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My Foothills Trail Thru-Hike June 2012

I completed a 76 mile through hike of the the Foothills Trail.  I started at Table Rock State Park and ended my hike in Oconee State Park. 

I had rain for the first three days and good weather the last two. 

The trail is in excellent condition and easy to navigate.  The terrain is varied, but I would say at least half of it rises and descends in and out of gorges. 

I would also say that if you are planning a thru hike of this trail, be prepared for the following:

1. There are some very strenuous sections, especially between Laurel Valley and White water falls.  Be prepared for steep ascents and descents while negotiating wooden stairs carved into the hillsides.  There are also many bridges, which make this trail a pleasure to hike.  Be very careful of the bridges and stairs as they are very slippery in wet weather. 

2. Carry everything you will need for the entire 76 miles.   Even though this trail crosses hiways a few times, there are no stores.  You may also consider caches at some of the many trailheads/road crossings along the way.  I carried everything.  I had about 8 lbs of food starting out and ended with about 1 lb of food at Oconee.

3. Be prepared for rain, and in summer, be prepared for some intense storms that are likely to hit quickly and leave you drenched. 

4. Take the time to stop and listen occasionally.  I am amazed at how often you can hear falling water along almost the entire trail. 

5.  I had a great hike, even though the weather was a little rough the first three days.  Please check out my trip photos here:

I hate to sound ignorant....but I am...where is this located?

Apologies, I should have mentioned where this is! The map indicates the entire length of the trail. The area is in the SW corner of NC, NW corner of SC and part of GA. I have a lot of pictures of the area on my Flickr blog.   Here is a sample of my track . I have a better image of it on my site.  I included the link in my post.  The Foothills Trail is probably the best kept trail secret in the Southern Appalachians.  This trail runs along what is known as the Blue Ridge Escarpment where many streams from High elevation drop down to the Piedmont region.  The trail passes through many gorges, crosses countless streams, and traverses a few ridges.  I highly recomend a trip to the area.  There are many options for hiking.  You can also visit the website of Foothills Trail Conference here.

this trail is on my list to do. Now to figure out when I can

Ewker, you will not regret it.  The variety of terrain and scenery is extensive and amazing.  The Chatooga river is a very beautiful section.  If you want to do  a short trip I recomend the Chatooga river section. You can even do a loop from the Sloan Bridge trail head.  This makes a nice overnight. 

Very cool, I haven't made it over there yet, but would like to sometime. 

Did you get any photos of your trip? I would love to see some, if you did. 

soleful2001,  Thanks for the tip. I wil look into that. I need to buy the map and guidebook from the website you listed above.

gonzan, the link to his pics are at the bottom of his 1st post


I have the map and guide book that I used from my first trip in 2002 when I hiked Laurel Valley to White Water Falls sections.  I asked the conference people and they said that some changes were made, but I should be OK using them on my 2012 trip.  I believe the new map includes GPS info which would be pretty handy. 

December 3, 2020
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