Ellicott’s Rock Wilderness

Highlands, NC
  • Foothills Trail Highlands NC, 28741
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Ellicott’s Rock Wilderness is a 8,274-acre tract of unspoiled mountain land that surrounds the point at which Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina come together. The first boundary, a small scenic area, was identified and established in 1966. It and a much larger area were made a part of the National Wilderness System in 1975 and thus became fully protected by guidelines of the 1964 National Wilderness Protection Act.

This primitive land is isolated and well-protected, allowing an unparalleled wilderness experience within its rocky, mountainous terrain.  There are unique plant communities, a number of rare and endangered plants growing alongside the trails, evergreen forests with a dense understory of mountain laurel, streamside rhododendron which defies human penetration, a diverse population of large and small animal life, and many fish, including the eastern brook trout.

Camping is permitted within the wilderness, except within 50 feet of the river, tributary stream, or trail and less than a quarter-mile from a road. No groups over 10 people are permitted.

Hiking is the only method available for exploring the interior of Ellicott Rock Wilderness. The automobile-access roads merely provide a way to get to the trailheads. No horses, bicycles, or motorized vehicles are permitted.


Whether you want to tackle a mountain or sit by a stream, you’ll find just what you’re looking for here. This is a premier golf destination, but there’s so much more available. There are streams to fish, public pools and tennis courts to enjoy and playgrounds, too. Winter sports include ice skating, skiing, tubing and hiking.


Recreation Activity