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Foot Hills Trail Hike

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  • Foot Hills Trail Hike

    I finally got down to South Carolina to hike the Foot Hills Trail. Was not able to hike the whole trail but at least my son and I were able to hike part of it.

    We both met at Yates Place at Uwharries NF on Saturday 9 March where the Spring Yates Place Hammock Hang was taking place. Lots of food and a chance to talk to some old friends and make some new ones. Sam the dog was a hit with the kids at the hang. It rained during the night but we stayed dry. Had a break in the rain in the AM that lasted long enough for use to take down our hammock gear and get on the road. The the rain really started coming down hard and did not stop until we got into SC.

    We drove up to Bad Creek Access and once I saw how rugged the terrain was, I knew we would not be able to hike the whole trail in the time we had so we changed plans.

    We then drove down to Oconee State Park and spent the night. I had my son break out all the gear he brought and went thru pulling all the duplicate and extra stuff he would not need. I also went thru my pack and removed some cold weather gear I decided I would not need as the weather forecast called for lows only into the 40's with a chance of rain.

    Monday AM we drove over to the Oconee SP Foot Hills Trail parking area to leave my car. When we got there we saw a park ranger two SC police. Apparently 3 cars had been broken into Sunday night. Filled out the hiker registration and headed to Bad Creek Access to start the hike back to Oconee SP.

    Note: There is a $5 entry fee to get into the park and a $5 per day fee to leave your car at the parking area. You pay the parking fee at the park office. The staff working there were very friendly.

    We ended up parking at the Whitewater Falls parking area just across the NC state line. Lots of parking and the restroom is heated. Access to the Foot Hills Trail is found on the side of the restrooms where the woman/men's entrance is. There is a $3 day fee to park there. You could park down at the Duke Power Bad Creek access point for free but then you have a hike the access trail to get to the FH Trail.

    Sam the dog was happy to lead the way on the trail and of course being a Lab he had to check out every mud puddle, creek and other water sources we came across.

    We crossed NC Hwy 281 and starting hiking up the mountain. Seemed like the hike was nothing but switchbacks as we headed up. Did get some great views and came across 3 sets of benches, Also encountered lots of blow downs. Most were not an issue but a couple required that we take off our packs to go under. During all this Sam was having a great time exploring the area. For some reason he always wants to be on point. He did stop and start growling at on point and then started waging his tail as 4 hikers appeared. Sam had to make friends with all four, The group ( 3 women and 1 man ) said they were hiking to Table Rock SP.

    About 3 PM it started raining and as we were at a camp site on the side of the trail we stopped and set up hammocks. Got them set up just in time for the rain to really start coming down. I took some Tylenol PM and took a nap. Woke up a few hours later and the rain had stopped and the sky was clear. Was able to find enough dry wood to start a small fire. As it got darker we could see the lights below us coming on. Looked like a XMas tree on its side.

    Finally went back to bed and spent the night with Sam walking under my hammock several times and knocking my Under Quilt to one side. If he heard me opening the bug net zipper on my hammock then he would come over and stick his head inside my hammock to say hi so I was very careful to open the zipper slowly so he would not hear it

    We got up, broke camp and got back on the trail. We came across a very nice spring and filled up our water bottles. Did not filter the water and did not sick from drinking it. Kept looking for the NC / SC border sign but did not see it/ Figured it night have been on one of the blow down trees. We talked another father son tea, hiking the same direction and they said they did not see the sign either. Told them about the cars that had been broken into and they one of the cars was theirs.

    Got to the SC Hwy 107 Sloan Bridge Access and took a break. After a long discussion with my son we decided to end the hike. My son had some massive blisters and my right hip was on fire. My son hiked back to were he parked his car and we then went back to get my car and headed home.

    We did not hike very far but we had a good time and got to camp out a few days. Talking to him a few days ago he said his blisters are healing up and he is ready to go back out and hike some more.


    At Oconee SP going thru gear for hike
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    Sam's pup tent that he would not use
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    Registration forms for hike
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    Pick a hike...any hike\\
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    Map at Bad Creek Access
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  • #2
    Some more pictures

    Large map of area

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    Jeff and Sam

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    Me

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    We started the hike at the Whitewater Falls access point which is behind the rest rooms.
    As you can see, Sam has his own back pack. He carried his own food, food bowls, treats and pup tent. Total weight was about 10 lbs
    and did not slow him down.

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    Sam, being part Lab, has to check out and approve of any water we came across

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    • #3
      Here are more pictures of our trip

      We encountered lots of blow downs from the small ones you could step over to the ones you had to take your pack off and crawl under

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      Jeff on the trail

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      Most of the roots we saw on the trail were covered in this pink stuff which I believe to be a fungus

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      Sam spent about 10 seconds in his tent

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      View from our camp site

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      • #4
        And a few more

        My hammock set up with Sam's Pup Tent under my tarp for extra protection. I do not keep Sam tied up in camp as he would go around and pull up all the tarp tie outs in reach.

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        Very good spring. Cold spring water from the side of the mountain
        we filled up our water bottles here and did not filter. Good water.
        Of course Sam had to test the water for us

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        Jeff's setup

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        World's longest hike


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