Birding · Fall Colors · Fishing · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This route is a nice long route that is not very difficult overall. While there are some technical sections on the Chattooga River trail, East Fork and Fork Mountain trails are relatively tame, making this a good route to take it slow and enjoy the day in the woods. Along the Chattooga River and East Fork trails there are opportunities to rest by the river and enjoy the serenity. On the Foothills Trail
near the Sloan Bridge Picnic Area, there are three easily accessible waterfalls. Lastly, a visit to the Walhalla State Fish Hatchery is an entertaining visit to see how trout are raised, and if you're lucky, you'll see them at feeding time which is a good watch.
Need to Know
Only restroom on this route is at the Sloan Bridge Picnic Area. While the Fish Hatchery closes after 5 PM, the East Fork and Foothills Trail
are still accessible.
This route starts out at the Foothills Trail
on Fish Hatchery Rd. Instead of taking the Foothills Trail
, however, descend down the road for about 2 miles to the Walhalla State Fish Hatchery. Early morning there is little to no traffic on this road. Later in the afternoon however, traffic may increase, especially on weekends.
Once at the fish hatchery, to the left, after the bridge, is a parking area. Here is where you'll find the trailhead to East Fork Trail. It begins as a paved path with some day use picnic areas, but if you stay left, you'll reach the hiker registration box and the descent into the Ellicott Rock Wilderness Area. Hike down the East Fork trail until it terminates at the Chattooga River Trail
, about 2 miles.
Take a right, just after crossing the bridge, and follow the Chattooga River trail for about 2 miles. Then, make a right on the Ellicott Rock Trail, climbing the switchbacks until you reach the intersection with the Fork Mountain Trail, about 1 mile. Take a right and follow Fork Mountain Trail for about 6.1 miles. Fork Mountain Trail will end at HWY 107.
Follow the well-worn path on the easement to the Sloan Bridge Picnic Area. At the farthest end of the parking lot, you'll spot the sign for the entrance to the Foothills Trail
. Enter here to continue on the Foothills Trail
for about 3.5 miles. Along this section of the route you'll have the opportunity to visit three waterfalls: Slatten Branch Falls (on a separate spur trail at Sloan Bridge Picnic Area), Lower Sloan Bridge Falls, and Hiker's Peril Falls. The route will terminate at the Foothills Trail
on Fish Hatchery Rd.
Flora & Fauna
Wildflowers during the spring. Trillium, dwarf Iris, Foamflowers, and more.
Shared By: Glint Gossamer