Current Trail Conditions:
COVID-19 UPDATE: 3.27.20 – As of 6pm we have been advised that the following access points have been closed:
Mountain Rest, SC – March 23, 2020 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – The Andrew Pickens Ranger District located on the Sumter National Forest will close campgrounds and all restrooms immediately.
Burrells Ford & Cherry Hill Recreation Area campsites are closed
• Restrooms at all recreation sites are now closed
• Trails will remain open, but no amenities available.
• River access remains open, but no amenities available.
• Cedar Creek Rifle Range will remain open Thur-Sun
“Although we are taking these actions at our developed sites, the Francis Marion & Sumter National Forests have over 630,000 acres that offer dispersed recreation such as trails, hunting, fishing, and many other activities to enjoy the great outdoors this spring,” according to Rick Lint, Forest Supervisor. “Remember to follow public health guidelines such as social distancing while you recreate in National Forests.”
For more information / questions contact USFS at (864) 638-9568.
***All access points to the Foothills Trail above Oconee State Park to Sloan Bridge are OPEN.
NOTICE: New SC DNR regulations that govern activities at and near the summit of Sassafras Mountain and the new observation tower are now in effect. Three of these directly affect Foothills Trail hikers and backpackers : ( 1 ) – NO CAMPING is allowed on the site ( 2 ) – NO FIRES are allowed on the site ( 3 ) – The hours of access are one hour before official sunrise to one hour after official sunset. There is VIDEO MONITORING 24/7. The “ site “ begins at the road crossing southwest of the summit and continues until on the Foothills Trail or Caesar’s Head spur trail east of the summit parking area. Designated campsites are located 1 mile south of Chimneytop Gap and at the Cantrell homesite 1 mile east of Sassafras. View Regulations for Sassafras Mountain Site
BRIDGE OUT: The first bridge above Virginia Hawkins Falls has been badly damaged by a fallen tree and is impassable. There is a reroute in place and detour signs posted.
CAMPSITE IMPROVEMENTS – During 2018 and 2019 there have been 10 designated campsites that have had improvements added in the form of benches, fire ring / grills, and bear bag cables. These are Lighthouse, Cantrell, Chimneytop, Flatrock, Virginia Hawkins Falls, Laurel Fork Falls, Rock Creek, Bearcamp Creek, Coley Creek, and Whitewater.
SUPPLEMENTAL WATER SOURCES ON THE FOOTHILLS TRAIL: Boy Scouts have placed water cisterns in various places along the Foothills Trail. A waist-high stake with a blue reflector indicates the presence of these nearby water sources.