Foothills Trail Through Hike

MODERATE 20 reviews
#4 of 8 trails in

Foothills Trail Through Hike is a 67.6 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Mountain Rest, South Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
67.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
25541 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

dog friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

The only way to appreciate the numerous washes , gorges, rivers and mountains is to set foot on this trail from start to finish. This is no walk in the woods and planning should be taken seriously. There are numerous bail out points making it accessible in case of emergencies. This trip will test your backpacking skills and it is worth every minute of it.

8 days ago

We take 20/30 men on a church hike twice a year. This trail is as described by many, beautiful and perfect. We usually split up with one group starting at Nicholson Ford Access and the other group starting Upper Whitewater Falls. On the evening of the second day we all get back together at Burrell's Ford. Plenty of water on trail with the exception of Sloan Bridge to Round Mtn Gap. You are walking a ridge line most of the time.

11 days ago

Just finished the Foothills all the way from Table Rock State Park to Oconee State Park yesterday. This is a very beautiful trail with a lot to offer. We finished the trail in four full days and an additional morning. Like others have said on here, there is simply too much to see and too many miles to hike to fully experience all the trail has to offer in this short of a time frame.

I would suggest taking at least 6-7 full days of hiking to complete the trail because a lot of the main attractions such as waterfalls are accessed by hiking spur trails off of the foothills trail in which we simply did not have time to hike due to time constraints.

When it comes to difficultly, it is hard to rate this trail. There are sections that are a lot easier than others, and when I reference these sections keep in mind we hiked from east to west. The two easiest sections in my judgement was all of laurel valley and from grassy knob (starting about 3 miles past upper white water falls) all the way to Oconee State Park. The hardest section was from Table Rock to Sassafrass and from the Toxaway River through the climb to Grassy knob. This trail offers a good mixture of easy and hard hiking but at times it was strenuous for backpacking. This trail is definitely not for those who are first time hikers or those who are out of shape.

Water is abundant on this trail and rarely do you go over an hour without crossing some form of water source. I would suggest buying the comprehensive hiking guide book "Hiking South Carolina's Foothills Trail" by Scott Lynch because it provides a lot of good information on where to camp, mileage and where water sources are located.

Overall it was an awesome experience and I will definitely visit this trail again in the future!

2 months ago

A Jewel!

backpacking
2 months ago

Love this trail current scout master troop 429 we will finish this trail this week end as we had to doit in section truly awesome scenery and everyone's friendly

3 months ago

backpacking
5 months ago

I through hiked the trail from Table Rock State Park to Oconee State Park in late February.

The entire through hike is 77 miles (not 67 as listed above), and includes a good bit of elevation change—you'll begin and end around 1200', regularly climb to over 3000' (Sassafras Mountain is over 3500') and regularly descend to below 1600'. There are many sections that are easy, and many that are quite strenuous for backpacking. Water is plentiful, as are camping sites. Thanks to the work of the Foothills Trail Conference, the trail is in great shape and very clearly marked.

For my through hike, I did about 9 miles the first day, 25 the second, 29 the third, and 15 the final day. That was arduous. I had set out to do the trail in three nights, and the next time around, I'll take my time. There is so much to see and so many delightful places to stop and rest. Waterfalls, overlooks, gorgeous streams. It's truly a special place.

Late February was a perfect time and my weather couldn't have been better. Highs in the low 70s, low around 31, clear sunny skies, and no leaves on the trees. Ideal conditions.

My favorite sections were where the Toxaway River enters Lake Jocassee (best camp sites on the trail) and the 5+ miles along the Chattooga River just after Burrell's Ford.

I relied heavily on Scott Lynch's exceptional little guide, "Hiking South Carolina's Foothills Trail."

I posted a bunch of pictures here:
https://flickr.com/photos/58433984@N00/sets/72157677284081154

hiking
6 months ago

backpacking
6 months ago

I love the foothills trail very fun and challenging.

backpacking
6 months ago

I love this trail, so much to see. Well maintained.

hiking
10 months ago

11 months ago

backpacking
11 months ago

Hiked it back in March, pretty incredible trail. My favorite section is the stretch along the Chattooga river.

hiking
Saturday, June 25, 2016

Did 28.3 mile section in 10 hours for Make-A-Wish SC Trailblaze Challenge. Great time, great cause, great trail.

hiking
Monday, February 01, 2016

Friday, November 27, 2015

Go 2-4 times a year and each time is better.

hiking
Monday, October 12, 2015

Did this trail for the NC Trailblaze Challenge for Make-A-Wish. We did 28.3 miles in one day! This trail was beautiful even though it rained.

hiking
Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Did a thru hike of the Foothills Trail last march from Table Rock to Oconee. Like everyone's said, there's lots of water around. I was out for 5 days, unfortunately had a ton of rain for 2 of the days, but still had a great time. I only saw 2 thru hikers and maybe 5 day hikers(all in the same day), the rest of the time, I didn't see anyone at all. This is definitely one of my favorite trails.

hiking
Sunday, July 01, 2012

This an awesome hike for the spring. Plenty of water and cool temperatures. Not a ton of other hikers on the trail either.

walking
Thursday, June 21, 2012

I finished a thru hike of the foothills trail from Table Rock State Park to Oconee State park for the full 76 miles of the trail.

I was on the trail 5 nights and 6 days. I had some bad weather on my 2nd day through the third day in. The rest of my trip had perfect weather.

The defining feature of this trail all the way through is water, streams and waterfalls are abundant. The scenery is beautiful, containing old growth forests with giant trees, abundant wildlife, challenging terrain, and stellar camping opportunities, especially along the Chatooga River.

I highly recomend a thru-hike of this trail to experience the full essence of its remote beauty and wild character.
I have posted some photos on my blog. See the link below.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/soleful2001/sets/72157630018807070/

hiking
Tuesday, June 12, 2012