Palmetto Trail Day 2 – Foothills Trail Day 1

Stumphouse Mountain Passage

Sumter National Forest
1.5 miles
No wildlife

Birdy dropped me off at the trailhead and we said our goodbyes along with Rosie. I was very anxious this morning knowing we will split up for awhile and the hike is for real now.  I barely ate breakfast.  The morning is dreary with cloud cover and a slight breeze.  The clouds look like they really want to rain but nothing happens.  It is just very chilly. 48 degrees seems like a heat wave to me but there is a chill in the air, I’m not feeling the warmth.  I begin the climb from the trailhead as Birdy leaves.  It’s a wide trail with signs for both hikers and bikers.

Stumphouse Mountain Bike Park is a large mountainous area for bikers with 6 different trails.  The Palmetto Trail follows the path by the two bodies of water, the second one being Walhalla Reservoir.  As it was yesterday, you really do not need a map because the signage was spot on all the way up. This section is small but still got me in a groove. Isaqueena Falls is nearby but I skipped it. I was just wanting to get the day started.  I think the cold was a big part of it.

Ross Mountain Passage

Sumter National Forest
5 miles

The climb from the Stumphouse has me in a fog/drizzle type of weather. The trail is nice and notice an unusual amount of fallen trees in this area.  None on the trail but large trees that have fallen and pulled up the ground with it.  The trail is a single track dirt path for the first 1.5 miles. Then it hits Ross Mountain Road.  This is a gravel road wide enough for two vehicles. I was passed by the Park Service each way.  Signs sot the side of the road about a control burn last week.  This explains yesterday’s observation on the Oconee Connector Passage.  The air still has a burn smell to it.  At the end of the road the trail goes back into the forest, I am now walking through the burn area for a bit and then enter the Oconee State Park.  The trail stops at the Passage I walked yesterday.  I make my way down to the parking lot and now have the Foothills Trail in front of me.  I decide to eat lunch here. Today’s lunch is a Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with strawberry cream cheese and a PayDay bar.

Foothills Trail

Sumter National Forest
3.45 miles  Tamassee Campsite
No wildlife

While eating lunch a day hiker comes off the trail.  I call Birdy to let her know I’m here before setting out.  The Foothills Trail is 76 miles long.  It is a very popular trail and I expect to see alot more people the next few days. I will be traveling from Oconee State Park to Table Rock State Park in order to link up with two more Passages of the Palmetto Trail. For the Foothills Trail I am using the app “The MST Guide”.  On the main menu under Other Trails you will find three different trails listed. I hear that soon Farout will also add this trail but as of last night it is not listed.

Right off the bat I can tell this is more rugged. Reminds me of the Appalachian Trail. Following the trail along the side of hills and some more climbs. I passed two different dayhikers going back to the parking lot. The trail markers are white blazes and intersections all have signs directing you what direction you want to go as well as mileage to an important area. Crossed a gravel road and a trail that goes to another waterfall.  I just blew by them and continued the white blazes. Mid afternoon decide to stop at the first campsite and it turns out I am the only one here for the night.

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