Backpacking in Northwest South Carolina

paul rondelli

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May 21, 2020
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Suwanee, GA, USA
Having a Bronco signifies a appreciation of exploration and discovery. To really embody this attitude try parking the Bronco at a trail head and walking in. This last week me and a buddy decided to hike a few portions of the "foot hills trail' https://foothillstrail.org/ located in NW South Carolina. I would recommend this time of year to hike the trail. The weather was awesome with daytime temps hitting the mid to high 80's and the low 60's at night. Was really hoping it got down into the 50's or upper 40's at night... but mother nature did not help. The leaves are changing color and overall just a great time of year to get out into nature. We hiked in all we needed for a long weekend hike. Decided to use Hammocks instead of tents and all told just under 30lbs in the backpack. This part of the foothills is all elevation change. Lots of up's and down's especially for a out and back hike. You can get creative and park separate vehicles a trail heads and complete the section mostly down hill ….. but then you would be driving a Jeep … wouldn't you?


The Foothills trail is a great hike. The trail is well maintained and in total just over 80 miles long. There are plenty of trail heads to mix and match your start and stop points … so we decided to go "out and back" on a few sections to get a feel for the trail. The first section was the Nicholas ford gap trail head to the Chattooga river. Super easy .7 mile hike in to the river from the trail head. 4 or 5 really great campsites await you … as well as "lick log falls" probably a good 40' fall that is within ear shoot of the campsites. It was like camping at a rock concert... but I enjoyed the sound of rushing/falling water from the hammock. The trail follows the river and was a ton of fun.

The next section was Sassafras mountain. The highest peak in SC and the trail head is also a fire tower with AWESOME views.

This time of year is crazy. Every car-camping campsite was booked for 100 mile radius …. but if you have that adventurous spirit you can still get out there. Every section of the foothills trail has a well maintained campsite within a few miles of the trail head . On Friday we did have some company at the campsite with a through hiker and a couple of hikers who completed the trail early and just hiked in to the campsite because every car camping site was booked. 99% of people who are willing to put 20+ pounds of gear on their back and walk into the woods are great people and this makes for great fireside stories. All the other 4 days we did not see a single person after setting up camp.

Have fun and get out there …. there is so much to see just a few miles off the beaten path.
 

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TorgSurv

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Jul 13, 2020
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Great trip, and awesome pictures! I love using a hammock when backpacking.
 
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