From the spring picnic and annual Fall Gathering to regular group outings and trail maintenance projects, there are a variety of events throughout the year just for members of the Foothills Trail Conservancy. Participants must be members of the Foothills Trail Conservancy or their guest. Event Notifications will be sent by email to members through the FTC’s online registration system when registration is open. Please sign up to receive outing notification by providing your e-mail address to the Foothills Trail Conservancy mailing list on our Web site www.foothillstrail.org. Questions should be sent to FTC through the email address email@example.com. The number of registrants per hike is at the discretion of the hike leader and will sometimes be limited. Registration is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. You will be asked to fill out an Acknowledgement of Risk form prior to your hike. The Foothills Trail Conservancy does not permit dogs on group hikes.
If you are interested in helping maintain the Foothills Trail email firstname.lastname@example.org
*Mark these Saturdays on your calendar for our 2023 Maintenance projects: January 28, March 25, May 20, July 29, September 30 & November 4 (during Annual Gathering at Table Rock SP). Details and location will be emailed to those interested in helping with maintenance.
Foothills Trail Conservancy 2023 Outings
Saturday, February 25
— Sassafras to Table Rock State Park. Join FTC board members, Scott Stegenga and Jerry Ellsworth and Special Projects Coordinator, Heyward Douglass, on one of the most spectacular sections of the Foothills Trail. In the winter months, with less foliage, the enormous boulders below Pinnacle Mountain and Table Rock can be fully appreciated, and the views from Drawbar Cliffs and Pinnacle Overlook (also called Bald Knob) are incredible. *This 9.5-mile hike is strenuous because of its length and the fact that it descends 2,500 ft. from Pinnacle Mountain. It will require a shuttle, so we will meet at Table Rock Nature Center parking lot at 8:30 a.m. Bring lunch, snacks, water, appropriate clothing and footwear, and consider bringing hiking poles or a hiking stick. Before the hike the group will enjoy the views from the observation deck at Sassafras Mountain. This hike is limited to 30 people. Time commitment: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Saturday, March 18 — Oconee Bells at Devils Fork State Park. Join fellow FTC members to celebrate the Jocassee Gorges’ most famous harbinger of spring, the flower of the rare and beautiful Oconee Bell, at Devils Fork State Park on Lake Jocassee in northern Oconee County. BellFest is a Friends of Jocassee public event that features local artisans, exhibitors, silent auction, and interpretive hike. We recommend you take part in a 1-mile wildflower walk on the Oconee Bell Trail with markers that identify plants along the trail. There are places along the Oconee Bell Trail that are conveniently set up for photography to limit trampling of the plants. Please be mindful of others on the trail and practice social distancing. 10:00 am – 3:00 pm at Devils Fork State Park. (Admission to the park is $8 per adult; $5 SC Seniors (65+); $4 children (6-15), under 5 are free)
Saturday, April 1 – FTC Spring Picnic- At Table Rock State Park, 2:00-7:00 PM at the White Oak Shelter. The meal is served around 4:30 PM. FTC provides drinks, hot dogs and hamburgers. We ask that FTC members bring a pot luck dish to share. Live music by Becky and the Garden Boy. Following the meal, a presentation will be given by Dr. Bill Ranson on Yosemite. The cost for Adults is $10 each and kids are free for this event. This is a great event for the family. ***The morning of the Spring Picnic we have planned a group hike up Stool Mountain for FTC members. The hike will begin 9:00am. the group will meet at the White Oak Shelter at Table Rock State Park (same location as our Picnic). FTC Board members, Scott Stegenga and Jerry Ellsworth will lead the group. This hike is limited to 15 people. Registration for the hike and picnic will be separate.
Saturday, April 15 – Whitewater Falls Wildflower Walk . Led by Gary Kauffman, USFS botanist and ecologist, Maria Dunlavy USFS botanist, and Heyward Douglass. This annual rite of spring always has an enormous display of wildflowers that are easily photographed. The walk will begin at the USFS parking lot (on the right just before the entrance to Upper Whitewater Falls) and proceed slowly down to the Whitewater River. After lunch at the bridge, we will continue a short distance to Corbin Creek Falls. This is an out & back hike approximately 2 miles. Meet at 9:00 a.m. at the USFS parking lot on NC 281 (No parking fee will be required). Bring lunch, snacks, water and appropriate clothing and footwear. This hike will be limited to 20 people.
Saturday, April 22 – Earth Day Hike with Jocassee Lake Tours. Join FTC Board members, Kerry McKenzie and Bobbie Wilhite on a hike from Laurel Fork (A5) to Canebrake (A6). The group will go by boat to Laurel Fork and hike the Foothills Trail to Canebrake, a distance of about 5.8 miles. This is classified as a strenuous section of trail which includes Heartbreak Ridge. Meet at the Devils Fork boat ramp at 9:00 a.m. Bring snacks, lunch, water and appropriate footwear and clothing. There is a charge of $45 per person, to be paid at the time of registration by calling Jocassee Lake Tours at 864-280-5501. This is limited to 12 people. Return to the dock by 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 20 – Geology Hike with Dr. Bill Ranson. Meet at the Holly Springs Store (at 4 way stop Hwy 11 & Hwy 178) at 8:45 am. The group will carpool to Laurel Valley parking lot, leave some vehicles there, then drive to top of Sassafras to view the observation deck, beautiful views & the rocks. Group will then drive to Chimneytop Gap (A3) to start the hike to Laurel Valley (A4). This hike is classified as easy and is 2.1 miles total. Limited to 15 people.
Saturday, June 3 — The American Hiking Society has named June 3 as National Trails Day! FTC and Table Rock State Park are partnering to celebrate National Trails Day with a hike up Pinnacle Trail to Bald Knob to experience the sights and sounds from daylight to twilight to nightfall. A highlight will be the rising full strawberry moon and the scenic view of the distant landscape. This hike will gain 1600 ft. in elevation and is has some strenuous sections. After taking in nature’s display from the outcrop, we will delve into the forest’s nocturnal realm on the return hike. Hike limit for FTC members and guests is 10 people. Share your adventure on the Foothills Trail using #NationalTrailsDay & #FoothillsTrail
Saturday, August 19 – Join our FTC Chairman, Andrew Gleason (aka: Chainsaw) for this summertime hike. We will meet at Cherry Hill Recreation Area at 9:00am and shuttle over to Nicholson Ford Access to begin our hike. This hike is approximately 6.5 miles via the Foothills/Crack in the Rock/Big Bend Trails. We will see three waterfalls, two designated campsites, three scout projects, and the crack in the rock. This hike is strenuous due to the length and elevation gain. Limited to 25 people.
Friday – Sunday, Nov 3-5 — FTC Fall Gathering at Table Rock State Park. Join us for a FUN weekend get-together of FTC members, family and friends. A variety of hikes of various lengths will be offered, a scavenger hunt, maintenance project, guest speakers, annual meeting and great food & fellowship. Registration information will be sent out by mail and email to FTC members by early September. Registration is required to attend this event.
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