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Sassafras Mountain Beginner Backpacking




The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: Sunset, South Carolina   Backpacking: Sassafras Mountain Beginner Backpacking   National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Sat, Jun 9 2018  7:00 am >> Sun, Jun 10 2018 7:00 pm  (Carpool Departure: 7:00 am   *log in for location*)
Registration Opens: Fri, Jun 1 2018 9:30 am
Registration Cut Off: Tue, Jun 5 2018 10:01 pm
Event Duration:1 Days 12 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D4: Moderate to Difficult
Distance:15 Miles
Pace:Moderate
Trip Leader(s):
George
John
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:8
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 6 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No

Itinerary:

Intro to backpacking in the beautiful state of South (and North) Carolina, but summiting the SC state highpoint of Sassafras Mountain.

Join us for a weekend backpack on the Foothills Trail. The Foothills Trail is an approximately 77-mile National Recreation Trail in South and North Carolina. It extends from Oconee State Park in the west to Table Rock State Park in the east. Backpacker Magazine has rated it one of the best long distance trails in the country. The Foothills Trail truly packs in the best of hiking in the east coast in its relatively small trail length. The Foothills Trail is blazed with a white rectangle like the AT.

This will be a rain or shine event and will only be rescheduled for dangerous weather. 
 
We will meet at the carpool location at Indian Trail Park at 7:00 AM. Please be there 10-15 minutes early to make introductions and set up the carpool.  

Hike Overview:
 
Have you ever wanted to try your hand at backpacking but didn't know where to start? Confused about gear or just didn't have anyone to go with? If so, then this is the perfect opportunity for your first backpacking experience!!!

We will be doing a 14.5 mile backpack on the Foothills Trail starting at Laurel Valley Falls and finishing at the Eastern Terminus of the Trail at Table Rock State Park. The highlights of this section include amazing views from Balancing Rock, Sassafras Mountain (3,554 feet) and the highest mountain in South Carolina, camping at an old homesite, and Bald Knob. There is also a short side trail (0.4 miles each way) to Mill Creek Falls.

Day 1: ~ 6 miles (~ 2,000' elevation gain and ~ 400' elevation loss). Elevation gain and losses are approximations.

We will begin at Laurel Valley Trailhead and follow the white rectangular blazes east toward Table Rock State Park. There will be a fair amount of climbing this day as we will be summing the tallest mountain in South Carolina! We will have lunch on the summit of Sassafras and enjoy the views. After lunch, we will continue 1.1 miles to our campsite for the night.
 
Day 2  ~ 8.5 miles ( ~ 800' elevation gain and 2,200' elevation loss).

From the campsite, we continue our hike on the Foothills Trail to our cars approximately 8.5 miles away. Whereas day 1 we did a lot of climbing to the summit of South Carolina's tallest mountain, day 2 will be mostly decending to Table Rock State Park. However, before we reach our cars the Foothills Trail will give us one more amazing view from Bald Knob, which offers a spetacular view of the peidmont below. I anticipate reaching the car no later than 1:00 pm.

Lunch in town is an option and will be made as a group decision.

Shuttle Information: We will need to set up a shuttle for this trip. From Indian Trail Park and Ride, we will drive up in two cars to Laurel Valley Trailhead. Here, both vehicle will drop off the backpackers at Laurel Valley Trailhead while the two shuttle drivers drive abour 20 minutes to Table Rock State Park. One of the shuttle drivers will leave there car there and the other will drive both drivers back to Laurel Valley Trailhead to start the hike. We will have to do the same shuttle at the end of the hike.

Laurel Valley trailhead (35.050945, -82.812757 or just passed 525 Moorefield Memorial Hwy, Sunset, SC 29685).

Table Rock State Park - 158 E Ellison Ln, Pickens, SC 29671

FINAL NOTE AND CONSIDERATION: While this event is open to all, it is also to encourage new backpackers (those who have yet to do a backpack event with the AOC) to come out and join us. The actual number of spots available for this backpack is 8 but the there are 4 spots reserved for new backpackers. How this works is that the actual maximum group size for this hike is 8. Until 4 new members are signed up, they will be given priority on the waitlist and moved over to the event. Once there are 4 new backpackers signed up, then registration will proceed as usual. But anyone can sign up from the start and we'll just reserve the extra spots for the new backpackers. This is a beginners backpack. Idealy, we will have individuals who have signed up who have never gone backpacking before but want to explore trails with a backpack for the first time. As some on this trip will be first time backpackers, we will move all who sign up to the waitlist first and speak to each registrant individually. After speaking with the registrants, we will move you onto the list as established above


Required Items to Bring:

Properly fitted Backpack
Sleeping bag
Sleeping pad
Food
Water (easy access is a plus)
Rain gear
Sturdy, broken in boots/shoes
Extra clothes
Tent or Hammock w/ rainfly
Bear bag or Canister
Headlamp

Bug spray
Sun screen
Waterproof bag for packliner

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

Bear spray
Sunglasses
Hat(s)
Hiking Poles
Stove

SEE AOC CHECKLIST above for more items

If you have any questions about your gear or what you need to bring for this event, please don't hesitate to contact the trip leaders


How to Get There:
Event Directions:

 

Carpool to Event Distance (round trip):290Mile(s)
Carpool Departure Time: 7:00 am
Carpool Location:   Log in for location
Carpool Directions:   Log in for directions
Carpool Cost: Estimated cost per vehicle for this event is $116.00 using a reimbursement rate guideline of $0.400 per mile. The total amount should be divided by the number of people in the vehicle, including the driver. This is a guideline, not a rule, for drivers but the cost should not be higher unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Notes:

THIS IS A BEGINNERS BACKPACKING EVENT, IF YOU HAVE BEEN ON AN AOC BACKPACKING EVENT PRIOR TO THIS EVENT THE TRIP LEADERS RESERVE THE RIGHT TO GIVE 4 FIRST TIME BACKPACKERS PRIORITY. WE WANT TO SHARE THE LOVE OF BACKPACKING WITH MEMBERS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN BACKPACKING BEFORE, BUT HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO COMPLETE AN EVENT OF THIS TYPE WITHOUT PRIOR BACKPACKING EXPERIENCE.

*also be sure to bring a positive attitude and some cash for payments to driver (and possible park fee).


* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.


Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.