This year the target was Spooner Auger Falls in Oconee County. The hiking book gives decent directions, but they all start from a junction of two main roads which makes us then have to hunt down a way to get to that point. Once there though the directions are pretty specific and include where to park and how to navigate the trails to get to the Falls.
It also gives a little information about the region. This waterfall is set in the Ellicott Rock Wilderness Region. Andrew Elliott explored this region in the early 1800s as he marked the borders of NC, SC, and GA. It is over 8,000 acres and somewhere amongst all that wonderfully wooded land there is a small rock placed where the three states intersect that Andrew Ellicott placed and carved a mark into. We did not find it, but will be back to look again!
We made it to the trail head with little incident, enjoying the magnificent views along the way. The leaves are really peaking right now and the reds, yellows and oranges filled the view out of the car windows.
|Looking down the trail from the car|
We pulled over as the book instructed and struck the trail. With Wyatt being too big for his pack and too small to hike anything more than about 2 miles, we are sticking to the easier to access Falls. This one was a 1.2 mile hike out and was on trail I would declare easy for all except the end which was up a winding trail with a cliff to the river side. Wyatt managed it all with ease climbing over rocks and roots, scaling up the hills and rock hopping over the several creek crossings.
The trail was really pretty with multiple places with trees bowing over the trail like an arch. Apparently it had rained that morning because everything was damp. It was a welcomed sight with all the wild fires raging around us and the severe drought we are in. In fact, I was worried the area would either be on fire or dried up.
We followed several switchbacks as we made our way through the woods. I was in heaven. The trees were close to us on all sides and there wasn't a road, house or even a sound outside those that belong in the forest. Well, except for the occasional discharge of a storm trooper gun.
|We saw this small fall on our way up and thought it was the one, but we quickly figured out it wasn't|
Eventually the trail went straight up as the book warned and we dead ended at the 100 ft Spooner Auger Falls. I was excited that there was still water flowing over it and tried to picture how it would look at full flow.
We played around at the falls for a long time. Learning from past years, we packed a book bag for Wyatt with a towel and change of clothes. He splashed and played in the icy water at the base of the falls and asked if he could "slide down them" multiple times. Sorry kiddo, no broken legs allowed! When hhe began to shiver, we dried him off and bundled him in his dry clothes to hike back out.
|The real Spooner Auger Falls|
The main trail follows the Chattooga River upstream from parking and I was dying to travel it and see where it went. Unfortunately, we were short on time so only managed about another half mile before we needed to turn around and go home to get ready for dinner. We vowed to return soon with a day pack and lunch.
|On our way back we ran into the first people we saw all morning. This is a husky corgi mix and he was adorable!|