Trail Party on 76M FOOTHILLS TRAIL* - South and North Carolina
March 17, 2018 - Overview Map at Bottom of Page .......... GPS Coordinates and Trail Details
Foothills Trail is an 76-mile foot trail running along the Blue
Ridge Escarpment, a geological
Starting at its western endpoint of Oconee State Park, and working opposite to our run, the trail climbs Long Mountain and Dodge Mountain before descending to the Chattooga River. Near Pig Pen Falls and Nicholson Ford, the Foothills Trail joins with the Chattooga Trail and goes upstream to Burrells Ford and the US Forest Service campground there. The trails split with the Foothills Trail turning east away from the Chattooga toward the Whitewater River and its falls. The Chattooga Trail continues upstream toward Ellicott and Commissioners rocks and where South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia meet in the river. The Foothills climbs toward Round Mountain and Grassy Knob before passing the overlook for Whitewater Falls and descending to the Whitewater River. It heads downstream and meets an access trail coming from Duke Energy's Bad Creek Hydroelectric Project. It then turns northeast to travel above Lake Jocassee. In the Jocassee Gorges, you can get the sense of what it must have been for the Native Americans and for the first white settlers to live in the area. In this stretch, the trail goes 30-plus miles between road access points (SC 107 and US 178). The trail is still accessible at certain points - by boat - when it crosses the Horsepasture and Toxaway rivers and near Rock and Laurel Fork creeks. The trail crisscrosses Laurel Fork Creek several times as it climbs Flatrock Mountain and eventually crosses Sassafras Mountain. From there, the Foothils Trail is mostly downhill toward Table Rock State Park. There is one more climb you ascend to Drawbar Cliffs on the side of Pinnacle Mountain before the steep descent to the park and the trail's eastern endpoint.
US FOR A ST. PATTY'S DAY JAUNT AND MAYBE A PINT OR TWO TO FOLLOW
THE PLAN: On Saturday morning, meet by 0700 at Oconee State Park at Foothills Trail TH where we will finish the run. Leaving half the vehicles at the Oconee TH or the Cabins where we stay, the other half will drive everyone to the starting TH at Table Rock State Park, one hour of drive time north (Mapquest Directions).
Anticipate a group start by 0830, north to south. Prepare to be fully self-supported for most of 24 hours with an overnight. Abundant water is along the trail, with filtration treatment at your discretion. We'll drop aid and leave one or more bailout vehicles at Whitewater Falls, if available. Anyone planning not to run the entire 76 miles can leave their vehicles at the Falls and meet the rest at the finish.
ACCOMMODATIONS: I'm going to recommend that we rent and share cabins that will accomodate up to eight people at Oconee State Park for Friday and Saturday nights, or longer. These can be reserved at any time. We'll tie this down in early January with final commitments. Of course, tent camping is available and plenty of hotels can be reserved close by.
*Click title link to read account of another Foothills Trail running adventure.
over 25,000' of elevation gain
Sassafras Mountain (3554') - highest point in South Carolina
WHO'S GOING:: DEFINITELY / MAYBE
Whitewater Falls and bridge below