Read and study the Foothills Trail Guidebook and map before starting your hike.

Leave your itinerary and emergency numbers with someone, with instructions to issue a report if you don’t return (or call) on schedule.

The Southern Appalachian region experiences sub-tropical heat and humidity in the summer and ice, snow, and freezing conditions in the winter, particularly at higher elevations. Many consider the fall and spring to be the best seasons for hiking. Be prepared with appropriate clothing and gear. Also, lightning is a danger on the trail year round. Take shelter and avoid exposed places during electrical storms.

It is not uncommon to see black bears, beavers, bobcats, deer, and snakes in the Foothills region. While these animals are a treat to see in their native habitat, please observe them from a safe distance.

DO NOT FEED WILDLIFE!  The next hiker may be a victim of your generosity.

Hunting is permitted in most areas surrounding the Foothills Trail. As such, safety vests or brightly colored clothing are recommended during hunting season. Please consult appropriate state and federal agencies for information and details, including

Waterfalls are beautiful but can be dangerous. Please stay on the trail and observe them from a distance. Do not climb on or near waterfalls, and never attempt crossing a stream on or above a waterfall, regardless of height.

Hiking can be a strenuous activity, so please consider your own physical limitations. Know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and hypothermia, and purify all drinking water. It’s also a good idea to have a first aid kit on hand, regardless of the length of your hike.

Remember that primitive areas are not immune from criminal activity. Use caution, particularly near trailheads and parking areas.

In Case of Emergency

Note that cell phone reception is limited along the trail but may be available at higher elevations and exposed ridges.

County Emergency

Oconee: 864-638-4200

Greenville: 911

Pickens: 864-898-5945

Transylvania: 911 or 828-884-3108

Jackson: 911 or 828-586-7508

SC State Park Offices: 803-734-0156 or toll free: 866-345-7275

NC State Park Offices: 919-707-9300

NC Wildlife Resources Commission:


Violations and boating accidents:

1-800-662-7137 (toll free in NC)

Boating registration & license data:

1-800-628-3773 (toll free in NC)

SC Department of Natural Resources

Information: 864-654-1671

Emergency: 1-800-922-5431 (toll free in SC)

Federal Agencies – USDA Forest Service

SC Forestry Commission: 803-896-8800

Andrew Pickens Ranger District

112 Andrew Pickens Circle

Mountain Rest, SC 29664


Nantahala District Forest Ranger

90 Sloan Road

Franklin, NC 28734