Foothills Trail - Thompson River - SC/NC

June 13, 2006

This week's hike was on the Foothills Trail starting at the Bad Creek Parking Lot in the Whitewater Falls area. We hiked over to the Thompson River and and back. The Bad Creek Parking area has a half-mile connector trail to the Foothills Trail at the Whitewater River. Today, we hiked out dry but walked back in a nice rain shower. No complaints since we are in the middle of a drought.

HIKERS - John Bellamy, Jack Jacobi, Dick Metzgar, Bruce O'Connor, Jeanne O'Connor, Bob Presley, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Dan Ross, Kurt Volker, Sharon Volker, David Whitaker, and Geri Whitaker and Carole Wintle.

TRAIL INFO. - The Foothills Trail was in excellent condition with absolutely no obstructions. This portion of the trail is somewhat hilly but not extreme. It involves a beautiful walk through a nice mixture of hardwoods along with Eastern Hemlock and White Pines. The understory includes lots of Mountain Laurel, Rhododendron, Mountain Hydrangeas, Fraser Magnolia along with a nice assortment of wildflowers.

Total hiking distance - 7.2 miles.

Directions: From Seneca SC, take Scenic Highway 11 past Tamassee, to Salem, SC continue to the intersection SC 11 and SC 130. Turn left onto 130 and drive approx. 10 miles. Look for the entrance to the Bad Creek Area (Duke Power Co.) Drive up to the gate and it will open automatically. Drive down the road and look for a sign to the trail parking lot. There is a big parking lot with 2 porta-johns and a trail sign board.

Another great day for a hike! Cloudy with rain showers, temperatures ranging from the lower 60's to mid 60's F.

FLOWERS IN BLOOM: Carolina Rhododendrun, Rosebay Rhododendrun, Hairy Skullcap, Hawkweed, Pippsissawa, Tall Bluet, Rattlesnake Weed, Indian Cucumber Root, Daisy Fleabane and Mountain Hydrangea.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Crow, Brown Thrasher, Red Eyed Vireo, Pileated Woodpecker, Oven Bird, White Breasted Nuthatch, Titmouse, Wood Thrush, Black Throated Blue Warbler, Black Throated Green Warbler, Towhee, Yellow Throated Vireo.

Click for movie clip 1 from today's hike!

Click for movie clip 2 from today's hike!

Preparing to hike from the Bad Creek Trail-head.
The Whitewater River (lower than normal due to drought)
The Whitewater River bridge.
Trail sign at the junction with the Foothills Trail.
Crossing one of the foot-bridges.
The Thompson River Bridge.
The Thompson River. (again very low water)
Lunchtime at the Thompson River!
The Mountain Hydrangeas were beautiful!
Awesome view from the Bad Creek Visitor's Overlook.

View 2 shows the upper end of Lake Jocassee.
The OFHC gang for today's hike. (l-r) David Whitaker, Geri Whitaker, Bob Presley, Sharon Volker, Jack Jacobi, Donna Presley, Carole Wintle, John Bellamy, Jeanne O'Connor, Dan Ross, Bruce O'Connor, Dick Metzgar, Kurt Vogler and Tony Presley.

to Tony's Hiking Page.