Well, we did hike over Sassafras Mountain this weekend, to Table Rock State Park, thus completing the Foothills Trail. My college buddy who shuttled our car from Laurel Valley/Hwy 178 to Table Rock State Park for us, also cached two gallons of water near the summit of Sassafras. We only used a gallon of it and left the other gallon at the John Cantrell home site, where we camped Saturday night. It was a great trip and good hike. Certainly, hiking in September weather is a LOT different from the heat and humidity of July. Here is a link to an album with photos, each with a caption, which constitute a trip report of sorts.
Foothills Trail/Sassafras Mountain photo album
Glad you got to finish
Funny thing, Cookie, Hangin' Burrito, and I hiked this section in March. I had cached two gallons of water amongst other goodies at the Sassafras summit too.
2015 John Rock Spreadsheet.
"If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you should do is STOP DIGGING "
Is there anyone that is going Oct. 21,22, and 23. Me and my brother are going then. We are going to hike from Upper White Water falls all the way to Laurel Valley. Is there any tips or advise we could use.
I was out in that same area the same time as Rain Man was, in fact we passed each other going in opposite directions. Hard for me to recall what the terrain would be like going the direction you stated in your message but going the other way was a BEAST! Summer heat was not too kind to me either but the terrain was pretty brutal. I started at Laurel Valley with good intentions of making it to Bad Creek Access but ended up using one of my lifelines and phoned a friend to pick me up at the Cane Brake Boat Access point. Cut my trip in half but I truly believe I was suffering from heat exhaustion and wanted nothing more to do with hiking the remaining distance.
That section will definitely challenge you.
“He doesn't know the meaning of the word fear, but then again he doesn't know the meaning of most words”
- Bobby Bowden
Hilliard Falls is worth the very short side trip (or certainly was in the heat of the summer).
I think it was Horsepasture River that had a STEEP descent then STEEP ascent on the other side. Fortunately, that didn't go on for too long. We did it in a thunderstorm
Just past the Canebrake Access Area and that long suspension bridge over the Toxaway River, is a wonderful area for official camping, across the cove from Canebrake and just before "Heartbreak Ridge," which did break my heart in the heat of the summer.
Just before Laurel Fork Falls is a short side trip down to the lake, which also was very nice in the heat of the summer. (Are you detecting a theme from my hot July hike?)
We had PLENTY of water sources during our hike, except I don't recall much as we got close to Laurel Valley/Hwy 178, so beware you have enough to finish up.
Water sources in the Sassafras area are spread a bit thin. I'll never forget the pleasant surprise when Running Feather produced water and other "adult beverages" in the middle of nowhere. What a treat after the assault on Sassafras.
"Sometimes only nature felt real, while all human monuments and actions seemed to be the settings and the plots of dreams"
"So many people live in the past or the future and betray the present."