Route: Chattooga River Trail (NC, SC, GA)

Submitted by Tim Hill on Sun, 11/29/2020 - 08:09am
Location
South Carolina, US
North Carolina, US
Georgia, US
Distance
46.3 mi
Vertical Gain
5,500 ft
Description

The Chattooga River, a federally designated wild and scenic river, is most known as one of the southeast's premier whitewater rafting and fly fishing locations as well as the backdrop of the 1972 movie "Deliverance".

The Chattooga River Trail runs 35 continuous miles from Ellicott Rock (intersection of the SC, GA and NC border) to the Hwy 76 bridge and 5 disconnected miles from Whiteside Cove rd to Bull Pen rd. The two sections can be linked by running 3 miles of bull pen rd and using the 3.3 mile Bad Creek Trail. The trail rolls persistently from river to ridge, over technical rocky and rooty terrain. The total distance of the whole trail is approximately 46.3 miles

Information on the USFS website and National Geographic maps vary (traverses the Nantahala, Sumter and Chattahoochee National forests). The trail is labeled 433 (Whiteside rd section), 221 (Ellicott to Hwy 28) and 54 (after split with Bartram trail). The best available guide is a regional hiking publication by the Chattooga Native Plant Society (http://decastongrene.com/Hiker%27s%20Guide%20to%20the%20Chattooga.pdf).

The trail is blazed green except for the Whiteside cove section (no blaze) and the Bartram section (blazed yellow).

GPS Track

Comments

Can we get additional clarification on the route? In the description it says the route's northern terminus is at Ellicot rock, but the map has it starting much further north into NC.

I believe that the distinction is that the official Chattooga River Trail starts at Ellicott Rock, but this route begins at Whiteside Cove Rd., following a trail along the headwaters section of the Chattooga River, then follows Bull Pen Rd. for about 3 miles, before taking a trail into the Ellicott Wilderness area to access Ellicott Rock.  Perhaps this route should be called something like "Chattooga River Run" to make the distinction more clear.