Foothills Trail, South Carolina

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Leonard Adkins
Leonard Adkins

All of us know April showers bring May flowers. They also swell streams to what will probably be their highest levels of the year, making this the time to really enjoy waterfalls. One of the best places is the Foothills Trail along the Blue Ridge Escarpment. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says an escarpment is “a long cliff or steep slope separating two comparatively level or more gently sloping surfaces.” Hike the 76-mile trail from Table Rock State Park to Oconee State Park in South Carolina and you will find this dull and dry definition does not do justice to the escarpment’s dramatic scenery.

It’s certainly not a flat terrain as the pathway runs along the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains where they tumble onto the Piedmont. The trail goes over Sassafras Mountain, the highest point in the state, and crosses six major river drainages, insuring an abundance of ups and downs. However, there is ample reward for the huffing and puffing.

More than a dozen waterfalls crash down the mountainsides, with arguably the highest falls east of the Rocky Mountains, Upper Whitewater Falls, dropping more than 400 feet along a series of stages.

The Foothills Trail Conference (www.foothillstrail.org) publishes the Guide to the Foothills Trail.

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