Foothills Trail 20M Run - South Carolina
from Fish Hatchery Road past Upper Whitewater Falls 
MM 20.6 to MM 30.6 (out and back)
Monday, November 1, 2021


Another beautiful Caroloina running day, starting at an elevation of exactly 3000 feet, this time beginning at Fish Hatchery Road at MM20.6 at about 0700 with temps at a moderate 46 degrees. Very dark morning had me following the light of my flashlight for most of the first hour in shaded forest for 3.3 miles to Sloan Bridge where the trail crosses Hwy 107 again. From there the trail tilts mildly uphill to a nice sunny ridge with views of Lake Jocassee and the community of Tomassee to the east in SC.

The leaves were nearly at their peak with nights beginning to dip into the thirties, so I stopped often to capture an image. Coming off the ridge, the trail winds down through an area that experienced a ground fire within the past two years as several acres were scarred with the crowns of the trees remaining untouched. After crossing Hwy 130 the trail steepens with more technical terrain and many constructed steps, undulating for a mile and a half to Upper Whitewater Falls with its boulder field and sturdy bridge across the Whitewater River. From there I followed the stream down another 0.6 miles to the Duke Power sign at MM30.6 for an even ten miles before turning around.

Temps in the sun climbed over 60 degrees making the run back up very pleasant. After reaching the ridge the rest of the way back was a gradual drop in elevation, so I relaxed and played with the trail, enjoying the day.

Encountered 14 day-hikers and backpackers - surprising that so many people would be in the trail on a Monday morning - enthusiastic lovers of these mountains. I really enjoyed today's adventure run, exploring new trails and seeing finally getting to see Whitewater Falls during the daylight. My knee continues to improve and my trail saavy is returning; I'm ready for my next race - a 50K mountain run in five days.