The Foothills Trail is a 76 mile long stretch of handcut trail that is really a jewel, and not many people know about it. From there, the itinerary is endlessly customizable, with several access points along the way. I head on and was going to just make this a short day. For some reason, the Foothills Trail people don’t tell you where the good camping spots are online. Must have been a decent win The first one is a small span that crosses the Toxaway Creek. The trail for today was rated easy most of the way. This trail profile appeared originally in The Trek.. I don’t care. Not gonna lie, I almost cried again. I’d recommend starting at Sassafras Mountain, the highest point in South Carolina. I think the camping was my biggest concern before leaving. OK, maybe “high country” is a stretch. Around the lower elevations of Table Rock state park, autumnal colours were still in full swing. You’re basically driving to Spartanburg, then spending another hour on some South Carolina rural highways. You are going to have to check the Foothills Tr Guidebook to make sure I have this correct as I don't have current access to the Foothills Tr Guidebook/Trail Description or Foothills Tr map, but yes there is a good flat campsite near, I believe, what is called Hickorynut Gap about 8 miles in from the Table Rock SP Foothills TH going from east to west. Drove back I nearly cried. The Foothills Trail. This National Recreation Trail is South Carolina’s longest trail. Avg: 1hr. I get to the Whitewater campground and I hear thunder in the distance. The idea for the Foothills Trail, a National Recreation Trail located in far western South Carolina, began in the 1960s as an effort to preserve and protect the beauty of the Appalachian Foothills.A trail corridor linking Table Rock State Park in the north/east to Oconee State Park to the south/west, was completed in 1981. There are 3 additional spur trails that will be offered. Trail Facts. In my researching the trail I really liked reading others experiences, so I figured I should throw mine out there too. Easier backpacking trips in the park include a hike to the quiet, trailside campsites along the Middle Saluda River in Jones Gap, and the access points to the Foothills Trail. Ascent. Am. The trail crosses two bridges here. 76.2 miles between Table Rock State Park and Oconee State Park in South Carolina with a whole bunch of bouncing into North Carolina along the way. Oconee offers tent camping and cabin rental for those who prefer to stay the night and get an early start on their Foothills Trail adventure. Two people are having a lazy morning and they couldn’t have been nicer. For more information, visit the Foothills Park Towle Campground page or call 650-329-2423. Oh well. Nearby Pickens, South … But you better believe I’m in contact with home when I can be. It passes through four states and consists of a combination of the Foothills, Bartram and Benton Mackaye trails, along with the Smokies section of Read More … The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. I’d hear Sherpas muttering “om mani padme hum” to themselves with each step up the mountains. But I'll eventually forget that my left arm is covered in bruises or that my feet hurt so bad right now that I haven't moved from the couch all day…because it’s so worth it. This is the campsite along the Eastatoe River. I told myself that tomorrow is my last day and every step I take today is one I don’t need to take tomorrow. It’s impressively well maintained. I stayed at Bearcamp Creek on night number 3. I made it to Virginia Hawkins Falls and there’s a detour posted because the bridge is impassable. Foothills Trail: Whitewater River is a 4.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Sapphire, North Carolina that features a lake and is rated as moderate. I said, “hello” and one jokingly asked, “you come from Table Rock?” Actually, yes. We chatted a bit about the area and I headed on my way. The Foothills Trail Want to get more involved? Go see Lower Whitewater falls. A 19-mile spur trail connects to Caesars Head and Jones Gap State Parks north of Greenville, SC. The idea for the Foothills Trail, a National Recreation Trail located in far western South Carolina, began in the 1960s as an effort to preserve and protect the beauty of the Appalachian Foothills.A trail corridor linking Table Rock State Park in the north/east to Oconee State Park to the south/west, was completed in 1981. However, you’re likely looking at an out-and-back instead of a loop hike. That will add 6 miles round-trip to your route. A spur trail connects it to Caesars Head State Park. On the other side of the creek, there are some camping flats, in the middle of which is a trail … Camping: Towle Camp is a seasonal campground available for tent camping from May 1 to October 31. This is a campground made near an old homesite on Sassafras Mountain. For some reason, the Foothills Trail people don’t tell you where the good camping spots are online. If you want to train for an upcoming AT attempt, keep the principle of specificity in mind and try a training hike on the Foothills Trail. “THRU HIKER MAGIC. Camping. Along the way it parallels the Carbon River for a stretch just east of Orting. You can buy a mapahead of time, or wait until you get there and scout one out. Onwards. I wanted an answer, but here I am about to join that chorus….don’t even worry about it. Well, guess what, when you’ve been walking 5 days and your feet are 60% blisters nothing is easy. But it’s cool because I am a strong tomato. I eventually found a fantastic campsite right on the river and then that river kept me up all night. Because I AM a strong tomato. Hiked up to Sassafras, and continued on to Chimneytop Gap where I set up camp. About the Trail. 18 Trip Reports for this trail, below Hike by WTA Staff: Charlie Wakenshaw. I know, I know. I get out of the Whitewater area, I still hear thunder, but no rain. Celebrating 46 Years of the Foothills Trail Over 2,481 volunteer hours in 2020 Planning a hike? A. The Southeastern Serpentine Trail (SST) is a 583 mile (938 km) trek through the southern part of the Appalachian mountains. I’d love to tell you how bad that storm was, but I really don’t even know. I wouldn’t know. Day three, I wake up early, pack up camp, wrap my feet in duct tape, and mentally prepare myself for heartbreak ridge. Honestly, looking back, I would do this whole thing in like 10 days and take my sweet time. I don’t know you either, but I will never look at Dr. Pepper the same. The campground is near the Kaweah River, 20 minutes from the Foothills Visitor Center and 40 minutes from the Giant Forest. Everyone who tells you it’s easy after Whitewater to Oconee is a dirty liar. And there were two guys up there, one of them on his phone. Hike your own hike. Before you hike, check out our store for maps and other resources. The 77-mile Foothills Trail straddles the North Carolina and South Carolina border for much of its trek through the Southern Blue Ridge Escarpment. While it was snowing in the North Carolina mountains the weekend I went, it never got below freezing on the Foothills Trail. It’s what hikers call it because it’s, well, heartbreaking. Lots of small ups and downs, some stiff ridges, and more than a few switchbacks. The sign for the Foothills Trail that I’d hiked past so many times. Enjoy, but be considerate. This also meant I wasn’t going to have time to do the Lower Whitewater spur trail and I was sooooo sad about that. And between these “named” campsites are plenty of unnamed little makeshift sites. Day two. Had it all to myself. In the end, we only ended up hiking about 48 miles of… The perfect companion to the Foothills Trail Guidebook. If you’re counting at home, that’s 11 miles one way. Not because I don’t want to be with him, but because he’d be miserable on a trip like this and we both know it. You’d be surprised at how many assholes automatically assume this means I’m in an unhappy marriage. You can buy a map ahead of time, or wait until you get there and scout one out. I love these encounters. Become a member! If a vehicle is left in the parking area, a parking fee is required at Oconee and Table Rock State Parks when hiking/backpacking on the Foothills Trail. 8%. I did. One step at a time and next thing I know I’m at the top. This campground that’s “a mile outside the corridor”…bullshit. It’s straight up luxurious primitive camping. There’s something about the sound of the forest switching over from day to night that I just love. Seriously. It rained a light shower during the night, enough to make packing up somewhat miserable - wet tents with sand stuck to tents and pack Today we walked on several The trail begins at South Fork Campground. I was a new person. I’m even a member of the FTC and I promise I’ll show up to something one of these days. I headed west on the trail toward Laurel Valley. And thanks to my fellow hikers for being so cool. Loop. Left at 0750 . If a vehicle is left in the parking area, a parking fee is required at Oconee and Table Rock State Parks when hiking/backpacking on the Foothills Trail. This was the last time I had to pack up. The Foothills is a great trail and if anyone lives in the area and plans on doing the AT, it is great preparation for a thru-hike. Tomato.”  It’s become my hiking mantra. Day 9 - 9 Miles - From Laurel Valley Camp To Cantrell Camp - A bit chilly this morning, around 40 and cloudy. The idea for the Foothills Trail, a National Recreation Trail located in far western South Carolina, began in the 1960s as an effort to preserve and protect the beauty of the Appalachian Foothills.A trail corridor linking Table Rock State Park in the north/east to Oconee State Park to the south/west, was completed in 1981. Part 1 of our Backpacking Trip along the Foothills Trail in SC and NC. $23.25 – Includes shipping! Hang out at camp. This was it. Type. We descended the 800 feet of Sassafras mountain to climb right back up Pinnacle Mountain to 3200 feet. Dogs are also able to use this trail. The trail crosses the creek on a slanted wooden footbridge. The Chattooga River section is no joke. The Foothills Trail is a 76-mile (122 km) National Recreation Trail trail in South and North Carolina, United States, for recreational hiking and backpacking. To an extent. The 76-mile Foothills Trail runs through Upstate South Carolina, climbs the state’s tallest peak, rambles through temperate rain forest, crosses the border into North Carolina, and passes countless waterfalls, including some along the Chattooga River. Primitive camping opportunities are available at Jones Gap and Caesars Head state parks and along the 80-mile Foothills Trail, which intersects the interior of the Jocassee Gorges tract. However from Sassafras Mountain there is a 14.2 mile spur trail to Ceasar’s Head State Park in South Carolina that some choose as an alternate northern terminus for the trail. That will add 6 miles round-trip to your route. SMT001. Thank you. Description: Perhaps no other trail in South Carolina provides such an extraordinary backcountry experience as the difficult, Foothills Trail in the northwest corner of the state. I began at the southern terminus, Oconee State Park in Mountains Rest, South Carolina. Once at the top of Pinnacle Mountain, there are signs every half mile following the Foothills Trail down to the parking lot. But this way has the benefit of two falls you can check out. Except the first part, 3 miles down to US 178. I tackled the Foothills Trail during a three day two night fastpack in early January. As soon as they reopen the parking area, that’s the first hike I’m doing. Left at 0745 and reached Toxaway camp at 1500. How easy is it to find campsites? Charlotte Agenda is now Axios Charlotte -. ON HIS PHONE. And maybe rightfully so. Distance: 13.9; Waypoints. This topo-style, double-sided map gives the big picture of the Trail, and includes trailhead access maps with point-to-point distances, elevation maps, and designated campsite information. I didn’t quite realize this was going to involve 600 vertical feet on a series of rocks, steps, and switchbacks, but it’s cool. The trail system in Foot Hills State Forest is used for hiking and OHV riding in the summer and cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter. Mile and a half to go. The Foothills Trail is an 80-mile foot trail running along the Blue Ridge Escarpment from Oconee State Park north of Walhalla, SC to Table Rock State Park north of Pickens, SC. Duration. Finishing day: 67.6-76.2m. Elevation Change. There’s a spur trail that’s more direct, but I didn’t know and it doesn’t matter because that’s cheating and I’m doing the foothills. The Foothills Trail is a 12-foot wide non-motorized asphalt trail / linear park suitable for bicycles, walking, in-line skates and wheel chairs. Well, is it 2 miles to the park boundary? NOAA Summary. I made it. The hiker is treated to their first of many waterfalls at mi… One particularly good one you can ready by way of the Eastatoe Gorge Spur Trail. Starting from the Bad Creek Trailhead, a 0.6 mile blue-blazed trail crossed the Whitewater River on a metal bridge to reach the Foothills Trail. With tears in my eyes I stood there and slammed that Dr. Pepper like I was at a frat party (so I hear, Mom. I got irrationally angry at a sign that said “Oconee State Park, 2 miles” on it. It was lovely. The Foothills Trail is a 76-mile National Recreation Trail in South and North Carolina, for hiking and backpacking. Foothills Trail Hike Info. Everything I read was like “haha, don’t even worry about it” and that annoyed me. I’m still on pace finish in 5 days at this point, and I got to the Thompson River. I got to this bridge, my feet are on fire, and I just wanted to sit and…listen. My feet are starting to not do so well. If you’re a normal person, you’ll camp at some point and make it a weekend trip. FOOTHILLS TRAIL MAP SOUTH CAROLINA 75 miles. The past week had a lot of rain, so I decided to revisit part of the Foothills Trail in South Carolina which I'd hiked once last year that had exceptional the waterfalls and streams. It’s a mile, sure, but not if you’re on the Foothills Trail, which I did not realize. I agree. It’s straight up luxurious primitive camping. I think hiking gets romanticized a bit. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking. I’m not even complaining. The Foothills Trail continues forward to NC HWY-281, but you need to turn right onto the Upper Whitewater Falls Trail. Easy. It passes through the Andrew Pickens Ranger District of the Sumter National Forest, Ellicott Rock Wilderness, Whitewater Falls, and Lake Jocassee. For some reason, the Foothills Trail people don’t tell you where the good camping spots are online. Crossed Horsepasture River and many smaller streams. Suddenly I see a truck go by and the road is a lot closer than I realized. The climbing up and down and up and down is starting to get to me. But there are still plenty of waterfalls, gorges and steep trails to explore. Scott Lynch’s “Hiking South Carolina’s Foothills Trail” and the Foothills Trail Conservancy’s guidebook are two excellent resources for planning a hike. The first you’ll encounter is about 8 miles from Sassafras Mountain, called the Virginia Hawkins Falls. It runs from Table Rock State park to Oconee State Park. I don’t know their names, where they’re from, what they do…only that we have this shared experience of these beautiful surroundings. And between Table Rock and Whitewater, they’re even marked with the site before it and after it, with mileage, and most have fire rings, benches, and bear cables for your food. There are several state parks within a day’s hike. But the full moon shining so brightly on the racing water somehow made it okay. 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