This Enchanting Hike Takes You Straight Through South Carolina's Very Own Grand Canyon
The Upstate of South Carolina’s best kept secret is perhaps also its most challenging natural attraction. The Jocassee Gorges Wilderness Area, extending well into neighboring North Carolina, is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream come true. Within the Gorges you’ll find trails that feature waterfalls for days, suspension bridges, giant boulders and views that span an eternity.
You'll find many available trails within this wilderness area, but none will compare to the Foothills Through Hike. The entire trail is some 70+ miles in length, point to point. But the hike can be broken down into smaller passages of as short as 2.1 miles.
The segment known as A4-A8 is actually five shorter passages combined end-to-end for a total of 31 miles.
Along the way you'll be enthralled by waterfall after waterfall. Plan enough time to sit and enjoy the peaceful moments afforded next to the water tumbling down the mountainside enroute to the Piedmont.
You'll go up hills — and down hills. And not all of them will have neat little steps like the one below. Prepare to scramble over a boulder or two, and hop over or duck under an occasional downed tree.
Whatever the efforts, the trail is truly worthy of them all. In the lower elevations, you'll encounter some scenery that looks like Middle Earth.
And your trek will definitely also be rewarded with some other showstopping views that'll make you glad you came. If you're an experienced hiker, then you know that for a hike this long you'll need some extra provisions. Plan to bring everything for a trip that lasts several days.
Don't worry. The places to camp on this section of the through hike are plentiful. Some of them may even have a semblance of the comforts of home! Perhaps after you've been hiking all day the rock chairs at the campsite in the photo below are actually comfortable?
This 31-mile hike is not for the novice hiker. And if 31 miles means you'll burn through some vacation days you just can't spare, then the good news is that you can hike this trail in shorter spurts.
Get more details on this passage of the trail
at this link
. To learn about those shorter segments, see the 'Trails' heading at
Love hiking in the Palmetto State? Keep feeling the love with
this article featuring nine short and easy hikes in South Carolina.
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