January 17-18, 2015
It’s hard to write about a place that you found, when in reality, you don’t want anyone else to know about it.
But, we want people to experience nature and explore the beauty our Nation holds.
Ramona, Gracie, Emily and I set out to hike and camp in the western portion of the Ellicott Rock Trail. This part is not as widely used as the eastern part. The rock itself (Ellicott’s marker from 1811 dividing Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina) is only accessible from the eastern trail. A forge of the river would make this possible from the western half, but this is not an option in mid-January.
We came across a lot of blow downs and could hardly walk 50 feet without ducking under a tree or clambering over. Since I had never hiked this trail, I was unsure of camping spots. We discussed it throughout the hike down, but never really saw a place that would be good to set up camp. As we neared the Chattooga River, the scenery changed from copses of new growth white pine to hidden, covered hollers of green lush rhododendron. A makeshift bridge had washed out, and we leaped (or were carried) across a series of boulder jumps to the other side. Through the thicket we saw the Chattooga and a perfect camp spot, just 25 ft. above the river. In the morning we were treated to a gorgeous sunrise over the river.
Total mileage is 7 miles.