March 12, 2015
Bearcamp Creek Campsite to Stealth Site near Fish Hatchery Road
The hike out of Bearcamp Creek is dotted with moss and mountain laurel. We crossed and re-crossed the creek and thirty minutes after starting we reached the spur trail to Hilliard Falls. The falls are beautiful. The water is not strong, but it gently cascades over a slide-like rock for 50 feet. One (1) mile past the falls the Foothills follows a wide logging road for miles. Around mid-morning we reached the Bad Creek Access and rested and ate a late breakfast. The next section ran through Whitewater Falls. It is a steep descent and equally daunting ascent after the river. We could barely see Upper Whitewater Falls in the distance. Today was the hardest day of hiking for me. My legs were hurting from the constant up and down, with very little even ground to rest. My spirits were low when we were about out of Whitewater Falls. I looked up and saw a nearly 50 degree ascent up the side. For some reason, this was hysterical. I looked at Doug and said, “Just give it to me right in the gut. I don’t want the Foothills any other way.” The ensuing laughter propelled me the hill. We then started the last nearly eight (8) miles up from Sloan Bridge to Fish Hatchery.
The section above Whitewater Falls was very much like the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina with pine needles, gentle slopes, and expansive views. As soon as we hiked past Sloan Bridge the terrain totally morphed into a lush temperate rainforest of mountain laurel, moss, greenery and dampness. When we hit Fish Hatchery Road Doug and I made the decision that we couldn’t hike to Burrell’s Ford, but would stealth camp for the night.
Total mileage is 17 miles.