Foothills Trail from Rock Creek to
Tina Marie Falls and back to Laurel Fork Boat Access

Picture of bridge on Foothills Trail

Warning:   This data is out-of-date.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

Date Hiked: 7/5/97

Length: 9.5 miles

Type: one-way

Difficulty: 3

Scenery: 3

Blaze: white

Main Features: Laurel Fork Falls, Tina Marie Falls, several bridges

Animals: northern water snake, toad, chickadees, crows, pileated woodpecker, chipmunks, gray squirrel, Carolina wren

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 right on the Foothills Trail. I had a friend with a boat drop me off at Rock Creek and pick me up at the Laurel Fork Access several hours later.

Approximate Altitude Changes
Ascend 500 feet from Rock Creek to ridge crest at 0.7 miles
Descend 100 feet from ridge crest to road junction at 0.9 miles
Ascend 225 feet from junction to road crossing at 2.2 miles
Descend 600 feet from road to Laurel Fork access spur at 3.6 miles
Ascend 525 feet from spur to Tina Marie Falls at 6.6 miles
Descend 550 feet from falls to Lake Jocassee at 9.5 miles
Total Ascent: 1,250 feet

0.0 lake shore beside Rock Creek
0.1 cross two small streams
0.2 switchback to the left away from the lake
0.3 turn left onto wide road, ascend steeply
0.6 turn right off of road onto stairway, poorly marked (easy to miss)
0.7 turn left onto road at ridge crest
0.8 turn right onto road
0.9 turn right onto road at junction (signed)
1.0 low spot
1.1 high spot
1.5 small stream
1.6 turn right off of road beside gate
1.9 begin descending
2.0 take sharp left toward road
2.2 high point, cross road
2.6 low point
2.9 bench-like resting rock on right
3.1 parallel stream on left
3.6 ignore right spur to Laurel Fork boat access
(Laurel Fork boat access is this hike's pick-up point)
3.8 small stream
spur on right might lead to winter view of lake (no summer view)
4.0 overlook of Laurel Fork Falls
spur on right descends to top of Laurel Fork Falls
(memorial at top of falls: "Sean Guandique 3/19/77-8/8/88")
4.1 two-board bridge
4.2 spur on right to camping area (signed)
4.4 two-board bridge
4.5 turn right off of road (signed)
4.6 suspension bridge over Laurel Fork Creek (signed), then turn left
4.7 turn right off of road
4.8 stream crossing on slick rocks
two-board bridge, then stream crossing on rocks
4.9 stream
suspension bridge, then turn right
5.0 turn right onto road, cross old road bridge
5.1 turn right off of road
5.3 two-log bridge, turn right onto road
5.4 cross old road bridge, then turn left
5.5 stream crossing on rocks
bridge (about 30 feet long), then cross road
5.6 stream
5.7 cross road, descend stairs, turn left (campsite on right with table)
turn right, then cross old road bridge
turn left off of road (easy to miss)
5.9 three-board bridge
6.0 two-board bridge (open area with bench on right across creek)
6.1 three-board bridge
6.2 three-board bridge
6.4 bridge
bridge (about 40 feet long)
6.6 Tina Marie Falls on right (I love this place)
backtrack (to Laurel Fork access spur trail)
9.2 turn left onto spur to Laurel Fork boat access
9.5 Laurel Fork boat access on shore of Lake Jocassee


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