Johnny Malloy, in his “The Best in Tent Camping: The Carolinas” (see below), writes evocatively of this primitive escape on the edge of the Ellicott Rock Wilderness: “The Chattooga [River] runs shallow and clear directly in front of the campground, no doubt the ford of days gone by. On the other side of the river lies the state of Georgia, deeply shaded in thick, jungle-like vegetation. … Most sites are cooled beneath a shady canopy, but some lie in a glade that receives enough sun for grass to grow. All the sites offer maximum privacy … .”

You can just picture your tent in that open glade on a sunny winter’s day, can’t you?

You can explore the Chattooga on the Foothills Trail, heading downstream for 5 miles before the trail departs the river. This is a sequestered portion of the Chattooga that offers more than its share of jaw-dropping moments.

This primitive camping area requires a quarter mile walk-in; sites include pit toilet, picnic tables, fire rings and lantern posts. Reports Malloy: “ … one enterprising fellow toted his belongings down from the parking area in a wheelbarrow.” Beats a load of cement.

More info: “The Best in Tent Camping: The Carolinas,” by Johnny Malloy, Menasha Ridge, 2003

Google locator map

Address: 112 Andrew Pickens Circle
City: Mountain Rest
State: SC
Zip: 29664
Latitude: 35.0966
Longitude: 83.1166
No. of campsites: not designated, about 10
No. with hookups: none
No. without hookups: none
Primitive sites: about 10
Reservations? No
Cost: free
Year-round? yes
Gate hours: none
Quiet hours: none
Stuff to do nearby: hike, paddle