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Winter Backpacking on the Chattooga River

The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: Chattooga River, Big Bend Falls Area   Backpacking: Winter Backpacking on the Chattooga River  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sun, Dec 24 2017  8:00 am >> Tue, Dec 26 2017 4:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 8:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Thu, Dec 21 2017 9:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Sat, Dec 23 2017 12:00 am
Event Duration:2 Days 8 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D4: Moderate to Difficult
Distance:15 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Mike Pawloski
Email Trip Leader(s)
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:12
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 3 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: Yes


We will begin the hike in on the Foothills trail (Bartram Trail) and hike approximately .6 miles. At the intersection of the Chattooga River trail, we can turn left and continue several hundred yards where we will be able to visit two waterfalls.  The 25-foot stack of Pigpen Falls and the two-tiered, 80-foot Licklog Falls.  Pigpen Falls is trailside with a sandy pool at its base.  Licklog is downstream.  We should have decent views of Licklog Falls. 

From there, we turn back around and begin the rest of our hike along the Chattooga trail, which will take us along the river most of the way and up to Big Bend Falls area. After ~ 3.5 miles we'll look for a campsite - we should have some options.  Upon securing a site, we'll drop our gear and pitch our tents.  We'll gather firewood then maybe head up to Big Bend Falls.  Alternatively, we may stay close to camp and enjoy the immediate surroundings and the fire.  Monday, we'll probably day hike over to Winding Stairs Trail and check out some water falls.  

This is a winter backpacking trip so please plan accordingly.  Current forecasts for the area are calling for temperatures below freezing at night.

Here's a link to the NOAA Weather Forecast for nearby Mountain Rest, SC:

Dogs are permitted but will need to be cleared by the Trip Leaders if they're not familiar with them.

**Reminder—this is a pack it in/pack it out trip. Everything we carry in will be carried out.  We will also will try and carry out any trash that we may find left behind by other hikers/backpackers.

Required Items to Bring:
  • Backpack
  • Tent
  • sleeping bag
  • pad
  • extra clothes
  • Backpacking stove (an MSR Whisperlite would be appropriate for expected conditions)
  • Food—Freeze dried/backpacking food
  • Headlamp or Flashlight
  • Hiking boots/shoes
  • Snacks
  • Water or Camelback
  • Beverage of choice
  • A fun, positive attitude



Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Trekking Poles
  • Food to share for around the campfire
  • Gifts for Trip Leaders

How to Get There:
Event Directions:

Parking area is off of Nicholson Ford Rd; access the Foothills Trail at the NW corner of the parking lot.

1. Hwy. 85 N. to Hwy. 11 (Exit 1) to Walhalla.
2. From Walhalla, drive northwest on SC 28 for 8.4 miles and bear right (north) onto SC 107.
3. Drive 3.1 miles and turn left (west) onto Village Creek Road, just past the entrance to Oconee State Park.
4. Drive 1.7 miles and turn right onto Nicholson Ford Road (FS 775), which is gravel.
5. Drive 2.2 miles to a parking area on the right.
6. Park and access the Foothills Trail at the northwest corner of the lot.

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):180Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 8:00 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $72.00 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.


If there is a serious chance of rain/snow this event will be cancelled or postponed.  

* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.