SST – Stage 1 – Foothills & Chattooga Trails

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MLD ProPoncho – My shelter & rain gear for 11 of the 12 Long Walks.

Distance:  73 miles approx. (117 km)

Start:  Table Rock State Park, SC

Finish:  Russell Bridge, SC/GA border

Time:  3 days (late Nov.5 to early Nov.8 )

Daily Average:  24.3 miles (29.1 km)

Highlights:

  • Fall colours: Around the lower elevations of Table Rock state park, autumnal colours were still in full swing. It was great to see lots of families out hiking. Indeed, it was the most people I had seen on the trail at any one time since I began the 12 Long Walks on July 2.
  • Waterfalls: The trail sports a series of impressive waterfalls, the most spectacular of which is Lower Whitewater Falls.
  • Deliverance: Both the Foothills and Bartram Trails each have stretches which parallel the Chattooga River. Besides being one of the premier trout fishing locations in the US, the Chattooga is famous, or rather infamous, for being the setting of the the movie Deliverance. I am happy to report that I did not spot a single toothless hillbilly during my time in the area, and indeed the only people I encountered were well-spoken fisherman and a group of boy scouts, who upon discovering I was from Australia, bombarded me with questions about snakes, sharks and the Crocodile Hunter.

Lowlights:

  • In regards to the trail itself, none that come to mind. Pre-hike, I did have my wallet pinched in Atlanta whilst waiting for the train to Clemson, SC.

Notes & Musings:

  • Due to the fact that I wanted to link up to the Bartram Trail, I left the Foothills Trail at Lick Log creek (I think about 8 miles shy of its official terminus) and took the 4.8 mile connector (Chattooga Trail) to Russell Bridge and the beginning of the Bartram Trail.
  • A big thanks to Bill Baskin and all the folk at the Foothills Trail Conference. They were having a get together at Table Rock State Park on the weekend I began my hike, so I decided to drop in and check on the latest trail conditions. Everyone was super helpful and Mr. Baskin in particular was a goldmine of information on both the Foothills and Bartram Trails (thanks for the maps, Bill!).

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