Length: 0.4 miles (loop)
Parking: Available at trail head
Hiked on: April 27th, 2008
If you are looking for a short, scenic, and easily walked trail then the
Woodall Shoals Trail is for you. The trailhead is located adjacent to the
large sign in the parking area. You should stop and take a look at the
different notices that the United States Forest Service has posted as they
may apply to you. Follow the wide path down and away from the parking lot.
Approximately 0.2 miles from the parking area you will reach a couple of
signs. Take a moment to read and understand the signs as they warn of the
risks you may be taking while being in the area. From here, you will turn to
the left (southeast) down the path. After a short time you get your first
clear view of the beautiful Chattooga River. This portion of the river is
downstream from Woodall Shoals and the water is usually tranquil. Leaving
this area and paralleling the river in the upstream direction you will see
that the path leads you past a small "pond-like" area that is formed from
water channeling from the Chattooga River. The large slab of rock that you
see at the northwest side of the pond-like area is Woodall Shoals. Under
normal flow conditions you should be able to walk around and see the
Chattooga as it crashes over the shoals. After leaving the shoals you will
head away from the river and up some wooden steps in an easterly direction.
When you reach the top you will see the two warning signs that you saw on
the trail just a short time before. Take a left here and walk up the gradual
incline. After following the trail for a short time you will see some areas
that are used for camping. Continuing on, you will reach the parking area at
mile point 0.4.
Even though the Woodall Shoals area is absolutely beautiful there are many
potential dangers. You should, at all times, heed the warnings posted by the
United States Forest Service. The Chattooga River, like many mountain
streams and rivers, can rise suddenly and without much warning. You should
be especially careful if you decide to walk out on the shoals. The shoals
are coated with a thin coat of sand which can make it slippery when dry and
it is extremely slippery when it is wet. A misplaced step near the water's
edge could be very dangerous.
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