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This moderately difficult, 6.3 mile trail starts in South Carolina at the Sloan Bridge Picnic Area and ends in North Carolina where it joins the Bad Creek Trail in the Ellicott Rock Wilderness Area. From here, the trail eventually becomes the Chattooga Trail and continues southwest to Burrells Ford. However, we recommend treating the trail as an out-and-back trip simply because the Fork Mountain Trail is so enjoyable. The hike plunges almost immediately into a dense canopy of mountain laurel and rhododendron, where you'll stay cool and shady most of the way. The trail also weaves along the northern flanks of Fork Mountain, ascending and descending through numerous coves and ravines. Rust blazes guide you from the trailhead at Sloan Bridge, but be aware that some trail markers are some distance apart. Since the trail is lightly used, fallen trees and occasional undergrowth may also present some problems. At the junction with the Bad Creek Trail you can return, or extend your hike approximately 1.3 miles to Ellicott Rock.

Camping is allowed along the trail (except in the Ellicott Rock Wilderness area), but no facilities are available. Campsites with facilities are at Cherry Hill Recreation Area and Oconee State Park. Primitive campsites are at Burrells Ford Campground. Oconee State Park includes 19 cabins.

Directions: From Walhalla, Drive northwest on SC 28 for 7.5 miles and bear right onto SC 107. Continue on SC 107 for 14.5 miles to the junction of Oconee County S-413. The Sloan Bridge Picnic Area is approximately .5 miles ahead on the left. From the parking lot, walk north across the highway culvert that crosses East Fork Creek.

Distance: 6.3 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

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Sumter National Forest, South Carolina

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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