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  1. #1

    Default Looking for a Campsite Recommendation in Georgia, South of Jarrard Gap

    Overly Long Background: In my never-ending quest to convert my friends and neighbors into backpackers (misery loves company on the trail), we are taking a novice out this weekend to gauge whether he can handle Linville Gorge later in the month. The plan was to drive him up Blood Mountain (from North to South, the "fun" direction), and camp at the Slaughter Creek tent pads after marching him around for a few additional miles.

    With the new bear canister requirement, we have to alter our route. None of us has a canister, and no one is going to buy one for an overnighter. Besides, the new regulation seems to be a pretty strong indication that the Forest Service doesn't want anyone camping in the designated area. Our plan now is to park at Lake Winfield Scott, hike in on the Slaughter Creek trail, climb the mountain, come back on the Freeman Trail, camp somewhere south of Jarrard Gap, and return to the car by way of the Jarrard Gap trail.

    I remember from 2009 (my last time on that section of the trail) a creek-side campsite approximately 2 miles south of Jarrard Gap, to the left of the AT (as you proceed south), just before a creek crossing. It may have been in/near Miller Gap. It was a great site - outside of the fire ban area, right by moving water, big enough for 6-7 tents + hammocks, etc. It would work for us because it is close enough to Jarrad Gap that we could still get up and get out pretty quickly in the morning.

    My questions:

    1. Does this campsite still exist? I have done some online research and have read references to a campsite in the area having been "returned to nature." I worry that it is the site I am thinking of. I don't want to be the guy who drags his friends that far on the promise of a great campsite, only to find it unusable.

    2. If the site is no longer usable, can anyone recommend any other sites 1-2 miles south of Jarrard Gap that are reasonably close to a reliable water source? Our group will consist of 3 tents and a hammock.

    3. What volume of thru-hikers should we expect this weekend? This is the only weekend we can do this, but I'd prefer not to make life more difficult for the thru-hikers by overcrowding one of the few available campsites.

    I'd appreciate any guidance you would care to provide. Thanks in advance for your help, and thanks for putting up with the new guy.

  2. #2
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    canisters are not required. just reccomended

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    canisters are not required. just reccomended
    I your message on another thread stating that you saw a poster saying the canisters were merely recommended. Where did you see the poster? Anyway, in light of your message, I called the Forest Service seeking clarification. The Public Affairs Officer I spoke to confirmed that, from March 1 to June 1, bear canisters are required from Jarrard Gap to Neels Gap.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by claude balls View Post
    I your message on another thread stating that you saw a poster saying the canisters were merely recommended. Where did you see the poster?
    Those posters are at least a year old and are now superceded with the issuance of the new regulations. If you want to camp between Jarrad and Blood then you are required to have the cannister.

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    To answer your question, the campsite south of Jarrard is still there, or was when I was there last year. Can't seem to find the name of the creek in my books, but I remember it well. You could also camp on the north side of Woody Gap. Climb up behind the rocks and there is a nice site.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Hat View Post
    To answer your question, the campsite south of Jarrard is still there, or was when I was there last year. Can't seem to find the name of the creek in my books, but I remember it well. You could also camp on the north side of Woody Gap. Climb up behind the rocks and there is a nice site.
    Thanks for responding. I appreciate the help.

  7. #7
    Nalgene Ninja flemdawg1's Avatar
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    On my GA section hike last spring, I filled my water at Woody Gap, hiked about another 1/4-1/2 mile in and found a nice campsite on the right. Room for 4 tents there.

  8. #8
    Registered User FatMan's Avatar
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    The creek you are referring to is Lance Creek. The large campsite by the creek has been returned to nature but they have put in about 5 tent pads nearby.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by FatMan View Post
    The creek you are referring to is Lance Creek. The large campsite by the creek has been returned to nature but they have put in about 5 tent pads nearby.
    Thanks FatMan. Would it be safe to assume that I can hang my hammock there as well?

  10. #10
    Registered User FatMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by claude balls View Post
    Thanks FatMan. Would it be safe to assume that I can hang my hammock there as well?
    I am sure you can find a couple of trees that will work for you.

  11. #11
    Registered User Razor's Avatar
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    Lance Creek is a great site for camping . I am sure there will be overflow there every night during thru season. It is the only logical camp before Jarrard . There is a lot of room that we can squeeze tents all around the area.

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