Current Trail Conditions:
On 5/20 SCDNR will reopen the Sassafras Observation Tower to visitors. Please practice physical distancing of six feet or more. Please note: the restrooms at Sassafras Mountain will remain closed.
The Foothills Trail is OPEN for hiking and backpacking from Oconee State Park to Table Rock State Park.
There are a few access points / parking areas which are closed and may make it a challenge to hike the exact hike that is desired. These are noted below.
COVID-19 UPDATE: As of 5/18/20 we have been advised that the following access points are still closed:
– Whitewater Falls parking & Receateion area (USFS)
– Bad Creek Access & parking area (Duke Energy)
When the controlling agencies reopen them, it will be posted on Facebook and on FTC website.
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.