Saturday, July 16, 2011

Chasing Waterfalls - Pigpen and Licklog Falls

I don't know if I've posted it on the blog, but I made a goal to see 10 different waterfalls before leaving SC. So I went hiking again today. There was something different, though... what was it...? Oh, yeah. I had a friend! Since her roommate was going kayaking, Miss Gabby decided to come along with me. We went back to find Pigpen and Licklog Falls on the Foothills/Chattooga Trails. I went there last week and had vague directions and no luck finding the falls.

This time, I did more research and figured out where I had gone wrong, and we found Pigpen and both tiers of Licklog. (I'm not sure where these names came from....) We parked in the lot farther away, so it was about 3 miles, round-trip.

After parking, you hike down the Foothills Trail. The first falls you come to are Pigpen Falls, on Licklog Creek. They're right at the junction of the Foothills Trail and Chattooga Trail.

Not overly impressive, but still pretty. There's a nice pool at the base. If I had kids, I would totally bring them here. Pack a lunch, hike in, play by the waterfall. Here's a view from the front:

It's cute. My favorite thing about this hike was the trail. Every so often, the woods would open up and there were little camping areas, usually along the creek. If I were staying here, I would send for my tent and go camping in a heartbeat.

After leaving Pigpen and continuing on the trail, we heard Licklog long before we saw it. Here it is from the trail:

It's much bigger than Pigpen, and much more epic. The problem is, you have to leave the trail and hike down some pretty steep off-shoot paths to get any closer than that. We continued downstream a bit and found three guys camping, and checked out the Chattooga River. After exploring a bit, we headed back to the falls. We found a not-too-deadly path to get down to the lower tier of Licklog Falls, and the climb down was worth it.

There were also great views of the Chattooga River, into which Licklog Falls empties.

Very pretty and isolated. There's a little camping area partway down the little path to get down to the river. It'd be tough getting your gear down there, but I could totally stay for a week.

At one point, I heard a squeal and a splash, and turned around and saw this:

I'm still not clear on how Gabby became stranded on an island in the middle of the creek, but she found a pretty rock, so it's ok.

We poked around and I took some pictures, and then headed back up to the trail. It was dark and dreary and raining, so we started to head back. The "path" to the upper tier of Licklog Falls was wet and deadly looking, so we passed on that. Here's a closer shot of it from the trail:

There was a little camping area at the top of the falls, and you can see right over the precipice. We considered trying to find a barrel and riding down the falls.

All said, I think this is my new favorite trail, and I would so love to camp along there somewhere, sometime. My favorite falls are still Yellow Branch Falls. This was a nice adventure, though, and it was awesome to have a hiking buddy! After today, I've seen (and blogged about) 7 different falls... 3 to go!

As promised in my last hiking post, I have an awkward (and very blurry) picture. :-P

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