Spring Hiking Series: Jocassee Gorges Management Area
March 20 @ 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Where: Laurel Fork Falls; Jocassee Gorges Management Area
Meet: Spinx gas station, Gowensville, SC, east side, @ 8:30
7.1-miles, moderate; trail type – out and back
Hikers will travel along the Foothills trail, paralleling Laurel Creek, crisscrossing it at times, before reaching the 80-foot high waterfall near the shores of Lake Jocassee. There may also be the opportunity to see the rare Oconee Bells (Shortia galacifolia) in bloom!
The discovery of this rare plant began in June 1787, when a French botanist named André Michaux made his first trip into the Carolina mountains on the quest to discover new plants. While traversing the Jocassee Valley along what is now known as the Whitewater River, Michaux made his most important find, Shortia galacifolia.
Michaux didn’t mention finding this plant anywhere in his journal, he did not name it, nor did he describe it scientifically, because it was not in bloom. But he did collect a specimen that he later dried and mounted; the impetus for over two hundred years of botanical searching.
*Parking is limited at this location and carpooling is mandatory. High clearance vehicles are recommended.
Contact Pam@conservingcarolina.org with additional questions.
Conserving Carolina is sponsoring a Friday hiking series this fall, free, guided, and open to the public. The hikes will meet at various locations (noted for each date) and will leave promptly at 8:45 a.m. Hikers should plan to return to the area in the late afternoon, time varying with group size, distance of hike, and drive time. Car-pooling will be organized at the meeting locations. If you’re coming from an area closer to the trailhead, please contact Pam Torlina (email above and number below) to make other meeting arrangements.
Be sure to wear appropriate clothing and sturdy footwear. Bring a bag lunch and/or snack and plenty of water for yourself. In case of inclement weather, call the Conserving Carolina office, ext. 300, before 8:15 a.m. on the date of the hike, and/or check our Facebook page and calendar. Please also remember to bring any medication that you may need in the event of an emergency (ie: epinephrine, nitroglycerine, insulin, etc.). Hike leaders will carry a first aid kit; however, it may not contain specific medication for your individual needs.
Before each hike, you will be asked to sign a waiver form. For your safety, do not attempt any hike beyond your ability and experience. This schedule is subject to change.