Foothills Trail from Rock Creek to Horsepasture River

Picture of long suspension bridge across Toxaway River

Warning:   This data is out-of-date. Trails, roads, and landmarks change.
You should obtain current information before attempting any hike.

Date Hiked: 8/18/90

Length: 9.4 miles

Type: one-way

Difficulty: 4

Scenery: 3

Blaze: white

Main Features: outstanding bridges, occasional views of Lake Jocassee

Animals: deer, vulture, pileated woodpecker, hornets, eastern fence lizard, gray squirrels

Location: Duke Power Property north of Lake Jocassee, North Carolina

There is no road access to Rock Creek on the northeastern shore of Lake Jocassee. It is only accessible by boat. Only attempt to find it if you have a map of Lake Jocassee. Travelling up the northeastern arm of the lake, you will find the Laurel Fork Falls access which is clearly signed. Go back toward the main channel, and turn back to the right (northeast). Turn right into the first cove after the sign marking the NC state line. Go to the very back of the cove in the weeds on the left where Rock Creek comes into the cove. Walk up the shore on the right side of the creek. After a few yards you will intersect the Foothills Trail. Turn left on the Foothills Trail. I had a friend with a boat drop me off at Rock Creek and pick me up at the Horsepasture River bridge several hours later.

Note: This section of the Foothills Trail crosses many roads and other trails. Blazes must be followed carefully.

Approximate Altitude Changes
Ascend 350 feet from Rock Creek to ridge above Rock Creek
Descend 350 from ridge above Rock Creek to Cane Break
Ascend 700 feet from Cane Break to top of ridge at 3.0 miles
Many ascents and descents of less than 200 feet
Descend 700 feet from ridge at 7.9 miles to Horsepasture River
Total Ascent: 1,050 feet

0.0 bridge over Rock Creek
0.6 gain top of ridge
turn left down stairs
0.8 bench, then more stairs
0.9 turn right across small bridge
1.1 clearing at lake shore on left
follow shore
1.2 ignore right fork
ignore road coming in on right
1.3 bear right at fork
suspension bridge over Toxaway Creek, then turn left
1.4 long suspension bridge over Toxaway River
1.6 opening in foliage at lake shore on left
1.8 stream crossing
1.9 bridge
Cane Break boat access with information board
begin ascent
2.4 stream flows under trail
turn left off of road
2.6 bridge
2.8 turn left on road
2.9 turn left on road
3.0 bear left at fork
3.2 hear stream on left
3.3 bridge
3.4 bear left at fork
ignore faint trail left
3.7 ignore road on left
3.9 boulders on right with large hollow stump of left
4.0 turn right on road
4.2 sharp left off of road
4.4 small cave under trail on left with spring
4.5 turn left onto road
turn left off of road
turn left onto road
4.6 turn left off of road
turn left onto road
5.0 turn right off of ridge
hear stream on left
5.1 rhododendron thicket
cross Cobb Creek on rocks at junction of streams
5.2 stream crossing
5.3 bridge
5.4 turn left at trail junction
5.5 turn right onto old road at intersection of roads
5.9 stream goes under road
6.2 cross road
6.5 ignore road on left
6.7 stream goes under road
6.8 stream goes under road
6.9 turn right off of road, cross Bear Creek bridge, then turn right
7.0 pass white gate
go diagonally across intersection of roads and ascend steps
7.1 cross old road
7.2 turn right on old road
7.6 sharp left, then descend along ridge
7.9 sharp left off of ridge
two bridges
8.2 bridge
suspension bridge across Horsepasture Creek, then sharp left
8.3 bridge
8.6 hear stream on left
8.8 bridge
8.9 turn right on road and descend along ridge
ignore road on right
9.1 turn right off of ridge
9.3 top of stairs above Horsepasture River
9.4 Horsepasture River bridge


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