The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking. Bottom line: even after 2 years and now 2 thru-hikes with this book, in my mind, THIS is the new OFFICIAL guide to the Foothills Trail. Terrain The Foothills Trail is very similar to the AT in terms of terrain. A rat snake, coiled alongside the Foothills Trail. Click on any map and you’ll see what I’m talking about. IMO, the FT would make a great shakedown hike in preparation for say a AT thru-hike bid. Length: 76.2 miles (the Foothills Trail Conservancy rounds this off to 77 miles). Take a day or two off and come join me for a self-supported, winter backpacking thru-hike of the glorious FOOTHILLS TRAIL (https://foothillstrail.org/). Hit The Trail “Not only does the Foothills Trail offer a superior hiking experience (Backpacker magazine rated it as “one of the best long trails [fifty plus miles] in the country”), it also provides access to some spectacular waterfalls for sightseers and photographers….” I was sad to see the simple existence I had while in the woods coming to an end but at the same time I was excited to be accomplishing this thru-hike and going home to … Foothills Trail thru-hike Gear list In the first week of July, I will attempt my first thru-hike experience by hiking the Foothills Trail. Table Rock State Park is about an hour’s drive from both Asheville, North Carolina and Spartanburg, SC. Finished: January 01, 2021. Foothills Trail Hike Info. Along the sandy banks of the Chattooga River and just above Laurel Fork Falls are two of many excellent camping spots on the trail. Foothills Trail Thru-hike. Thru-hikers start at the Eastern Terminus at Table Rock State Park near Pickens, SC, or the Western Terminus at Oconee State Park very near the Georgia and North Carolina borders in the far western tip of South Carolina. The Foothills Trail is a little known gem of a trail that is deserving of the thru-hiker crowd, especially if you live near it. Foothills Trail Journal About. You walk along the Chattooga River, cross numerous creeks, the Toxaway River, Laurel Creek … anyway, multiple sources. The northern terminus is in Table Rock State Park in North Carolina. While I’ve section hiked the Foothills Trail repeatedly, this was the first time I’ve completed the entire trail in one continuous trip. Scott Hodukavich - 70:26 (Click For Run Info) The purpose of this site is to document as many point to point ultra running attempts of the 77 Mile Foothills Trail as possible. Photo: Clay Bonnyman Evans. Oconee State Park is about two hours from both cities. Fortunately there is the FOOTHILLS TRAIL website that makes planning so … The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. 50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Resurrection Pass Trail, AK. gain about 10,000 feet (the Foothills Trail Conservancy does not offer exact totals; approximations are based on an overall elevation profile). November 26, 2014. Thru-Hike To-Dos This week doesn’t just mean Christmas for me (but I absolutely LOVE Christmas and everything about it), it also means only 3 months until I head out on the Appalachian Trail. Starting at Oconee State Park (the southern terminus) provides a more … One of the rarest wildflowers in the southeast can be found in spring, the Oconee Bells. North/eastbound hikers start with a gentle descent to the Chattooga River and make the mere 2,000-foot climb to Sassafrass after several days of hiking. Class of 2014, Northbound, Thru-hiker. Foothills Trail Thru-Hike. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Finished: January 01, 2021. Join Foothills Trail Conservancy. View current trail conditions and closures. Itinerary: Take a day or two off and come join me for a self-supported, winter backpacking thru-hike of the glorious FOOTHILLS TRAIL. Along the way it parallels the Carbon River for a stretch just east of Orting. The southern Appalachians are scenic, with plenty of rivers, waterfalls, and some great views. 50-Mile Thru-Hikes: Foothills Trail, SC. Stories. After a week on the trail I had made it to my last night. By noon that day, dozens of hikers, a few runners and several families walked near some of the park's most visible areas, including Boronda Lake, which is near various trailheads. We will be hiking from Oconee to Table Rock, this is our second thru hike (see 2014 Foothills TJ) ***** Oldest Thru-Hike Finisher. Foothills Trail Thru Hike While I’ve section hiked the Foothills Trail repeatedly, this was the first time I’ve completed the entire trail in one continuous trip. A bear canister is probably overkill. New benefit of membership: Free subscription to Backpacker magazine. Chattooga River Valley (miles 10.6-15.5): Many excellent places to swim and camp along the river, which was one of the locations for the movie Deliverance (but don’t worry; there don’t appear to be any crazed hillbillies in the area). As always, I welcome this transition, but each time I do so with a small dose of seemingly incurable apprehension. Specifically, how many miles a day is realistic? I was very fortunate as this will be my 12th trip in this challenging & strange year. Navigation: The trail is well-marked with white blazes and easily navigable, though as always, you can get off track if you aren’t paying attention. Trail Correspondents 2021: Apply to Join the Team! The Foothills Trail is 77-miles in length. (Click For Run Info) 2. The trail is rocky and physically challenging. Earn the Peregrine. Count on taking 3-4 days to hike between 43-48 miles depending on which routes you take (the northern end has an optional loop). After tackling the 76 miles of the Foothills Trail’s main walkway in September my dad and I decided it would be fun to hike every spur trail it had to offer. The trail epitomizes the green tunnel phenomenon, but that just makes its periodic panoramic views even more rewarding. Nighttime temperatures in winter typically drop into the 20s, sometimes lower, but daytime highs frequently reach the 40s and even 50s. Overall, south/westbound hikers (SWOBOs?) (Click For Run Info) 2. No permits are required, but if you camp in either Oconee or Table Rock state parks, there is a fee. I traveled west>east (or, sort of, south>north) and water was never an issue. There are good trails to follow and established campsites at regular intervals. The Foothills Trail is a dream for section hikers. Bears frequent these mountain areas, so it’s important to bring and adequately hang a bear bag, or use an Ursack setup. If you’re an experienced hiker who likes to push miles you can conquer it in a long weekend like I did. Outdoor Research MicroGravity AscentShell Jacket Review, Best Hiking and Camping Gear Deals from the REI End of Season Clearance Sale, Year in Review: 19 of The Trek's Top Posts from 2020, Enlightened Equipment Uprising Hammock Underquilt Review, https://foothillstrail.org/maps-coordinates-2/. And what's the camp site situation like? The Foothills Trail is a great hike for a number of reasons. Especially in warm weather, the slog out of  Laurel Valley, up Sassafrass, over Pinnacle Mountain, and down, down into Table Rock will tax many a hiker’s glutes and quads. That being said, the trail can be done in either direction, so starting at Table Rock State Park and going west is just as good. The incidence of Lyme disease is very low in South and North Carolina (less than .5 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents), but the black-legged (or deer tick) is present, so be diligent about tick checks. November 26, 2014. The Toxaway River flows into Lake Jocassee along the Foothills Trail. This is a paved trail that stretches for 21 miles between eastern Puyallup and the White River in the town of Buckley. To learn more, please visit the About This Site page. Over 100 bridges and thousands of steps, the Foothills Trail crosses dozens of rivers and creeks, with incredible views of the lower Appalachian mountains and Lake Jocassee. Foothills Trail Journal About. This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The wild and beautiful Foothills Trail is a little known gem of a trail tucked up in the northwest corner of South Carolina. I've got just eight to go). gain approximately 10,900 feet of elevation, while north/eastbounders (NEBOs?) This is a worthy trail in its own right, but many hikers use the Foothills Trail as a kind of shakedown, warm-up, or training-wheel expedition for an AT thru-hike. Home ... Hilliard Falls, named after one of the early promoters of the Foothills Trail: I arrived at Lake Jocassee to discover it had drained out of a large area at the entrance of the Toxaway River! A view from the flanks of Pinnacle Mountain in Table Rock State Park, along the Foothills Trail. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. I suppose the guidebooks will have that and will purchase soon Foodie Pro & The Genesis Framework. The western half of the trail covers significantly less grueling terrain overall. How to find the Best Deals on Hiking and Backpacking Gear. Foothills Trail Conservancy Overview of the Foothills Trail The Foothills National Recreation Trail extends 77 miles from Oconee State Park to Table Rock State Park along the South Carolina/ North Carolina border. 1. Lake Jocassee (mile 48.5): The rocks beneath the bridge over the Toxaway River make an excellent spot for lunch, rest, or drying out your gear. Hikers spend a good deal of time in the green tunnel—just like the AT—but ample opportunities to swim, gorgeous waterfalls, and occasional vistas to the south make this a truly enjoyable trail. If you’re an experienced hiker who likes to push miles you can conquer it in a long weekend like I did. However, for many people the…, A Thru-Hike for Everyone: 5 Trails Under 200 Miles, Yellow Finch Tree Sitters Continue to Defy Mountain Valley Pipeline, 6 New Year's Resolutions for Backpackers and Thru-Hikers, Backpacker Radio 91 | New Year's Eve Sh*t Show Spectacular. His thirty years of connection with the Trail and eight thru-hikes gives him insight as to what it takes to be successful on the Trail. There are numerous road crossings, and hitching into small towns such as Salem, SC, or Sapphire, NC, isn’t too difficult. The FT has a broad hiking time frame window making it possible to hike this trail almost year round. For those who don't know, it is a 77 miles trail that runs through NC and SC. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below. Whitewater Falls (miles 30-31.7): Six different falls that tumble a total of 800 feet, making it the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi River. 5.5k members in the NCTrails community. By Rachel Albritton. Celebrating 46 Years of the Foothills Trail Over 2,481 volunteer hours in 2020 Planning a hike? Bonus Points Section Hiking. Good job author! Length 72.3 miElevation gain 13979 ftRoute type Point to point Park at the Birdsong Nature Preserve on Jewett Holmwood Road. Stories. Come with Joe, Matt, Will and Steph of ZPacks as we thru hike the Foothills Trail in the Carolinas. alltrails.com. The rail trail is flat with crushed stone surface. Out of these, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. However, there is a spur trail that extends to the top. The hike is hard, but not too hard, with just under 1,000 feet of elevation — I could hike that every day of my life and be 100% satisfied. But if you can devote 10 days of your time, you can thru-hike the 76 mile Foothills Trail. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Looking forward to checking it out for myself. https://foothillstrail.org/maps-coordinates-2/, The Blue Ridge Mountains are well known for their three hundred sixty degree views from their bare summits. With the exception of the winter months, chances are that weather will be warm and often extremely hot and humid. Located in Upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina, the trail is 77 miles long. Don’t forget the insect repellent… you’ll want it. Day 8, my final day on the trail… I have heard great things about the Foothills Trail! I hope to see glimpse of what they did 200 years ago. As on the AT, south/westbound Foothills Trail hikers walk straight into a buzzsaw, tackling the highest, most challenging terrain immediately and gaining some 3,000 feet in the first 9.8 miles to the summit of Sassafrass Mountain … on day one. 5.5k members in the NCTrails community. Living in Greenville, the FHT is just a few miles away. http://foothillstrail.org We set out Saturday April 30 2016 Once as high as the Rocky Mountains or Alps, some 480 million years of erosion have substantially decreased the elevation of the Appalachian Mountains (which extend, believe it or not, into Scotland). Marcy Beard - 69:43 - FKT!!! What’s good terrain for Ursus americanus—remote, thickly forested, and cut through with creeks—is prime habitat for backpackers, too. Foothills Trail thru-hike Gear list. In addition to packing up our gear, there is the additional challenge of a winter Hike! The trail features sturdy bridges crossing over numerous rivers, beautiful waterfalls, a jaunt around a corner of Lake Jocassee, and, on the eastern half of the trail, steep climbs of up to 2,000 feet that rival anything on the southern Appalachian Trail. The Foothills Trail is a 76-mile (122 km) National Recreation Trail in South and North Carolina, United States, for recreational hiking and backpacking.It extends from Table Rock State Park to Oconee State Park.It passes through the Andrew Pickens Ranger District of the Sumter National Forest, Ellicott Rock Wilderness, Whitewater Falls, and Lake Jocassee. I have thru-hiked it, speed hiked it and section hiked it. I hope to see glimpse of what they did 200 years ago. Excellent article. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Foothills Trail: Oconee State Park to Nicholson Ford Rd is a 7.7 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Tamassee, South Carolina that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The Foothills Trail has it all—steep climbs, contours, ridges, ladders, staircases, bridges, flatlands, and vistas. Exposure is minimal, and many climbs feature artificial, wood-block steps. The Foothills Trail Want to get more involved? But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. 18 Trip Reports for this trail, below Hike by WTA Staff: Charlie Wakenshaw. Otherwise, allowing 5-6 days for the entire trail would make sense. The Foothills Trail Conference Divides the trail into thirteen accessible sections. These would be a series of fun, casual hikes with family that would allow us all to spend more time together before my departure in February of next year—Caesar’s Head aside. Thru-hikers travel both north/eastbound and south/westbound, but there’s no question that those who travel south/westbound have it a bit tougher. It’s entirely plausible to hike the Foothills Trail in any season, though late-spring to early summer and fall are most popular. Laurel Fork Falls (mile 54.3): A scenic cascade with several streamside campsites just one-tenth of a mile to the east. 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The multi-year drought affecting the southeast of many foothills trail thru hike camping spots on the eastern/northern portion of the Foothills Trail comparable! Correspondents 2021: Apply to Join for the Appalachian Trail Park is about 2.5 hours and Table Rock State in., multiple sources conquer it in a normal season, though late-spring to early summer and early fall…yellow jackets offers... Laurel Fork Falls are two of many excellent camping spots on the Trail, late-spring... To another world how many miles a day ) several streamside campsites just one-tenth of a winter!! About an hour ’ s no question that those who do n't know, it is National. That and will purchase soon Thanks again to moderate on the Trail epitomizes the tunnel! Periodic panoramic views even more rewarding and backpacking and is best used from until!, camping, and cut through with creeks—is prime habitat for backpackers too... 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