Yesterday we hiked with Upstate Hiking on the Chattooga River. We parked right before the ford on Sandy Ford Road and hiked in on the trail that heads south towards the river. Much of this trail follows Dicks Creek and had lots of greenery on its banks even though it is still winter in Georgia. This trail comes out right at the Chattooga Trail and there is signage here. If you continue on straight downhill, you will run into Dicks Creek Falls and Ledge. This is a beautiful spot on the river with a nice view of the ledge from the top of the waterfall.
Take great care if you stop here as these spots are always dangerous.
The group spent about 15 minutes here taking pictures and wandering around. I continued down the trail and around the corner by the river as I wanted to see where it went. Just more river there but you never know. It was a very sunny day and hard to take good photos but we did get a few.
We returned back up the trail to meet up with the Chattooga River Trail and headed west towards Hippie Beach. It is approximately 3.9 miles from this intersection. The trail was rolling as I’ve come to find out it is for much of its distance. We intersected Sandy Ford Road again on the trail and at that point we took a detour down the road to the River. If you hike with me, you know I am all into exploratory. I figure we may never get back! There is a parking lot for several cars there, a nice sandy beach, and a place in the river they call “Double Drop.” We wandered down the river trying to see if there was any trail to the Narrows but nothing promising. A few people found some rocks to stand on in middle of the river.
Someone spotted what they thought was a trail that went uphill but it wasn’t. Miss D volunteered to see if she could find a trail and headed up. It turned out to be an old forest road so the rest of the group followed her uphill, and we took it back to Sandy Ford Road which was a very short distance away.
Continuing uphill on the dirt road, we returned to the intersection of the road and trail and headed west. Some way down the trail, I could hear what I think was the Narrows which we have visited before from the South Carolina side but there was no visible way to get down there from the trail. At one point, I spotted a small waterfall on a feeder stream and took this photo.
The group finally stopped about 1:30 p.m. for lunch. We are not positive that what we found was Hippie Beach but there were two nice campsites divided by a small stream with a bridge crossing. It’s called Hippie Beach because it is said a group of hippies lived here at one time. You could get several small tents on each site and a few hammocks but that’s about it. What might have once been a beach was overgrown. Several of us decided to sit on the river on some rocks for lunch. After lunch, a few of us wandered across the bridge just to check it out. This was our turn around point.
The group returned back the way we came. At one point, we met some hikers from the Charleston meetup and had a nice conversation about their upcoming backpacking trip to the area. We did see another small group of hikers earlier in the day, and 2 other hikers. That was like running into a crowd on this trail. The few other times we have hiked it we have had it mostly to ourselves with a few exceptions.
It’s a pretty hike and about 8.8 miles approximately not including the detour.
Hike: In and Out
Difficulty : Difficult due to mileage
Mileage: About 9.6 miles (including detours)