Ascent of Fork Mountain on 2012-04-14

Climber: Tom Layton

Date:Saturday, April 14, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Fork Mountain
    Location:USA-South Carolina
    Elevation:3294 ft / 1004 m

Ascent Trip Report

I followed Kevin Williamson's 2003 COHP trip report. Nine years later, I did not see nor expect any ribbons, but I found the way easily enough.

I parked at the Walhalla state fish hatchery (off SC107 near the NC line and a half-hour drive from the town of Walhalla). As you cross the curving footbridge over the Chattooga East Fork and reach the gate into the hatchery, you can see the start of the woods road straight across on the far side of the hatchery. Navigate the exterior of the fence and follow the road as far as you can. It disappears after 200 yards but gets you headed in the right direction up the SE ridge. Beyond the road, there's no hint of trail--just follow the ridge over the secondary summit and continue 400 yards to the the true summit. Undergrowth was not bad in mid-April but might be a challenge in the summer. Once you leave the hatchery, you're in the woods all the way, and there are no views.

There is a "Fork Mountain Trail" on the Forest Service Map, running from SC107 at Sloan Bridge to the Chattooga River near Ellicott Rock. However, that trail does not come close to the summit.

Round trip 2.2 miles. My 101st COHP and 9th in SC.

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:834 ft / 254 m
    Extra Gain:30 ft / 9 m
    Distance:2.2 mi / 3.5 km
    Trailhead:Walhalla Fish Hatchery  2520 ft / 768 m
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:1 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:40 Minutes

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