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Foothills Trail, NC/SC

Two Week Trip

Mar 31 - Apr 11, 2021 -- $1725 ★★★

Have you ever wanted to do a thru-hike? You probably don't have the time to devote to hiking the AT, the PCT or the CDT. But if you can devote 10 days of your time, 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". and 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'.

We will be hiking during the peak of the 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 incredible 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 is always an important consideration when backpacking. October on the Foothills Trail usually finds daily temperatures in the 70s but could drop into the 40s or rise into the 80s. Nights should be in the 30s, 40s & 50s. Please come prepared for the possibility of rain or cold temperatures at night. Here is the historical weather

Probable Trip Leaders

Chris Frey
Steve Silberberg
Kara Siglin


$1725 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.


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.


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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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

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 La Quinta Inn & Suites Greenville-Haywood, 65 W Orchard Park Dr, Greenville, SC, 29615-3538, 864-233-8018

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

"Before" body composition measurements taken

Your temperature is taken to see if you're at risk for Covid

Trail mix distribution

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)

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Second set of "before" measurements taken

Your temperature is taken to see if you're at risk for Covid

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

Friday, April 2, 2021

In order to minimize impacts of a large group, the Sumter National Forest requires us to split into 2 groups of no more than 6 people and camp 1.1 miles from the other group.

Hike 7.0 miles. At the Chattooga River, there is campsite 50 yards downstream

Group 1: Camp at Chattooga River campsite

Group 2: Hike 1.1 miles to Burrell's Ford

Group 2: Camp at Burrell's Ford, elevation 2100'.

Today’s mileage: 7.0 or 8.1. Total miles: 15.1 or 16.2

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Group 1: Hike 1.1 miles to Burrell's Ford

Hike 9.5 miles to Round Mountain Gap.

Camp at Round Mountain Gap, elevation 3060'.

Today’s mileage: 9.5 or 10.6. Total miles: 25.7

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Hike 9.2 miles to Coley Creek

Camp at Coley Creek, elevation 1750'.

Today’s mileage: 9.2. Total miles: 34.9

Monday, April 5, 2021

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

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Hike 7.2 miles to Rock Creek

Camp at Rock Creek, elevation 1160'.

Today’s mileage: 7.2. Total miles: 49.3

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Hike 7.2 miles to Virginia Hawkins Falls

Camp near Virginia Hawkins Falls, elevation 1700'.

Today’s mileage: 7.2. Total miles: 56.5

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Hike 7.1 miles to Chimney Top Ridge

Along the way, day-hike 2.2 miles to a waterfall

Camp at Chimney Top Ridge, elevation 2300'.

Today’s mileage: 9.3. Total miles: 65.8

Friday, April 9, 2021

Hike 7.6 miles to the Lighthouse

Optional: Day-Hike 0.5 round trip miles to some petroglyphs

Camp at the Lighthouse Campsite, elevation 2600'

The Lighthouse Campsite was renovated in September 2019

Today’s mileage: 8.1. Total miles: 73.9

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Hike 4.8 miles to Table Rock State Park trail intersection, elevation ?'

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: 8.1. Total miles: 82.0

End of thru hike, congratulations!

Shuttle back to Greenville. Check into local hotel La Quinta Inn & Suites Greenville-Haywood, 65 W Orchard Park Dr, Greenville, SC, 29615-3538, 864-233-8018. We will bring your stuff from the storage unit to the hotel.

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.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Free breakfast in Hotel

Take Free Airport Shuttle

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