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Walhalla Fish Hatchery
Sumter National Forest SC

Hiking Trail Map & Guide

Mountains of Sumter National Forest, SC

PDF Printable Version of Walhalla Fish Hatchery Hike

This loop is a great way to take in the variety of South Carolina's Sumter National Forest.  It includes a ridgeline walk along Medlin Mountain, the Walhalla Fish Hatchery, waterfalls and cascades of the Blue Ridge Front and a glimpse of the many primitive camping areas available within the forest.  Plus enjoy 3.9 miles of the long distance Foothills Trail.  Another nearby hike is the Winding Stairs Trail.

The hike traverses through a variety of forests including ridgeline hardwoods with great winter views and open low undergrowth conifer forests along the Chattooga valley.  There are opportunities for backpacking in the area with campsites along the Chattooga River.  Also enjoy fishing in the mountain creeks and rivers along the  Chattooga and the East Fork (of the Chattooga) Rivers.

Image of Chattooga Wild and Scenic River, Sumter National Forest, SC  
 Mile 9 - chattooga river 

Conifer Forest in Chattooga Wild and Scenic River Corridor, SC
 conifer grove with low undergrowth 

The trail begins at the Burrells Ford US Forest Service Campground parking lot (el. appx 2100 ft) within the Chattooga River Valley.  The loop quickly ascends and within a few miles tops out along Medlin Mountain (el. 3100 ft - limited winter views).  It then descends down to Chattooga River East Fork valley and then back to the starting point. 

To get to the trail head parking area, travel from Walhalla SC 8 miles north on SC 28 and bear right onto SC 107 for 10 more miles.  Then bear left onto Burrells Ford Road (gravel) and follow the gravel road approximately 2 miles and park on the left in the gravel parking area.  The trail begins on the opposite side of the gravel road from the parking area.  From this same parking lot you can also visit King Creek Falls, a short 0.5 mile hike.  That hike starts in the parking lot.  See map below for more directions to that falls.

Trail Summary (note - trail distances are approximate): The trail begins across the road from the parking lot for the Burrells Ford Camping Area ( Approximate GPS Coordinates 3458'17.26"N  8306'53.18"W ).  Below is a trail summary with approximate distances in miles.  We recommend following the loop in a counter clockwise direction climbing Medlin Mountain first.  Otherwise a lot of the climb is done via the paved road from the hatchery.

 

Image of Hiking Map of Walhalla Fish Hatchery Loop, Sumter National Forest, SC
Location of the loop (Red) described on this page  - Locations and Scale are Approximate

 

Hiking Trail Profile of Walhalla Fish Hatchery Loop, Sumter National Forest, SC
Profile of Walhalla Fish Hatchery Trail Loop

 

Miles (appx) 10 (loop)
Road Maps Good County Map: Oconee County SC Street Map
    South Carolina Highway Map
    North Carolina Highway Map
Other Area Guides     Foothills Trail Guidebook
    Hiking South Carolina
    Trekking the Southern Appalachians
    South Carolina Atlas & Gazetteer
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    Georgia Atlas & Gazetteer
    North Carolina Atlas & Gazetteer

Image of Foothills Hiking Trail on Medlin Mountain near Walhalla Fish Hatchery SC
 Mile 3 - Foothills Trail near top of Medlin Mtn 

Image of Road Crossing Foothills Hiking Trail Sumter National Forest near Walhalla Fish Hatchery
 Mile 3.9 paved road to Walhalla Fish Hatchery 

Image of Walhalla Fish Hatchery, Sumter National Forest
 Walhalla State Fish Hatchery, Sumter National Forest 


Image of Chattooga River Trail Bridge across the East Fork of the Chattooga River
 Mile 8.2 - footbridge across East Fork of the Chattooga River 

0.0 Start by following the Foothills Trail located across Burrells Ford Road from the Burrells Ford Campground Parking Lot - ( Approximate GPS Coordinates 3458'17.26"N  8306'53.18"W )- Trail ascends immediately
0.5 Trail Junction - bear right (left descends to the Chattooga River Trail for a shorter loop) - Trail gradually ascends Medlin Mountain with good winter views
3.9 Intersection with Fish Hatchery Road - bear left onto paved road (right turn goes to SC 107) - road will descend gradually down to the Walhalla Fish Hatchery
5.7 Walhalla Fish Hatchery - worth a visit if the facility is open - to continue the hike, stay on the left (south) bank of the East Fork (of the Chattooga) River - the picnic area has a maze of footpaths - stay basically toward the left and cross in front of the large picnic shelter continuing toward the left - a short distance after the picnic shelter the trail crosses the East Fork on a footbridge - the trail then stays along the north (right) bank of the East Fork passing several cascades and near the intersection with the Chattooga trail passes a large scoured out rock wall along the trail - this trail is very scenic and is popular with fishermen
8.2 Bear Left onto Chattooga River Trail - visible downstream from the bridge is the confluence of the East Fork and the Chattooga River - the trail passes through a grove of evergreen trees with little undergrowth and parallels the Chattooga River for the next 1.5 miles - many places for fishing and camping are available along the river
9.5 Short Dead End Side Trail to left up to Spoon Auger Falls - worth the visit
9.7 Burrells Ford Road (gravel) - bear left
10 Parking area on right

Image of King Creek Falls, Foothills Hiking Trail, Sumter National Forest, SC
 Nearby King Creek Falls 

 

Image of Tree Stump along Chattooga River Trail, Sumter National Forest, SC
 stump 

 

 

Image of Spoon Auger Waterfall, Sumter National Forest, SC
 Mile 9.5 Spoon Auger Falls 

 

Image of Burrells Ford Road, Sumter National Forest, SC
 Mile 10.0 burrells ford road 

 


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