.

hiking
2 months ago

Very nice hike. Beautiful falls.

fishing
2 months ago

I fly fished the chatooga. started at burells ford. beautiful trail and so very easy. Great Day!

Beautiful falls, easy trail, easy to find!

hiking
3 months ago

We were in the area and found the trail to the King. It's a 20 min. hike from Burrell's Ford campground. Great hike but after a recent snowfall, the last hundred yards to the falls were icy and quite the challenge. The view at the falls was definitely worth the risk. The water was gushing and the trickle falls to the side were iced over. Spectacular to say the least.

have done it end past 2 years. Going again in April

hiking
4 months ago

I parked at the cherry hill parking site and this trail starts down and across the road. I had trouble finding it at first. Once on the trail there were many fallen trees. I had my dog with and we had to stop about 2 miles in. We could have kept going but after hiking 3 miles on a previous trail and it being in the afternoon we turned back. There are also a few spots that are quite narrow and would be hard to navigate with small children or a rambunctious dog. I'm hoping they clear up the trees and I can go back in late spring/early summer.

we took this spur trail off the Foothills trail. Pretty Falls, not difficult to get to at all. Just remember when you're going down hill to see the falls, you will be walking back up those hills.
on your way to the falls, listen off to your right. Quick little side trip to see another much smaller falls. when there today the water comes down the small rock cascade and then goes underground I believe. Pretty cool to see.

A nice, enjoyable hike. We parked one vehicle at Oconee State park and then drove other vehicle to pull off at Jumping Branch Trailhead. Got on the trail at Jumping Branch and traveled to Oconee. Distance is 4.6 miles.
If you have the time, take the side trail to Hidden Falls. It's worth the extra couple miles there and back.
Once finished Hidden Falls and heading back to Oconee State Park you will hear some rushing water off to your left. There is a smaller cascade just a very short distance off the trail. Super easy to walk to and it's a pretty cool little cascade where the water comes down a small rock face and then goes underground. It really is pretty cool.
All total from Jumping Branch with side trail to Hidden falls and to Oconee State park was around 6.6miles.

hiking
4 months ago

Well marked trail and beautiful, did it in the winter after lots of freezing temps and it was beautiful to see the ice

This fall is actually broken up by an upper and lower Licklog Falls. The upper are hard to get a good photo op of as there is no way to get close to them but they are a sight to enjoy. The lower falls are a short ways up but there is a steep trek down to them. I saw a review that stated not for children but we had three 11 year olds and one 8 year old who had no issues.

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