Foothills Trail, Sloan Bridge to Whitewater Falls

Jackson County, North Carolina 28904

Elevation Gain6ft
Trailhead Elevation2,491ft
Elevation Min/Max2485/2491ft
Elevation Start/End2491/2491ft

Foothills Trail, Sloan Bridge to Whitewater Falls

Foothills Trail, Sloan Bridge to Whitewater Falls is a hiking trail in Jackson County, North Carolina. It is 45 feet long and begins at 2,491 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.0 miles with a total elevation gain of 6 feet. This trail connects with the following: Foothills Trail.

Foothills Trail, Sloan Bridge to Whitewater Falls Professional Reviews and Guides

"A long 3-day backpacking trip, offering waterfalls and the majestic beauty of the Whitewater and Chattooga rivers. This segment of the Foothills Trail is described east to west, beginning at the northeastern Bad Creek Trailhead. There are advantages and disadvantages to going in either direction.

The east-to-west route involves an 1,100-foot ascent to the top of Upper Whitewater Falls in the first 2.5 miles of the hike. Much of the rest of the hike, however, is a long, gradual, 1,400-foot descent, with numerous ups and downs along the way. The east-to-west route can be eased by beginning at the parking lot for Upper Whitewater Falls, but there is great beauty in the section along the Whitewater River that would be bypassed. The west-to-east route involves a long ascent, followed by a short, steep descent."

"A challenging three-day journey around the north end of Lake Jocassee. Scenic waterfalls, steep-sided river gorges, lush vegetation, and solitude are among the attractions of the Jocassee Gorges. The Blue Ridge Escarpment, called the Blue Wall by the Cherokees, jags its way across the area, creating a land of waterfalls and river gorges as streams from the north plunge over the escarpment in their rush to Lake Jocassee and lower-lying lands in South Carolina.

The Jocassee Gorges receive abundant rainfall (more than 80 inches annually in some areas), and they offer great biodiversity, including a host of rare mosses and ferns, the endemic and rare Oconee bell, the rare showy orchis, and many other wildflower species."

"The Foothills Trail was conceived in the early 1970s as a way to link existing trails along the Carolinas’ border to create one long ramble, from Table Rock State Park on the northeast to Oconee State Park on the southwest. The result is a 76-mile hike that passes through seven state parks and two national forests and takes in ten significant waterfalls.

It’s a good weeklong backpack trip or, if approached by section, can be consumed in day trips. The governing Foothills Trail Conference has divided the trail into thirteen sections ranging in length from 1.4 miles to 16.4 miles. One of the more popular sections is A8, which takes in the spectacular Upper Falls, a 411-foot drop promoted as the highest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains."

Foothills Trail, Sloan Bridge to Whitewater Falls Reviews

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Truly a beautiful segment. I haven't done much of the Foothills Trail but if you want rivers, waterfalls and lake views this is your experience. It is not the hike for any scenic overlooks. Maybe in the winter some views. It's an excellent hike for consistent water source; you don't have to carry a lot because of creeks, and small waterfalls every couple of miles if not more (have a good filter or water treatment) It is strenuous and the inclines should not be taken lightly within the summer months. I did this in July but I live in South Georgia and I'm very used to the high humidity! 90 degree temps, so the campsites along Lake Jocassee was a welcome sight! It is rain forest environment in the valleys and woodlands along the ridges; typical for Appalachian foothills. I debate using trekking poles but on this one being alone, I'm glad I had them for balance. Also no permits needed which makes organizing a little more simple. Absolutely a stunning area.

Foothills Trail, Sloan Bridge to Whitewater Falls Photos

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Trail Information

Jackson County
Nearby City
Land Resources Division, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, 2221 Devine Street, Columbia, SC 29205; (803) 734-9108
Local Contacts
Guide to the Foothills Trail, Foothills Trail Conference; Cashiers, Reid, and Eastatoe Gap USGS quads,
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018