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Foothills Trail, NC/SC

Two Week Trip

May 14 - May 25, 2022 -- $1800 ★★★, YOU CANNOT REGISTER FOR THIS TRIP YET AS DETAILS ARE NOT FINAL


Have you ever wanted to do a thru-hike? Few have the time to devote to hiking the AT, the PCT or the CDT. But if you have 10 consecutive days to spare, you can thru-hike the 76 mile Foothills Trail.


The wild and beautiful Foothills Trail is a little known gem of a trail tucked up in the northwest corner of South Carolina. Despite its lack of notoriety, the October 2010 issue of Backpacker Magazine listed the Foothills Trail as one of the ten best long trails (50+ miles) in the country. It earned this honor by virtue of the quality of its trail (and trail maintenance), its guidebook and map.


National Geographic named the Jocassee Gorges one of "50 of the World’s Last Great Places". Surprise! The trail goes through the heart of the Jocassee Gorges area.


Our hike will start at Oconee State Park, and for the first two days will traverse the gently undulating terrain roughly paralleling the Chattooga River of Deliverance fame. We'll be listening for banjo music. Incidentally, the Chattooga River is one of the first rivers in the country to receive "Wild and Scenic River" status.


Day 4 of the hike will find us at 411' tall Whitewater Falls. We will traverse several other major rivers and picturesque waterfalls, including Hilliard Falls and Virginia Hawkins Falls. Peak baggers take note: As a bonus, we will summit Sassafrass Mountain, the highest point in South Carolina at 3563', which has incredible sweeping views in the distance.


We will be hiking during Spring wildflower season, and through the home of the rare Oconee Bells which grows nowhere else in North America. Toward the end of the hike, we will summit Sassafras Mountain, the highest peak in South Carolina and enjoy the panoramic view from the newly opened visitor viewing platform. Our hike will terminate at Table Rock State Park, and where we will take an optional side hike to the Table Rock summit before finally completing the thru-hike.


As a bonus we will be able to resupply ourselves twice during the trek due to the trail crossing several roadways. This means we will never have to carry more than four days of food at a time.


If you become a member of the Foothills Trail Conference (recommended of course) completing this trek will earn you the coveted Peregrine Award for thru-hiking the trail, complete with patch and certificate.


This is a great opportunity to do a thru-hike with a group of soon-to-be best friends, so come join us on the wild and beautiful landscape of the Foothills Trail. You'll achieve a major accomplishment and at the same time improve your body composition in the process.



Weather

Weather is always an important consideration when backpacking. May on the Foothills Trail usually finds daily temperatures in the 80s but could drop into the 40s or rise into the 90s. Nights should be in the 40s & 50s. Please come prepared for the possibility of rain, cold temperatures at night or a heat wave during the day. Here is the historical weather



Probable Trip Leaders

Bruce Cannon
Collin Chambers


Cost

$1800 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a hotel room with another trip participant. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Greenville, SC (GSP) as well as personal equipment, restaurant meals and any gratuities for guides. If you drive, the hotel will probably charge you for parking your car there for two weeks.


Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, 10 days of trail meals, ground transportation, permits, National Forest fees and awesome guides.


Tipping: In order to keep our prices competitive with (and hopefully favorable to) other outfitters, we shamefully can’t pay our guides as much as we think they deserve. Like most other guiding services, we rely on the generosity of our participants to make up this shortfall by tipping the guides. While tips are not required or expected, if your guides have served you well, please consider a gratuity so they can continue living their extravagant lifestyles of eating powdered meals, sleeping in the dirt and pooping in smelly outhouses and small holes they've dug.



Note


It's a thru hike!!! Here is a great interactiv map of the trail.

Completing the thru hike makes you eligible for the Peregrine Award, of which Guide Bruce is a proud owner.



Difficulty


The Foothills trail is well marked and well maintained by a large group of volunteers. Water is abundant from the many headwaters that feed into the four major river systems the trail traverses. The trail can be very rugged at times, but there's usually clear and solid footing with staircases in some places.


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Packing List
Itinerary
Weather
Guides for this trip
Cost
Important Note
Difficulty (Please Read)
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Itinerary


Saturday, May 14, 2022

Drive or fly into Greenville, SC (GSP). The best time to arrive is between around Noon-3PM. However, if you can save a substantial amount on your flight by arriving a few hours earlier or later, then do so.


Call for a free shuttle to our local hotel (TBD)


Equipment shakedown. We look at all your gear to ensure you are sufficiently outfitted for the upcoming trip.


"Before" body composition measurements taken


Make your own trail mix from our buffet of ingredients


Go to REI Greenville, 1140 Woodruff Rd Ste 400, Greenville, SC 29607, (864) 297-0588 for last minute equipment if necessary


Go out for dinner at a local restaurant (Dinner cost not included in trip price)



Sunday, May 15, 2022

Second set of "before" measurements taken


All the items that you won't bring on the trail will be set aside and put in a storage unit.


Free Hotel Breakfast


Check out of hotel


Shuttle to Oconee State Park


Hike 8.1 miles to Lick Log Creek.


Camp at Lick Log Creek, elevation 1700'.


Today’s mileage: 8.1. Total miles: 8.1



Monday, May 16, 2022

Hike 8.1 miles to Burrell's Ford, elevation 2100'


Camp at Burrell's Ford, elevation 2100'. Sites are first come first served


Today’s mileage: 8.1. Total miles: 16.2



Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Hike 9.5 miles to Round Mountain Gap.


Camp at Round Mountain Gap, elevation 3060'.


Today’s mileage: 9.5. Total miles: 25.7



Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Hike 9.2 miles to Coley Creek


Camp at Coley Creek, elevation 1750'.


Today’s mileage: 9.2. Total miles: 34.9



Thursday, May 19, 2022

Hike 7.2 miles to Bear Creek (with a side hike up to Hilliard Falls.)


Camp at Bear Creek, elevation 1400'.


Today’s mileage: 7.2. Total miles: 42.1



Friday, May 20, 2022

Hike 7.2 miles to Rock Creek


Camp at Rock Creek, elevation 1160'.


Today’s mileage: 7.2. Total miles: 49.3



Saturday, May 21, 2022

Hike 7.2 miles to Virginia Hawkins Falls


Camp near Virginia Hawkins Falls, elevation 1700'.


Today’s mileage: 7.2. Total miles: 56.5



Sunday, May 22, 2022

Hike 7.1 miles to Chimney Top Ridge


Camp at Chimney Top Ridge, elevation 2300'.


Today’s mileage: 7.1. Total miles: 63.6



Monday, May 23, 2022

Hike 7.6 miles to the Lighthouse


Hike 0.4 miles to unnamed campsite / clearing. Note: We will pass a small spring on the left about halfway between the Lighthouse and the campsite.


Day-Hike 0.5 round trip miles (downhill) to some unremarkable petroglyphs


Camp at the unmarked campsite, elevation 2600'


Today’s mileage: 8.5. Total miles: 72.1



Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Hike 4.4 miles to Table Rock State Park trail intersection, elevation ?'


Optional: Drop packs and Day-Hike 3.0 round trip miles to the summit of Table Rock with sweeping views


Hike 0.3 miles to Table Rock State Park, elevation ?'


Today’s mileage: 7.7. Total miles: 79.8


End of thru hike, congratulations!


Shuttle back to Greenville. Check into local hotel TBD


After measurements taken


Dinner and awards Ceremony (Dinner cost not included in trip price)


This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.


Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Free breakfast in Hotel


Take Free Airport Shuttle


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