Whitewater Falls - Foothills Trail, NC, SC

May 20, 2008

Today's hike started at the parking lot for Whitewater Falls and we hiked from the Upper Whitewater Falls down the mountain and joining the Foothills Trail later the side trail down to Lower Whitewater Falls and back including a hike back to the upper end of the Whitewater parking lot following the Foothills Trail.
Hiking distance approximately 7 miles.

HIKERS - Phil Brownrigg, Chuck Crisp, Greta Driggers, Pam Euliss, Jack Jacobi, Deena Johns, Dick Metzgar, Wayne Miller, Donna Presley, Tony Presley, Joe Raguckas, Doug Russell and Pom Sinnock.

TRAIL INFO. - This hike has two of the most spectacular waterfalls in the Eastern U.S. Upper Whitewater Falls and Lower Whitewater Falls. The trail below the upper falls has some tricky footing as you climb over rocks and large boulders to an iron bridge across the Whitewater River. The trail is normally well maintained but some storms moved through a few days before and there were several significant tree-falls across the trail. They were only a minor nuisance as we climbed over and under them. Trail route today - Started in parking lot of the upper falls and hiked up to the falls and down to the viewing platform - then down the mountain and joining the Foothills Trail down to the river and across the bridge continuing to the junction with the Bad Creek assess trail - turn left on the Foothills continuing to the side trail for the Lower Whitewater Falls and on down the the viewing deck for lunch. Then backtracked to the base of the upper falls and up the Foothills Trail taking the left loop up the the upper end of the parking lot rather than going back to the upper falls.

Difficulty rating - Strenuous due to extreme elevation changes on each end of the route but flat and easy in the middle portion along the river.

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 Whitewater Falls Recreation Area and parking lot.

Another great day for a hike!  Fair, with temperatures ranging from the mid 60's to the upper 70's F.

WILDFLOWERS IN BLOOM: Catesby's Trillium, Vasey's Trillium, Colorless Trillium, Foam Flower, Golden Alexander, Wild Geranium, Squawroot, Robin's Plaintain, Rattlesnake Weed, Tulip Poplar, Black Locust, Oil Nut, Yellow Stargrass, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Bluet, Devil's Bit, Southern Wild Ginger, Partridge Berry, Solomon's Seal, False-Solomon's Seal, Mountain Laurel, American Euonymus, White Violet and Sweet Shrub.

BIRDS IDENTIFIED: Ovenbird, Red-eyed Vireo, White-Breasted Nuthatch , Black-throated Blue Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Black and White Warbler, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, Pileated Woodpecker, Crow.

scroll down for photos.......

The parking lot at Whitewater Falls, NC.
Nice view as we head up toward the falls.
Magnificent Whitewater Falls (411 feet)!
Down at the bottom, we navigate lots of rocks and huge boulders. .
Crossing the foot-bridge over the Whitewater River.
On the Foothills Trail as we approach the Bad Creek Trail intersection.
The sign says 1.3 miles to Lower Whitewater Falls.
Some of today's wildflowers! (top left - then clockwise)Tulip Poplar,
Wild Ginger (shuttleworthii), Mountain Laurel, Trillium discolor.
Spectacular Lower Whitewater Falls. Notice the round cave near the top of the falls.
Extreme zoom photo of the cave near the top of the falls.
Another great day for a hike!
The OFHC gang for today's hike (l-r front) Tony Presley, Chuck Crisp and Dick Metzgar. (l-r standing) Jack Jacobi, Phil Brownrigg, Wayne Miller, Pam Euliss, Deena Johns, Donna Presley, Greta Driggers, Pom Sinnock, Joe Raguckas and Doug Russell.

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