Early Spring Hike In The Foothills

 

This past Saturday, I did a 12.1 mile out and back hike along the Foothills Trail in Upstate South Carolina.  I started my hike at the Laurel Valley access.  This part of the trail crosses Laurel Fork Creek several times on wooden bridges and passes Virginia Hawkins Falls.  At the end of this section is Laurel Fork Falls and a spur trail that leads to a boat access on Lake Jocassee.

I didn’t see a lot evidence of spring in the mountains yet, but I did come across these wildflowers.  I think that the first ones are Common Blue Violets, but I don’t know the name of the red flowers.

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This was my view of the woods from the trail.  In places, the trail was very narrow and the hillside was much steeper.

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I passed several nice rock-walls along the way.  It’s hard to capture the scale, but these were large and impressive.

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Here, the trail parallels the creek before ascending.

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At about mile 4.7, a spur trail to the left descends to the base of Virginia Hawkins Falls.  I spent about 25 minutes here, taking pictures and eating my lunch.

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I had originally intended to hike the entire 16.2 miles round-trip to Laurel Fork Falls and back, but I had gotten too late a start and knew that I wouldn’t have been able to finish before nightfall.  At least I had this great view of the sunset on my drive home along Hwy 11.

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