Chaunce Hiked the Foothills Trail! Terrain, Difficulty, Hiking with a Dog, and Gear (BPR #243)

In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, Chaunce hiked the Foothills Trail! With Chaunce being just a few days removed from this 76-mile gem of a hike, the trail is fresh on her mind, and she provides us a detailed rundown of her experience and standout stories, the trail’s many highlights, how it was doing this trek with Harper, a full overview of her gear, an encounter with a zombie ghost, and all the nitty gritty logistics one could dream of having heading into this waterfally, bridgey hike in the Carolinas.

We wrap the show with what our old person traits are, a triple crown of non-toilet paper items to wipe your bung with on trail, 36 east coast trails you can hike, and some details about an upcoming live podcast.

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Interview with Chaunce!

Time stamps & Questions

00:04:05 – Reminders: Mark your calendars for a BPR live podcast in Denver on April 23, leave a 5 star review on Apple and email us to get a BPR sticker, and recommend a guest who will be at Trail Days!

00:08:50 – Why did Chaunce hike the Foothills Trail?

00:12:00 – How was the weather?

00:14:55 – What’s the background of the Foothills Trail?

00:16:48 – How did you get to the trail, logistically?

00:19:35 – Discussion about the costs of the trail

00:25:00 – Discussion about getting to the trail

00:27:33 – Which direction did you hike?

00:32:42 – What was the terrain like?

00:34:20 – Can you camp wherever?

00:35:30 – Discussion about expectations versus reality for the hiking difficulty

00:37:22 – Discussion about day 2 of hiking

00:38:18 – Any notable highlights from the first couple days of trail?

00:41:00 – Discussion about wildlife

00:46:45 – Discussion about the bridges and stairs

00:51:23 – Discussion about Chaunce’s massage

00:53:15 – Why didn’t you bring a rain jacket?

00:54:30 – Tell us about hiking with Harper

00:57:10 – How crowded was the trail?

01:02:08 – What was the resupply situation like?

01:05:05 – Who would you recommend the Foothills Trail to?

01:07:38 – Discussion about the road walks

01:08:34 – Discussion about waterfalls

01:11:30 – Discussion about how challenging the hike was

01:14:50 – Any good poop stories?

01:15:50 – What were your favorite waterfalls and bridges?

01:16:40 – Would you describe the Foothills Trail as flat?

01:17:20 – Discussion about the gear Chaunce carried

01:33:18 – Discussion about Harper’s gear


Trek Propaganda: 36 East Coast Trails That Aren’t the Appalachian Trail by Diane Duffard

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Comments 1

  • Pony : Mar 18th

    A pleasure to revisit the good, ol’ Foothills Trail! It’s a keeper.

    A couple of thoughts:

    The best time to hike is *definitely* spring and fall, because it gets insanely hot (like, worse than the southern AT) in the summer months; also, buggier.

    Re Chaunce’s ghost: May not exactly be ghostly, but if you want to give yourself a few vicarious shivers on the FT….

    Going eastbound (EABO?), you soon arrive at the beautiful Chattooga River. The river was used to film some scenes from the harrowing 1972 movie ‘Deliverance,’ based on the 1970 novel by the famous poet James Dickey.

    If you don’t know the book or movie, you might not want to experience them before tackling the FT. The story involves four city men who go to paddle a whitewater river in northern Georgia before it is consumed by waters of a new dam … which also is forcing backwoods residents to relocate because their towns also will be destroyed.

    If you don’t know the story, suffice it to say that things do not go as planned for our city slickers. Ahem.

    Although the novel/movie are not based specifically on Lake Jocassee, it also drowned several communities. Anglers who have sonar on their boats can still make out the outlines of churches, buildings, trees … one of my true phobias is human things (bodies, buildings, cars, etc.) covered by deep, dark water. Brrr…..

    Of the FT I like to say, it’s a perfect mini-me of the southern AT. If anyone is pondering starting the AT, but isn’t sure if they’ll like it, they can do no better than to do an EABO hike of the FT to get a taste.

    P.S. It also intersects with the Mountains-to-the-Sea Trail/Route.


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