Foothills Trail

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Trail Distance: 77 miles
Time Estimate: 29 hr +
Elevation Gain: 1400 feet
Leash Rule: On Leash
Difficulty: Hard
Parking: Varies by trailhead
Route Type: Point-to-point
Restroom: Unknown
Description

Following some of the most scenic terrain in the Carolinas along the Blue Ridge Escarpment, the Foothills Trail is considered one of the nation's greatest long hikes. The trail runs from Oconee State Park to Table Rock State Park near the SC-NC border, providing epic views of the southern Appalachians that you can share with your on-leash pups. 

Stretching for more than 70 miles, the Foothills Trail has any number of starting points to chose from. Most visitors break this journey up over several visits, but trailside camping is allowed in certain National Forest segments for through-hikers. If your pups love ruffing it, you can tackle the entire Foothills over several days.

The southeastern trailhead is best reached via a connector trail from Oconee State Park. While entrance fees apply at state parks, the secure parking, water, restroom facilities, and helpful rangers ensure you start off on the right paw. The first stretch of trail is relatively calm, sticking close to SC Hwy 107 through deep forest. After Burrel's Ford Road, the Foothills intersects the Bartram Trail (a shortcut to the Appalachian Trail, if you're trying to sample all the big-dog hikes in the region) and descends into the Chattooga Gorge. 

Many waterfalls are visible along this scenic hike. Some fur families jump on the Foothills Trail at Whitewater Falls, the largest falls in the eastern US, where day-use parking areas are available and the trail follows the Whitewater River for a while. The trail crosses into North Carolina here and spends much of its middle section in NC. 

After circling Lake Jocassee and dipping back into SC, the final stretch to Table Rock State Park includes a steep ascent up Sassafras Mountain, then a descent before climbing Pinnacle Mountain -- the state's highest peak. Just imagine the dog pics you'll snap at the summit! 

Various spur trails lead away from the Foothills to provide better views of waterfalls and local features, giving a network of over 100 miles of trail to explore. With your furry companions at your side, you can spend every weekend seeking out different adventures on the challenging Foothills Trail.

Trail Features
Forest, Steep Inclines
Wildflowers, Waterfall, Scenic
Cautions & Considerations
"Foothills" might sound small, but don't let the name fool you: this is a rigorous trail for fit hikers, and you'll need a trail map, ample water, and supplies for this journey. Bears and other predators are rarely sighted, but campers should exercise wilderness protocols for storing food. Snakes are more common and mostly harmless, but keep your pups away from wildlife for both their safety. Ticks and other insects are expected; keep your pup's flea and tick treatments up-to-date, and check yourself for unwanted hitchhikers.
Address
624 State Park Road
Mountain Rest, SC 29664
Hours
Mon Open 24 Hours
Tue Open 24 Hours
Wed Open 24 Hours
Thu Open 24 Hours
Fri Open 24 Hours
Sat Open 24 Hours
Sun Open 24 Hours
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Address
624 State Park Road
Mountain Rest, SC 29664
Hours
Mon Open 24 Hours
Tue Open 24 Hours
Wed Open 24 Hours
Thu Open 24 Hours
Fri Open 24 Hours
Sat Open 24 Hours
Sun Open 24 Hours