Outings & Events
Foothills Trail Conference 2013 Outings
Participants must be members of the Foothills Trail Conference. Notifications will be sent through the FTC’s online registration system. Please sign up to receive outing notification by providing your e-mail address to the Foothills Trail Conference mailing list on our Web site www.foothillstrail.org. The number of registrants per hike is at the discretion of the hike leader and will be limited. Registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis. You will be asked to fill out an Acknowledgement of Risk form prior to your hike. The Foothills Trail Conference does not permit dogs on group hikes.
Saturday, Jan. 12—Secret Falls Hike. Join Master Naturalist and Foothills Trail Conference board member Dan Whitten on a trek to see several waterfalls located OFF the Winding Stairs Trail. This is a strenuous winter hike of about 4 miles round trip, with most of the first 1.5 miles on the Winding Stairs Trail beginning at the Cherry Hill Recreation Area. You will see six waterfalls, including Upper and Lower Miuka Falls on the West Fork of Townes Creek. The last four will be on Crane Creek and begins with a 300-yard drop off the trail to the 60-foot Secret Falls. Upstream in a steep gorge are three more significant falls. Then a climb back up to the ridge will afford views of Tamassee Knob and surrounding hills before ending up at Cherry Hill. The hike is limited to eight participants. Meet 9 a.m. at Winding Stairs Trail on SC 107 near Cherry Hill Campground, about 7 miles north of Oconee State Park. Bring lunch, snacks, water and appropriate clothing and footwear. Hike is limited to 10 participants.
Saturday, Feb. 16—Sassafras to Table Rock. Join Heyward Douglass, Foothills Trail Conference executive director, for a classic hike of about 9 miles from the state’s highest point to South Carolina’s iconic mountain state park. Check out the new observation deck near the top of Sassafras Mountain, the state’s highest peak at 3,553 feet. On the way to Table Rock Park hikers will be treated to place names such as Drawbar Cliffs and the Lighthouse and spectacular views at Bald Knob. Meet at 9:30 am in the Sassafras Mountain parking lot at the end of F. Van Clayton Road, which leaves US 178 from Rocky Bottom. Bring binoculars, camera, snacks / lunch, water, and appropriate clothing and footwear. The hike, which is considered strenuous due to the length, will conclude by 4:00 pm.
Saturday, March 9 -- Lower Bearwallow Falls Adventure. This adventure will start at 9:00 am from the Grassy Ridge Parking Area at Gorges State Park near Sapphire, NC. Beginning with a 5-mile 4x4 ride to the heart of Gorges State Park, this trek will be followed by a short, but extremely strenuous, hike to Lower Bearwallow Falls. Time permitting we will also stop and see Ted’s Falls. Limited to 12 participants, this is a rain or shine event ! Everyone will want to remember their camera, snacks, water, and gear appropriate for weather conditions. For more information contact Gorges State Park Superintendant Steve Pagano at (828)966-9099.
Saturday, April 20—Whitewater Falls Wildflower Walk. Led by Steve Hill, former Clemson University herbarium curator and currently a botanist with the Illinois Natural History Survey, this annual rite of spring will get your spring season started off right with a lovely display of wildflowers. Hill, who returns frequently to the South Carolina mountains, is also the plant identification expert for the S.C. Native Plant Society. This will be about a 3-mile walk to the Bad Creek Hydro Project parking lot, mostly easy and much of it along the Whitewater River, although if hikers need to return to the Whitewater Falls parking area, remember that it is a steep climb back to the top! Meet at 10 a.m. at the Upper Whitewater Falls parking lot on NC 281. (U.S. Forest Service parking fee required.) Bring lunch, snacks, water and appropriate clothing and footwear.
Saturday, May 11—Panthertown Valley. Join Clemson Extension natural resources agent and FTC board member Cathy Foster for a spring hike in Panthertown Valley. The hike is 11 miles, strenuous, and traverses across beautiful mountaintop views, two stream crossings, and unique waterfalls, not to mention an amazing patch of pink lady slippers! Meet at Upper Whitewater Falls parking lot at 8:30 a.m. to carpool to trailhead. Bring extra water, water shoes for stream crossings, hiking poles, and appropriate clothing and footwear
Saturday, June 1—Wild and Scenic Chattooga River National Trails Day Hike. Join Foothills Trail Conference member Richard Cain on an easy family walk to see two scenic cascades, Spoonauger Falls and King Creek Falls, and along the Chattooga River on the Foothills Trail. Meet at 10 a.m. at the Burrells Ford campground parking lot. Bring lunch, snacks, water and appropriate clothing and footwear, and don’t forget your camera.
Saturday, September 7—Pinnacle Lakeside Trail. At 9:00 am Table Rock State Park Naturalist Scott Stegenga will lead an easy 1.9 mile walk along the Pinnacle Lakeside Trail, a new footpath at the park that includes spectacular views of the iconic mountain and some previously seldom-seen park property. Go through the west entrance of Table Rock State Park, meet at the parking lot for the Lakeside Picnic Shelter, located above the playground, before the main parking lot at Table Rock. Note: A $2 per person admission fee is in place at Table Rock unless you have a Palmetto Passport ($37.50 annually for age 65 and older), a good idea if you visit South Carolina State Parks on a regular basis, since it will quickly pay for itself. The Palmetto Passport can be purchased at any state park. Bring lunch, snacks, water and appropriate clothing and footwear.
Saturday, October 5—Ellicott’s Rock. Join Plenio Beres of the U.S. Forest Service in a hike to the historic Ellicott’s Rock on the Chattooga River. Meet at 10:00 am at the Burrell’s Ford Campground parking area. This hike, which is limited to 12 participants, will be approximately 8 miles in length and will primarily follow the Wild and Scenic Chattooga River from the Burrell’s Ford bridge to Ellicott’s Rock. Bring lunch, snacks, water, and appropriate clothing and footwear. The moderate hike should conclude by 3:00 pm.
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