LOCATION: Northwestern South Carolina
TRIP STARTS: Nicholson Ford Road
TRIP ENDS: Nicholson Ford Road
HIKE TYPE: In & Out, Backtrack Hike
HIKE DIFFICULTY: Easy to Moderate
TRAIL USED: Foothills, Chattooga River Trails
TRIP TYPE: Day or Overnight Hike

Sumter National Forest
Andrew Pickens Ranger District
112 Andrew Pickens Circle
Mountain Rest, South Carolina 29664
(864) 638-9568

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. This hike at the end of Nicholson Road and follows the Foothills Trail southbound down for 0.7 miles to the Chattooga River Trail. On the decent, you pass both Thrift Lake Falls and Pig Pen Branch Falls which flow in to the Chattooga. No camping is permitted at Thrift Lake Falls, but there are campsites available downstream on the river.

Guidebook For This Area Chattooga River Trail Map Trail Map For This Area