Summary: This is a nice, peaceful trail that doesn't seem to be used often. I hiked in the Fall when the leaves covered the trail nicely and couldn't see many signs of other hikers. The trail is fairly narrow the entire length. There are many old trees that are nice to view, and many have fallen and covered the trail in several spots. Nothing you can't maneuver, but you could tell they were pretty recent. At about 1.8 miles into the trail, you will cross a 'road/trail' with a save the trout drop box (random). I couldn't find what this trail was on my maps, but it may give access from the end of Big Bend Road to shorten the hike to the Chatooga. There are a couple of good campsites towards the FHT junction. The trail meets with the FHT/Chatooga at 2.7 miles, and if you stay left, you will be at Big Bend falls shortly (about 0.6 miles). Along the way I encountered several anglers and was told there are excellent places down river.
Trailhead: From Walhalla, drive west on SC 28 for 7.5 miles and bear right onto SC 107. Drive 8.8 miles to the Cherry Hill Recreation Area on the right. To get to the official trailhead, walk south on 107 and when you get to the top of the first incline, it will be off to your right. I started by going down Big Bend Road (FS 709) until I saw a spot where the trail was immediately adjacent.
Trail Guides for Big Bend Trail to the Chatooga River:
Hiking South Carolina
by John Clark & John Dantzler (Falcon)
by SC State Trails Program ()
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers,
Ranger Contact: Sumter National Forest, 864-638-9568
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Brian Bain, who has posted 6 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by Nearly Normal on 3/12/2008
2 Hikes Drive to the end of Big Bend Road walk down the path until you come to the Big Bend Trail crossing. Big bend trail is marked with Red Blazes(faded). Turn right onto Big Bend Trail. This is a much shorter hike to the river. At the river you will cross the Foothills Trail. Left will take you to the Falls and right will take you to Burrell's Ford. Great if you have a 2nd car. 3 hour hike or great day fishing trip. 2nd Hike 100 yards before the end of Big Bend road the old road bed is blocked with a dirt pile. The trail is steep but will take you to Simm's Field on the river. You will cross Big Bend trail and continue on down. Great fishing but you have to return the same way or hike down river to Nicholson Ford to your 2nd car. 2
Reviewed by tony watt on 7/22/2006
hard hike but very good fishing(sure to catch your limit). love the river and nice falls. watch out for snakes on the river.
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