Ellicott Rock w/ Kings Creek Falls and Spoonauger Falls - Sun, Sep 11 2011

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Ellicott Rock w/ Kings Creek Falls and Spoonauger Falls

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Chattooga River - Burrell's Ford   Hike: Ellicott Rock w/ Kings Creek Falls and Spoonauger Falls  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sun, Sep 11 2011  10:40 am >> Sun, Sep 11 2011 3:40 pm  (Carpool Departure: 8:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Fri, Sep 2 2011 9:16 am
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Sep 9 2011 7:00 pm
Event Duration:5-6 Hours (~11 including drive time)
Difficulty Rating:D4: Moderate to Difficult (Exploratory)
Distance:12 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Bob J
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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:4
Number Registered So Far: 14 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No

Note: This is an "EXPLORATORY" trip. This means that there are parts of this trip, or perhaps the whole trip, that is new to your Trip Leader(s). However, they are confident that this will not be an issue.
This note is here so that you can make an informed decision. When a Trip Leader isn't personally familiar with a trip, there is an increased chance of things not going as planned and you need to be prepared. The Trip Leader may have additional details in the itinerary.


Ellicott Rock Wilderness Area consists of 8,274 acres located in the States of Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. In 1811, surveyor Andrew Ellicott determined the starting point for the North Carolina-Georgia state line and chiseled an inconspicuous mark on a rock on the east bank of the Chattooga River. After continued dispute, two years later, commissioners from SC and NC re-surveyed the area and marked another rock just 10 - 15 feet away as the border between the three states. This "commissioners rock" is commonly referred to as Ellicott Rock and is the official border between the three states.

In the Ellicott Rock Wilderness area the mountainous regions of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia converge and straddle the Wild and Scenic Chattooga River. This is the only Wilderness area lying in three states. Rugged terrain, tall peaks, and the Wild and Scenic Chattooga River are the hallmarks of this Wilderness. Clear perennial trout streams that occasionally drop over small waterfalls scour the numerous steep-walled gorges. Unusual rock formations hover above some of the streams, and several threatened or endangered plants have been identified. Deer, squirrels, grouse, and wild turkeys are common sights in the Wilderness area, along with the more elusive black bear and raccoon. Dense stands of white pine and hemlock occupy the lower coves and areas along streams, upland hardwoods thrive on slopes, and scrub oaks and pitch pines grow on dry ridges. The region lies just south of the area that receives the highest rainfall in the eastern United States; so it's possible we could have some wet weather.


We will begin our hike from the Burrells Ford parking area by going south for a short distance along the Chattooga River Trail to make a visit to Kings Creek Falls, which is a scenic waterfall approximately 70 feet high. After a short stop at the falls, we will then hike north on the CRT until we reach a short side trail leading to Spoonauger Falls, which is another waterfall of approximately 50 feet in height. After a short stop at this waterfall, we will continue on the CRT closely following the Wild and Scenic Chattooga River. In a little under 4 miles, we will then reach Ellicott Rock, the boundary between GA, SC, and NC. At this point we will take some time to locate the rock (some say it's tricky to identify), take photos, try to stand in 3 states at the same time, and have a lunch break. After lunch, we will then continue along the CRT until we reach the Bad Creek trail. We will then hike the Bad Creek trail which will lead us up about 600 feet out of the gorge along a ridge line to the Fork Mountain trail. We will continue a short distance along the Fork Mountain trail until we reach an area where there used to be an old logging road.  We will then head down the ridge line until we reach the confluence of Bad Creek with the Chattooga river.  This section of the hike will be approximately 1 mile, will be "off-trail", and may require a little bushwhacking.  After we reach the Chattooga River, we will then return to Burrells Ford by means of the CRT.

Disclosure: Your TLs, who also enjoy exploring new places (to them, anyway) have not hiked these trails. By all accounts most of these trails are well-marked, we have studied the guide books / maps, and will have these materials in hand as well as a GPS. There will be a short section (about a mile) where there will be no trail.  Nevertheless, please have a sense of adventure and be in sufficient physical condition to hike a little extra mileage if we miss a turn somewhere, have to go around obstacles, or have to backtrack on any trails.

Note: As you might expect, Ellicott Rock is located in the middle of the river, because the river is the boundary between GA and SC.  So, to my knowledge, if you wish to stand on the rock, you should plan to at least get your feet wet. 

Required Items to Bring:
  • Good hiking shoes/boots
  • Water or sports drink - 2.5 liters minimum; 3 recommended.
  • Lunch/Snack
  • A good attitude and a sense of adventure
Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Water shoes
  • Hand towel to dry feet if you wade in the river
  • Change of clothes for ride home
  • Bathing suit for wading in the river, or taking a dip.

How to Get There:
Event Directions:There are several possible routes to Burrell's Ford, only varying by about 10 minutes in travel time (~ 2.5 hours from the Indian Trail P&R).  If you choose to meet at the event, you should use the following coordinates to input into one of the online mapping sources to determine your route.  Burrells Ford parking area: N34 58.290, W083 06.887
Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):240Mile(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 $96.00 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 you happen to be registered for the Panther Creek trip on Saturday, you may wish to camp at Burrells Ford campground, or one of the other nearby Camping areas, to minimize travel time - not to mention, increase fun time. If you choose to do this, please note so in the notes section in the registration process. Or send the TLs an email.

There will be approximately 1 mile section of the hike that will be off-trail (possible bushwhacking). Please read the event description in case you missed this.
* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

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