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ELLICOTT ROCK, Spoonauger Falls, and a Swim In The Chattooga

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Chattooga River - Burrell's Ford   Hike: ELLICOTT ROCK, Spoonauger Falls, and a Swim In The Chattooga  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sun, Jul 8 2012  10:00 am >> Mon, Jun 18 2012 4:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 7:30 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Fri, Jun 29 2012 8:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Jul 6 2012 2:22 am
Event Duration:9 Hours 26 Minutes
Difficulty Rating:D4: Moderate to Difficult
Distance:9 Miles
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:4
Number Registered So Far: 13 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: Yes


Please read the event description, "required to bring", "recommended to bring", and NOTES prior to signing up for this event.


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 (Commissioners Rock) just 10 - 15 feet away as the border between the three states. This "commissioners rock" is often incorrectly 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 is on the southern end of an area that receives the highest rainfall in the eastern United States; so, the area is very lush and green.


We will begin our hike from Burrells Ford and hike north on the Chattooga River Trail (CRT).  After a short distance, we will reach a short side trail leading to Spoonauger Falls, which is a 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 approximately 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 (it's very tricky to identify), take photos, try to stand in 3 states at the same time, have lunch, and take a dip in the clear, refreshing, upper Chattooga - we will spend some time in this area and not be rushing.  After lunch, we will return to Burrells Ford by means of the CRT.


1)  Because the river is the boundary between GA and SC, as you might expect, Ellicott Rock and Commissioners Rock are located at the river's edge.  There is also a rock, Chattooga Rock, located in the center of the river and identified with a Geodetic Marker.  So, if you wish to stand on the Chattooga Rock, or lay eyes on Ellicott Rock, you should plan to at least get your feet wet.

2)  Anyone signing up for this event who is registered for the Horsepasture River event the day before may want to consider camping/staying nearby, as these two events are in relative close proximity to one another.  There is a campground/sites at Burrells Ford (must walk a short distance from parking) and there is the Cherry Hill Recreation Area campground within a couple miles of Burrells Ford.  If you will be camping the night before please indicate so in the notes section of your registration.


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

How to Get There:
Event Directions:
  • From Indian Trail P&R:
  • -Merge onto I-85 N and travel 78 miles to South Carolina Hwy 11
  • -Take exit 1 on for SC 11 North.  Travel north on SC 11 (Cherokee Foothills Scenic Hwy) for 19.7 miles.
  • -Turn Left and merge onto SC 28 West.  Follow SC 28 for 9.4 miles.
  • -Take a slight right onto SC 107 North.  Follow SC 107 N for 10.2 miles.
  • -Turn Left onto Burrells Ford Rd.  Travel 2.7 miles – the parking area is just before the road crosses the river.

Or, you can use the following coordinates to input into one of the online mapping sources to determine your route.  Burrells Ford parking area: N34 58.487, W083 06.957

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):240Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 7:30 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.


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

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