Rocky Gap/Willis Knob Horse Trail
The Chattooga Wild and Scenic River Corridor links the South Carolina trail (Rocky Gap) with the Georgia side (Willis Knob) on the 28-mile trail. Whetstone Horse Camp serves as the base camp for riders.
Much of Rocky Gap offers a clear-cut area. You’re treated to wide vistas overlooking farming areas and the Chattooga River. But along with the open areas you will climb the steep mountain side with switchbacks. Portions of the trail follow the river, sometimes dipping to it and then back into the forest. The wide, shallow Adline Branch is the preferred crossing ford. Riders can use Big Island or Moss Mill fords only with careful consideration in crossing. They should not be used by those unfamiliar with them because of their big holes and large rocks.
You’ll find a tapestry of colors at Rocky Gap, no matter what the season.
You see something different each time, from the dwarf blue iris in the Spring to the white and deep pink rhodendron and daisies in the Summer to the goldenrod of Fall. Hardwoods such as the sweet gums and the poplars give another splash of color in the Fall.
You’ll spot tracks more often than you will see deer. Wild turkeys, squirrels and songbirds can easily be found. The creeks and river make watering your horse easy and convenient.
A network of trails at Rocky Gap will take you back to what used to be mountain cabins and farmlands. Here you can see the remains of the settlers with some foundations of buildings along with the shards of pottery. You can find a multitude of loops which tie into the forest service roads. You can get off the beaten path and make your ride what you want it to be.
Campsites are on a first come first serve basis. Reserve sites up to six months in advance at www.recreation.gov or by calling (877) 444-6777.
From Walhalla, go north six miles on State Highway 28. Turn left onto Whetstone Road for about five miles. Go straight at the four-way stop, and drive about 1.5 miles. The pavement will end, and a gravel road will begin. The day-use parking area and trail head will be on the right.
Andrew Pickens Ranger District
112 Andrew Pickens Circle
Mountain Rest, SC 29664
Phone: (864) 638-9568