|Hike Name:||Thrift Lake Falls|
|Directions:||The parking lot is on Nicholson Ford Road, which is accessible from highway 107 via Village Creek Road.)|
|Total Hike Distance:||2.00 miles|
|Hike Type:||Roundtrip, Loop Hike|
|Hike Starts/Ends:||Nicholson Ford Rd|
|Trails Used:||Foothills Trail, Bushwack|
|Backcountry Water Sources:||Streams, Rivers|
|Management:||U.S. Forest Service|
|Contact Information:||Forest Supervisor's Office
Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests
4931 Broad River Road
Columbia, SC 29212-6090
Phone: (803) 561-4000
|Best Season:||Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall|
|Road Conditions:||Primary Paved Roads, Secondary Paved Roads, Maintained Gravel or Dirt Roads, Unmaintained Gravel or Dirt Roads|
|Hike Summary:||The Chattooga River begins in the mountains of North Carolina as small rivulets, nourished by springs and abundant rainfall, high on the slopes of the Appalachian Mountains. The water drops a half mile in elevation over fifty miles as it winds its way to Lake Tugaloo where the river ends between South Carolina and Georgia. The Chattooga is one of the few remaining free-flowing streams in the Southeast, and the setting is primitive with dense forests and undeveloped shorelines on most of its route. On May 10, 1974, Congress designated the Chattooga a Wild and Scenic River - a honor reserved for rivers with outstanding scenery, recreation, wildlife, geologic, and cultural values.
The Chattooga River Trail is a forty mile route that borders the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia and follows the banks of the Chattooga National Wild And Scenic River from Burrell's Ford to US 76. Congress designated the river on May 10, 1974 and it is often used by kayakers, hikers, backpackers, and fisherman as it winds from the North Carolina mountains to Lake Tugaloo.
This hike starts near Thrift Lake and uses an old road that is unmarked on maps yet is still used by fisherman to climb a ridge, join with the Foothills Trail, then drop down to Thirft Lake Falls at a major intersection of the Chattooga River Trail, The Bartram Trail and The Foothills Trail. We camped near this busy intersection near a small waterfall and pool that runs down to the Chattooga River which is about 0.3 miles downstream and has some great water for fishing for Rainbow Trout.