Safety and Caution
Outdoor activities in primitive areas carry with them inherent risks to personal safety. Such risks include those associated with weather conditions, wildlife, hunting, and natural features such as waterfalls. You should familiarize yourself with the demands of the environment and take all necessary precautions for personal safety. Always remember that unforeseen dangers and difficulties may arise.
You should be particularly mindful of weather conditions. The Southern Appalachian region experiences seasonal variations ranging from sub-tropical heat and humidity in the summer, to ice, snow, and freezing conditions in the winter, particularly at higher elevations. Be prepared with the appropriate clothing and gear. Remember to take cover during electrical storms.
The region is home to an abundance of wildlife, and many hikers have experienced the good fortune to see black bears, beavers, bobcats and deer in their native habitat. Wildlife should be observed from a safe distance, and venomous snakes and stinging insects should never be disturbed.
Hunting is permitted in most areas surrounding the Foothills Trail. You should consult appropriate state and federal agencies for information and details. Safety vests or brightly colored clothing are recommended during hunting season.
For South Carolina:
Waterfalls are beautiful but very dangerous. Stay on the trail, and observe them from a distance. Never climb on or near waterfalls, and never attempt a water crossing on or above a waterfall, regardless of height. Serious injuries-and even deaths have occurred.
You should be mindful of personal health concerns. Hiking is a strenuous activity and any person who undertakes a hike should consider his or her own physical limitations. Know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and hypothermia. First aid kits are recommended. Purify all drinking water. Not only human pollution, but also naturally occurring micro-organisms may cause illness.
Remember that primitive areas are not immune from criminal activity. Use caution, particularly near trailheads and parking areas.
In addition, hikers are advised that trail conditions, including all man-made improvements such as bridges, steps, walkways, signs, markers, blazes and the like may change as a result of natural deterioration, use or alteration. Use caution and common sense.
Map and Descriptions
The Foothills Trail Conference has endeavored to make all maps and trail descriptions in the official guidebook and official map as accurate and reliable as possible. These resources should be considered informational only. The statements pertaining to degree of difficulty of trails are general and subjective, and do not indicate suitability for any particular person or purpose.