Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chattooga River Trail from the 76 bridge

There were signs of early spring but it still felt very much like winter on the Chattooga River Trail Sections 1 and (part of) 2 this weekend.  Starting from the US 76 bridge, I wasn't even warmed up before spotting the first wildflowers.
Fragrant trailing arbutus.
The Chattooga River Trail, as the guidebook points out, doesn't spend much time following along the river.  Instead, it climbs up over hillsides, meanders through hollows, then dips across streams.
Chattooga River in the distance
One of many bridges over feeder streams.
By mid-day, snow flurries drifted calmly through air.  Unlike two weeks ago, this didn't accumulate on the ground.  By afternoon, the winds had kicked up, driving off the clouds.

I continued on three more miles past Sandy Ford Road and the intersection of the Bartram Trail to the lazy doghobble-lined banks of Warwoman Creek.  At Earl's Ford Road (about 13 miles from my starting point at the 76 bridge), I turned around so I would have time to make it back to Dick's Creek Falls for dinner.  This falls is one of the highlight of this section- where Dick's Creek drops 60-feet into the roaring Chattooga River directly below the rapid spanning the Chattooga called Dick's Creek Ledge.
Dick's Creek Falls.
Chattooga River falling over Dick's Creek Ledge
The forecast was for an overnight low around 24.  It turned out the temperature was absolutely perfect-- it was cold enough to partially freeze my water bottle into a slushy, icy state while it was tucked in my raingear overnight.  That meant for breakfast (since I still go stoveless) I got to make Oatmeal-Nido-Milk-Slushy!  This is one of my very favorite treats on the trail-- it's so special because it can only be made when the temperatures are just right to not free the water solid, but to get it just slushy enough that the ice crystals don't melt after getting stirred into the oats, nuts, dried fruit, and powdered nido milk mix.  Delicious.
Hanging away from the river out of the wind.
Another great overnight trip along the Chattooga!


  1. I keep bypassing those waterfalls for some reason. Next time I am stopping there for sure. It looks beautiful.

  2. What?!?! I seriously can't believe you didn't take this side trail. Must plan another trip ASAP to correct this.

  3. I was curious if this Dicks Creek was related at all to Dicks Creek Gap near the AT?

    Just noticing familiar words!

    Wildflowers are poking out here too. I found a violet in my yard yesterday!

  4. Great photos!!! I haven't done this section yet, must head up there soon.

  5. Hey Misty-- This is a different Dicks Creek than the one by the AT. Though that one does flow into the Tallulah River which eventually joins the Chattooga River. And oh yeah I saw a few little purple violets on the trail too!! So sweet!

  6. JERMM- This is quite a nice section-- and makes a good place to go in winter-- definitely check it out.