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Foothills Trail - A4 to A8 is a 30.4 mile point-to-point trail located near Sunset, South Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 30.4 mi Elevation gain 6,564 ft Route type Point to Point

Dog friendly

Hiking

Waterfall

Description
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

Mountain Streams, Suspension Bridges, Waterfalls The section of the trail from Laurel Fork Creek to the Whitewater River is often referred to as the Gorges Section and was initially built and maintained by Duke Power Company as part of a licensing agreement for the construction of Lake Joccasee. Both State and Federal agencies have taken over management responsibilities in recent years, and this section of South Carolina has some of the best backcountry wilderness in the Southeast with numerous waterfalls, suspension bridges, and streams.

Nantahala National Forest - (828) 526-3765

PARKING (Laurel Valley Parking Area) - From the intersection of US 178 and SC 11, drive north on US 178 to the bridge over Eastatoe Creek (approximately one mile past the community of Rocky Bottom). Cross the bridge and turn left at the Laurel Valley Lodge sign. Immediately bear right onto the unpaved fork and continue to the Foothills Trail parking area about 0.3 mile on the left.(Upper Whitewater Falls Parking Area) - From the South near Salem, SC on SC 11, turn north onto SC Highway 130 (which is also called Whitewater Road) and travel about ten miles. Cross the NC/SC state line into North Carolina and continue for about a mile to the Whitewater Falls parking area which is marked with a large U.S. Forest Service sign. Turn right into the parking area and pay your nominal parking fee. If you are approaching this parking area from the North, it is 8.5 miles south of the junction of US 64 and NC 281 in Sapphire, North Carolina.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (24)
Photos (50)
Recordings (25)
Completed (86)
Mike Lane
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Backpacking

Our family of 2 adults and 2 teenagers did these sections over 2 days. We logged over 32 miles. The trail is strenuous throughout. I would not call this trail moderate, as there are many challenging sections, no matter which direction you travel. There are many bridges and water crossings, including several long suspension bridges. Water is plentiful. Lots of climbing and switchbacks. Great camping areas. We camped at Bear Creek (not bear camp creek) and actually did have a bear sighting. Bugs were bad at this location. The trail is clearly marked throughout. virtually impossible to get lost. Very well maintained trail. Whitewater falls is breathtaking, and the climb out will leave you breathless! This route was very challenging, but worth it in the end, when you are back home with your feet up :)

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Julia Ross
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Hiking

Laurel Fork Falls to Canebrake Point-to-point using boat shuttle

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Nolan Sritan
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Backpacking

My girlfriend and I backpacked this trail last night. Great one night trip. We actually drove past the designated parking lot on Horsepasture Rd (in a truck) to the intersection of Horsepasture and Laurel Fork Valley Rd (marked by a road sign on a fallen tree. We parked the truck at a red gate and began hiking down the service road. Easy and downhill. The service rd has many creek crossings but eventually crosses the actual Foothills Trail. We switched to the trail because it had nice footbridges to cross the streams. Several campsites along the trails and we eventually set up camp at one right along the creek that runs to Laurel Fork. Overall, we hiked around 6 miles to and from.

Nick Cummings
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HikingBlowdownRocky
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Jake Wilbanks
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amazing

Cody Koski
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HikingMuddyRocky

This has been by far my favorite hike I’ve done in recent years. I did it with my fiancé and dog in three days and it was fantastic. There were plenty of views and beautiful streams and waterfalls this time of year. There were no bugs and it got down to the low 40’s one night After a brief rain during the 65 degree weather. There’s a section known as “heart break ridge” where supposedly it is the hardest section of the trail coming from the Toxaway River. It wasn’t that bad going east to west but it definitely doesn’t look fun the opposite direction. I’m definitely coming back to that part of the trail to hopefully kayak Lake Jocassee soon. That was my favorite part of the trail. I also absolutely dig the suspension bridges out there. Really cool to se that engineering out in the wilderness and seamlessly blend it in. Overall I’d say it’s moderate to difficult, but I was cruising at 2.5 miles per hour each day to get it down before work on the third evening. There plenty of beautiful campsites all along the trial. I’ll have to download some gps coordinates for my favorites.

Sean Rigg
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Hiking

Sept of 2014. Great weather with clear cool nights. A wonderful weekend hike.

Mandi Baar
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So beautiful! Difficult at times but worth it

Fabrizzio Buzzo
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Tougher than expected but had a great time. Lots of inclines and declines so pack light!

Laurel Ebert
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Hiking

This is a lovely hiking area with lots of camping spots and scenic views. You do need to watch for bears and bees, although the bees seem very tame.

Jalima Hernandez
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Hiking
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Jalima Hernandez
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Hiking
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Adam Sullivan
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Backpacking
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Dan Johnson
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Hiking
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Brian Wohlleben
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Hiking
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Margie Midkiff
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Road biking
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Nick Cummings
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Hiking
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Don Ross
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Hiking
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jennifer lombardi
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Fishing
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jennifer lombardi
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Susan Curtis
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David Pozo Altman
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Hiking
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Don Ross
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Hiking
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Mac Heath
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