Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

There are some well established camp sites right at the beginning of the trail, once I got past those it was complete solitude. Saw 3 people over 24 hours. Trail itself runs along the Chatooga and there are about 6 dispersed camping sites Allen g it’s banks. There aren’t any huge inclines/declines but plenty of fallen trees, washed out trails, etc to keep you on your toes. Would recommend it for those looking to get away from the crowded North Georgia areas.

An extremely easy hike with a great scenic view the end.

The part along the river is nice, but the poor signage in places and the abundance of downed trees along the trail make it hard to enjoy.

I took the trail from Table Rock to Laurel Valley yesterday morning 8-3-18 during the rain. The Creeks and Falls along the trail were raging but awesome to see and hear. Crossing points were still safe but reccomend the upmost caution. The sky's cleared by the time I crested at Sassafras overlook. I made the section in 4:35. Looking forward to Hiking the trail all the way to OSP soon.

We did the first 30 miles from Oconee to Whitewater Falls October 2017 in 2.5 days. Pretty cruisy with some great camp sites. Didn't see anyone on our Thursday to Saturday walk. Went back to Table Rock SP May 3, 4, 5, 2018, and finished up the last 48 miles. Sassafras Mt. was closed due to the new tower construction. There was one worker dude up there in a truck hanging out with his girlfriend. We obeyed and took the detour but I wasn't pleased. We finished day 2 with Heartbreak Ridge and I agree with a previous poster on finishing the day with Heartbreaker and getting yourself one of the sweeeeeet campsites by the Toxaway because the next day you got about 16 pretty tough miles to the camp that the Girlscouts constructed close to the base of Whitewater Falls. Hats off to all the Eagle Scouts who did their community service projects on this trail; their everywhere. As for water... it's everywhere.

Nice little hike.. not difficult at all and even small children can do that... the waterfall at the end is really beautiful!!

After hiking the Foothills Trail four times I have seen this one enough. Besides I like Upper Whitewater Falls better..

Great trail with scenic views. Only did 8 miles and back. Found several great spots to fish and swim in the river. Several campsites located along the river. A few trees had fallen along the trail, but they were easy enough to step over or crawl under. A very small portion has been washed out along the river bank but it wasn't dangerous. I highly recommend it for camping. Overall not difficult, would be good for all skill levels.

Nice hike! With the recent storms, there are a lot of trees down across the trail. The stretch with Blue Trail markers is not marked very often, and some of it is overgrown so it can be easy to lose the trail. The majority of it is well marked and well-defined. There are some challenging sections. Can be done as a day hike or broken up into 2 days. There are really nice camping sites along the Chatooga River Trail.

The trail was in overall great shape. We hiked four miles in hoping to find big bend falls. It’s practically non-existent, we couldn’t find it and the trail boss said it’s really hard to find and not worth seeing. We ended up setting up camp about 4.2 mi in from the Burrell ford parking lot on a GREAT beach spot. Hiked back out the next day and stayed at the campgrounds there which were in good shape. Fishing was decent. Water was great for swimming. All around awesome. Definitely make sure you hit kings creek fall while you’re there it was the highlight to the trip.

Worth the hike to the falls. Not to steep some climbing nothing to hard, our 3 year old loved it. Our dog enjoyed it as well. wear closed toe shoes very wet trail. Take water with you as well. Well maintained tail and very well marked. if you haven't been deff worth the trip!!! lots of wildlife & birds.

This trail really needs to be reviewed in sections, preferably from Scott Lynch's book. Some parts are definitely moderate with long stretches of trail that is smooth, easy, and crazy beautiful. Other parts are steep switchbacks with big trees to crabwalk under or scrabble over.
A friend and I did 35 miles, starting at Oconee and ending just before Whitewater Falls. Outrageously beautiful - all the streams and creeks were running, and the Chattooga was raging. Waterfalls everywhere! Mushrooms of all colors, waterfalls of ferns, every moss and lichen, blooming rhododendrons, We were glad we had planned low miles so we could stop to explore and take pictures.
My caution would be that it was hot with very high humidity, and we almost couldn't drink enough water to stay hydrated.
We will be back to do more.

The road markers had been removed, so track the driving distance carefully. The walk in was pretty easy. However just before we got to the falls, there was a big log across the trail. Although someone had cut a notch in it, it was still too high for these 70 year old legs to get over without additional steps (that were't there), so we never made it to the falls.

Kings Creek falls is absolutely amazing. Fairly easy to get to, well maintained trails, except closer to the falls it gets a little tricky. It’s very muddy around the falls, with some slick rocks you’ll have to climb down. The payoff is worth it.

The trail is lovely and not too difficult. It was a perfect first backpack trip for my 10 year old. For a mid-week trip, the trail was pretty busy and there was one large group of backpackers that left a lot of trash... There is a small section of the trail along the river that is washed out and would be more than a little challenging in higher water. We also encountered a few snakes and I nearly stepped on a copperhead in the middle of the trail. The highlight? Seeing otters playing in the river while eating breakfast.

Gorgeous river and waterfalls. Great swimming holes at the base of the initial decent. However this trail does not allow camping due to whitewater corridor protection (the reason for the 3 star rating). However we hiked to Thompson river, 2.7 miles past the turnaround. This was a spectacular 4 star hike. Next time we will start at Bad creek parking to get to Thompson river. (A lot of ticks in June!)

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
3 months 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
3 months 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.

backpacking
4 months 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.

Beautiful falls, easy trail, easy to find!

hiking
6 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.

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