BARTRAM TRAIL/FOOTHILLS TRAIL/CHATTOOGA RIVER TRAIL – SALT TROUGH FORD
LOCATION: Northwestern South Carolina
HIKE STARTS: Burrell’s Ford
HIKE ENDS: SC 107
TOTAL DISTANCE: 10.4 Miles
HIKE TYPE: One Way, Shuttle Hike
HIKE DIFFICULTY: Easy to Moderate
TRAILS USED: Chattooga River, Bartram, Foothills
TRAIL TRAFFIC: Moderate
TRIP TYPE: Day or Overnight Hike
Sumter National Forest
Andrew Pickens Ranger District
112 Andrew Pickens Circle
Mountain Rest, South Carolina 29664
HIGHLIGHTS: The Chattooga River begins in the mountains of North Carolina as small rivulets, nourished by springs and abundant rainfall, high on the slopes of the Appalachian Mountains. The water drops a half mile in elevation over fifty miles as it winds its way to Lake Tugaloo where the river ends between South Carolina and Georgia. The Chattooga is one of the few remaining free-flowing streams in the Southeast, and the setting is primitive with dense forests and undeveloped shorelines on most of its route.
The Chattooga River Trail is a forty mile route that borders the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia and follows the banks of the Chattooga National Wild And Scenic River from Burrell’s Ford to US 76. Congress designated the river on May 10, 1974 and it is often used by kayakers, hikers, backpackers, and fisherman as it winds from the North Carolina mountains to Lake Tugaloo.
The Foothills Trail and Chattooga River Trail share the route from Burrell’s Ford to Lick Log Creek which follows the banks of the Chattooga National Wild And Scenic River past Kings Creek Falls and down to Salt Trough Ford. This hike is a moderate route that hugs the river and heads southbound from the Burrell’s Ford Parking Area to an intersection with the Bartram Trail at Lick Log Creek. Here the Chattooga River Trail continues along the banks of the river with the Bartram Trail. The Foothills Trail turns east, however, and makes a gradual ascent to SC 107 where there is a small parking area a few hundred feet past the road. There are some nice campsites along the river, particularly in the Salt Trough Ford and Lick Log Creek areas and both campsites are frequently visited by overnight backpackers.