View Full Version : Foothills Trail

07-03-2009, 08:02
Anyone hike the "Foothills Trail" in North/South Carolina?? Looking for reviews.


07-03-2009, 08:26
Anyone hike the "Foothills Trail" in North/South Carolina?? Looking for reviews.


I hiked it in two sections.

Trip report 1. (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=34752)

Trip report 2. (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=44502)

My Foothills Trail Journal. (http://www.trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?trailname=7254)

It's a nice trail. I would recommend hiking it in cooler weather. Spring Break would be nice simply because it's not too cold or hot.

Waterfalls are the main attraction. The eastern area at Table Rock provides some good views and sustained climbs.

The western section is pretty mellow with a nice river walk along the Chattooga. You get some decent views if the foliage is down (another vote for late March hiking). You could easily dayhike the western 30 miles.

The middle 30 miles are not terribly strenuous once you get away from the rocky area within a mile of Whitewater Falls. Lots of suspension bridges.

Overall a neat hike and quite different from most others in the southern Appalachians which focus on climbing a ridge and staying up there, going from spring to spring for water. Lots of spots to soak feet. If you do hike it in warmer weather, at least you'll have lots of places to swim or otherwise cool off outside the 16 miles from Table Rock.

07-03-2009, 09:23
Jeff also has a trip report on the Foothills Trail (http://tothewoods.net/FTDay1.html).

Just Jeff
07-03-2009, 11:57
Yep - definitely recommend the FT. July might not be the best time b/c of heat and the 'green tunnel' effect of the foliage, but like Bearpaw says at least you'll have lots of good places to soak. I did it in the late spring and there were already views I couldn't see...still an awesome trip though. I bet the fall colors would be another good time to hike.

07-03-2009, 12:38
one of my techs in the hospital is doing the FT in 2 weeks (hot hot hot)....I am paddling over from Devils Fork SP to resupply him at the Toxaway bridge crossing thinking having to carry less food might help him in the heat.....plus it gives me an excuse to do some paddle camping on the lake....probably stealthing it because I only know of one 'official' site on the lake. I agree with the other posters. If I were hiking this trail it would be early or late in the year.

07-03-2009, 14:00
Thanks for the info! My in-laws live in Seneca SC, just minutes away from the trail and I (family) drive down once a year. We just returned two days ago. HOT!!! 100 degrees on one day. Maybe I'll push for an April visit next year and get out for an over nighter! Thanks again!


07-03-2009, 19:06
Here is a link to a journal I like to read.

Here is a link to one of my trips.

I've hiked it in May and Oct, loved both of them but the rhododendrons were in bloom in May and the weather was perfect.

If you just want an overnighter, I would suggest parking at Burrell's Ford Campground and hike north along the Chatooga River.
In one hour, you'll pass 8 or so really nice campsites right on the river as well as Spoonauger Falls.
My trip report above is coming in from the other direction.
It's a beautiful section and not far from Seneca.

07-03-2009, 22:35
You will pass an official campsite on the right as you head up the finger toward Toxaway Bridge and there are a couple of unofficial campsites on the left.
You could also paddle over to Laurel Fork Falls. There are three campsites at the top of the falls, about a 20 minute hike from the lake. I've boated in there to meet up with ground dwellers hiking in from the east.

Just Jeff
07-04-2009, 07:41
Those sites above Laurel Fork Falls looked awesome, too. I would have stopped there for the day but it was lunchtime and I didn't want to quit walking so early.

07-04-2009, 08:56
It's hard to beat relaxing in a hammock next to running water. Stresses of life just go away...:sleep:

07-06-2009, 13:03
It's hard to beat relaxing in a hammock next to running water. Stresses of life just go away...:sleep:

I did that with my son this past (July 4th) weekend... Site F at Stone Mountain State Park in NC. It was fantastic!

07-06-2009, 13:36
Yeah, isn't that a great site? :)

07-06-2009, 13:55
Yeah, isn't that a great site? :)

Very much so!

On a related note... I was talking to a park employee as we were leaving yesterday. I told him how much we enjoyed our stay (it was our first at Stone Mt.). He asked which site we used, and I told him that it was site F. He asked me what I thought about "the bridge". It had rained the night before, so I told him that I was glad that they had put the wire mesh on the surface. It would have definitely been slippery otherwise. He told me that they were considering closing sites E & F permanently, because of the condition of the bridge at site E. He said that they couldn't get equipment in there to rebuild the bridge. Maybe we need to start a letter-writing campaign to ask them to find some way to fix the bridge. It would be a tragedy if they closed sites E and F permanently! :scared:

07-06-2009, 14:02
Yeah, let me know what I can do. I can write a pretty good letter and wouldn't mind doing so.

I wouldn't mind just stepping through the river there. Maybe some stepping stones would be better... it sure would be a huge loss to lose those sites.

07-06-2009, 14:05
I'm going to call the park office in the next day or so... to see if it's really true. I'll post back here with my findings.

07-06-2009, 14:29
Thank you!

07-06-2009, 19:52
I know we're off track of the original post BUT PLEASE let me know who to write/call to keep site E and F open at Stone MT. Those sites are great and I agree, I can walk through the water, jump stones whatever, no bridge needed for me. But I want those sites to stay open!

07-06-2009, 19:54
Yeah, we should start a new thread for this if action is required. Sorry to hijack this one.

07-06-2009, 21:32
OK, back to the original post...
Yes, hike the Foothills Trail. You'll have a great time, but the best time will not be in July or August.

Talk your friend into meeting you at the top of Laurel Fork Falls. Here is a pic of one of the sites at the top. You won't have any trouble finding a place to hang.
http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery/files/1/5/1/2/laurel_fork_falls_campsite01_thumb.jpg (http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery/showimage.php?i=6322&c=member&orderby=title&direction=ASC&imageuser=1512&cutoffdate=-1)

You could stay at the tent camping area at Devil's Fork
In this pic, the water level was 20 ft. down. Now it is only 5 ft. down.
http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery/files/1/5/1/2/devils_fork02_thumb.jpg (http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery/showimage.php?i=6324&c=member&orderby=title&direction=ASC&imageuser=1512&cutoffdate=-1)
http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery/files/1/5/1/2/devils_fork01_thumb.jpg (http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery/showimage.php?i=6325&c=member&orderby=title&direction=ASC&imageuser=1512&cutoffdate=-1)

You will be blessed with this.
http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery/files/1/5/1/2/jocassee_sunrise01_thumb.jpg (http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery/showimage.php?i=6326&c=)