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  1. #1

    Default 3-4 day hike in North Carolina

    Anyone have suggestions for a 3-4 day hike in NC, or NC/TN? It doesn't have to be AT, I just want to get out and put some miles in. Nothing too difficult at this point preferably. It doesn't have to be a flat and level cakewalk though. I have no clue how many miles I could bang out in a day but I know 5 or so won't be any problem. It's not so much about the mileage as it is getting out and putting in some miles, camping, shaking down some gear.

    Late September or the first few days of October is what I'm looking at.

    Thanks in advance.

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    MD/WV is another possibility, especially if there are any good suggestions made. So far I have only one thing planned for my vacation and that's only taking up 4 days.

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    Shining Rock Wilderness is a great 3 to 4 day loop hike.

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    Thanks, Rasty. That looks like I'd be putting together all or parts of four, maybe 5 smaller trails if I'm reading the map correctly, looking here: http://www.hikewnc.info/trailheads/p...ddle_maps.html

    Looks like Fork Mountain Trail and Green Mountain Trail are the largest chunks with small parts of others. Obviously you're experienced with that one. Am I reading it correctly?

    Now on to the dumb questions that I know I can find some answers to with more research: Are these blazed/marked well like the AT or is there more need for maps and/or GPS? Not that I want to use shelters but are there? Are there designated camping areas or can you camp most anywhere? Where's a good place to get some good scoop other than pestering the good folks here?

    I know the weather in the NC mountains can get whacky whenever it catches a mood, but what are average temps? I've always lived on the coast (just up the road from you in Jville, Rasty), and have only peripherally paid attention to what the weather was like in the mountains. I stayed out there in a cabin (Boone) in June a couple times and November (Maggie Valley) once. It was actually rather warm for November when I was there.

  5. #5
    Registered User Drybones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasty View Post
    Shining Rock Wilderness is a great 3 to 4 day loop hike.
    The Art Loeb Trail looks like it would be a nice 3-day hike. I'm trying to get a small group together from the Birmingham area to hike it mid October.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee Rules!:1332301
    Thanks, Rasty. That looks like I'd be putting together all or parts of four, maybe 5 smaller trails if I'm reading the map correctly, looking here: http://www.hikewnc.info/trailheads/p...ddle_maps.html

    Looks like Fork Mountain Trail and Green Mountain Trail are the largest chunks with small parts of others. Obviously you're experienced with that one. Am I reading it correctly?

    Now on to the dumb questions that I know I can find some answers to with more research: Are these blazed/marked well like the AT or is there more need for maps and/or GPS? Not that I want to use shelters but are there? Are there designated camping areas or can you camp most anywhere? Where's a good place to get some good scoop other than pestering the good folks here?

    I know the weather in the NC mountains can get whacky whenever it catches a mood, but what are average temps? I've always lived on the coast (just up the road from you in Jville, Rasty), and have only peripherally paid attention to what the weather was like in the mountains. I stayed out there in a cabin (Boone) in June a couple times and November (Maggie Valley) once. It was actually rather warm for November when I was there.
    Look at the shining creek trailhead off of 276. Lots of good loops to Cold mountain, the BSA camp and the Art Loeb trail. Weather should be great at that time. Its a wilderness area with good camping. No shelters, blazes or designated sites. Bring a map and compass. Some of the trail intersections are interesting.

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    It sounds like you are new to this. I always take newbies to the Standing Indian loop. It has easy terrain, a few great views, good water, and if there are any problems there are several side trails and forest roads to cut the trip short.

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    Brand spankin' new, Yellow. Thanks for the recommendation.
    Last edited by Coffee Rules!; 09-01-2012 at 16:47.

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    The weather in the southern Nantahala National Forest is generally a little milder than what you encounter in the more northern NC mountains in the Boone, Roan Mt., NC/TN area, etc. at that time of year. The mountains are just as high as their northern brothers, but seem to be protected a little more for some reason - geographic orientation or something, I don't know. Pick an area anywhere between Dicks Creek Gap in Georgia and Fontana Dam in NC, and you'll get a nice mix of terrain from flat, well-graded to challenging climbs, from rhododendrum tunnels to 360 degree views from at least 3 firetowers, plus a great whitewater river, and more challenging climbs. PM me if you want more info, I'm very familiar with the area

  10. #10
    Registered User Theosus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yellowsirocco View Post
    It sounds like you are new to this. I always take newbies to the Standing Indian loop. It has easy terrain, a few great views, good water, and if there are any problems there are several side trails and forest roads to cut the trip short.
    I love the look of standing Indian, and the fact that you don't have to shuttle suits me well. I'm going to do my first AT trip there over spring break...even if I have to fight the thrus. Maybe I'll just go SOBO around the loop.

    Ill second Art Loeb. Did part of it a few weeks ago. Great views and pretty easy terrain on mount Tennent. Mount Pisgah is right down the road on the BRP, a nice two hour out and back, if you have the time.

    http://theosus1.wordpress.com/2012/0...n-from-summer/
    Please don't read my blog at theosus1.Wordpress.com
    "I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. Thank God for Search and Rescue" - Robert Frost (first edit).

  11. #11
    Aquonehostel Aquonehostel's Avatar
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    Have a looked at the Bartram (BT) & Appalachian (AT) Trail loop, starting Nantahala Lake NC to Wayah Bald (BT), Wayah to Cheoah (AT) Cheoah back to the Lake (BT), you can park at Aquone hostel and we will get you to the start point, hold your drop boxes, and pick you up at several locations along the way for more details 828 321 2340 Aquone Hostel

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    Coffee - If you go to Shining Rock this picture will be very helpful. The picture is looking North on The Art Loeb at the Shining Rock Gap Intersection.

    shining_rock_tr2.jpg

    A great loop for three day trip
    -Big East Fork Parking Lot, Shining Creek Trail to Shining Rock, Art Loeb to Deep Gap (Dry Camp) or Cold Mountain
    -Art Loeb to BSA Camp, Little East Fork (Good campsite about 1/3 of the way up)
    -Shining Rock Gap to Old Butt Trail back to car

    A great loop for four day trip
    -Big East Fork Parking Lot, Shining Creek Trail to Shining Rock, Art Loeb to Deep Gap (Dry Camp) or Cold Mountain
    -Art Loeb to BSA Camp, Little East Fork, Ivestor trail to Ivestor Gap (Good Campsite)
    -Ivestor Gap to Black Balsam Knob, Art Loeb trail to Shining Rock Gap (Good Campsites)
    -Shining Rock Gap to Old Butt Trail back to car

  13. #13

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    so many trails, so little time!

  14. #14
    Registered User Drybones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquonehostel View Post
    Have a looked at the Bartram (BT) & Appalachian (AT) Trail loop, starting Nantahala Lake NC to Wayah Bald (BT), Wayah to Cheoah (AT) Cheoah back to the Lake (BT), you can park at Aquone hostel and we will get you to the start point, hold your drop boxes, and pick you up at several locations along the way for more details 828 321 2340 Aquone Hostel
    There's a 54.8 mile loop starting at the NOC on the AT and looping back via the Bartam Trail. This hike is on my to do list when weather cools.

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    I have a Bartram Trail guidebook if anyone wants it, free! PM me. Bartram is nice. Art Loab is sweet too.

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    Book is going to Hoop. Hopefully after he hikes the BT, he will pass it along.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by yellowsirocco View Post
    It sounds like you are new to this. I always take newbies to the Standing Indian loop. It has easy terrain, a few great views, good water, and if there are any problems there are several side trails and forest roads to cut the trip short.
    +1 on Standing Indian Loop. Just took the wife there this weekend. Great hike and the northern ascent of Albert Mountain is a fun rock climb with great views. We did it as an overnight leaving from Standing Indian Campground on the Kimsey Creek Trail and camping at Beech Gap on day 1, then hiking over Albert Mtn. and back to Standing Indian on the Long Branch Trail on day 2. But it could easily be divided into 3 shorter days of hiking with 2 overnights. Plenty of good campsites all along the way. Have fun!
    Life has no remote control, you have to get up and move to change it!

  19. #19
    Aquonehostel Aquonehostel's Avatar
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    Default Bartram Loop Trail

    Longsdale Loop.jpg

    We have had several hikers that have done this trail, views from Wayah Bald, Wesser Bald & Cheoah Bald are outstaning.

    North Carolina Longsdale Loop
    5 Day, 58 mile hike:

    "Hikers seeking a great hike should consider the 58 mile loop hike, utilizing the Appalachian and NC Bartram Trails, starting and ending at Aquone Hostel, Nantahala NC. 1-828-321-2340

    Since this hike starts and finishes at the same place, Aquone Hostel can be used as a "base camp". This will allow you to take advantage of Aquone Hostel lodging and great home cooked country food, the night before and the night after the hike.

    You can leave your vehicle at the Hostel and arrange a shuttle to the start point, arrange for pick-up along the route. Don’t forget to ask about our slack-packing, this way you enjoy the hike with the minimum amount of discomfort. 1 828 321 2340

    Day One 8.1 miles: The hike starts out on the Bartram trail (BT) (Yellow Blaze) at Nantahala Lake (SR 1310) Aquone hostel will shuttle you to the start point and will advise where necessary. The climb out from the lake is very steep, so aim to take it easy, plan to have lunch at FR711, the hike from there is a lot easier. At some point the AT will join the BT and both trails will guide you to Wayah Bald, do spend some time at Wayah Bald Tower 5,342’ the views are outstanding. The AT and BT, will guide you from the tower, loosing height until the AT & BT go their separate ways. Note: The AT will turn left and the BT will turn right ( To Franklin), make sure you follow the White Blaze, not Yellow. A short distance down the AT you will come to Wayah Shelter 4759’, this is where you will spend your first night.
    Day Two: Wayah Shelter to Wesser Shelter (10.6 miles), After a good night's rest and breakfast at Wayah Shelter a nice easy hike to Wesser Shelter 4115’, take the AT North to Cold Springs Shelter (4.8 miles) where I recommend you have lunch. Water is available here, be sure to treat or filter the water. Once again take the AT North to Telico Gap (3.6 miles). Please note this is a Hostel Pick-up point should you wish to spend the night 1-828-321-2340 you can call just before or from the gap, reception is poor so you may have to move around a little to get a decent signal. The distance from Telico Gap to Wesser shelter miles, is 2.2 with quite a hard climb to Wesser Tower 4,627 feet, so take your time, the views are outstanding so it’s worth the climb. Note: The Water Point is 150 yards above the shelter, and you will pass it on your way in so do stop and fill-up before arrival at the shelter.


    Day Three: From Wesser Shelter to Sassafras Shelter 4330(12.6 miles) Take the trail North to the NOC SR 19 (5.7 miles), the trail is very strenuous practically downhill all the way and can be very demanding on your knees and ankle joints, so take your time. NOC (2,100’) is a great place to have lunch and they serve outstanding ‘Hiker-Burgers’. After lunch cross the bridge and rail tracks at the NOC and begin your ascent to Sassafras Shelter 6.9 miles where you will spend the night, take plenty of water breaks and frequent stops, because of the tremendous height gain.

    Day Four: Sassafras Shelter to Percy Creek Campsite (15.8 miles) Take the AT North 1.1 miles to Cheoah Bald 5,064’ where the trail will join section 7 of the Bartram Trail, this is the Northern Terminus of the BT in NC, follow the white & yellow blazes until the AT will head North and the BT will head South, take the BT south (Yellow Blaze) descending 8.6 miles to the hydro ‘Power-Plant’ Nantahala White Water put-in point 2,212’. (Some of the trail will cross the railway track and follow a cycle trail for 1.5 miles. This is a good lunch spot and a Hostel Pick-up point should you wish to return to the hostel. Looking at the ‘Power-Plant’ the trail-head (section 6) is on the right, follow the gravel road up to the water tower, where the trail will then enter the forest, follow the trail 5.6 miles to Percy Creek campsite, there are several springs and creeks here, an ideal place to spend the night.

    Day Five:
    Percy Creek Campsite to Nantahala Lake (10.9 & Finish) Head South on the Bartram trail to Appletree Campsite (5.6 miles), you will meet Junaluska Road and also a trail-head sign, this is also a Hostel Pick-up point. Continue by crossing the road and walk a 20 yards to your right, you will see the trail follows a gravel road to below Nantahala Dam (2.9 miles), from the dam base climb some steps and follow the trail into the forest, there are some great views of Nantahala Lake 3013’ as it takes you to your finish point (2.4 miles)
    I highly recommend that the Bartram Trail Maps be obtained and used in planning any hike on the Bartram. The maps are available on the NC Bartram Trail Society website online store. http://ncbartramtrail.org (or available at Ranger Stations). The cost is only $15.00 for the entire set of seven maps, and you can use maps 1-4 to plan your hikes of the rest of the NC Bartram Trail. You may also want to consider becoming a member of the NC Bartram Trail Society.

    As you hike the NC Bartram Trail, keep in mind that you will be taking a trip back in early US history. The trail follows, as near as possible, the travels of William Bartram through the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina in the mid 1770's
    It's possible to make this a 3 day, 40 mile hike or less by getting a shuttle from Aqoune Hostel and arranging to be met at any of the Hostel Pick-up points.

  20. #20
    Registered User Waterbuffalo's Avatar
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    Fontana to NOC is a great few days. Park at NOC and get a shuttle from Jeff and Nancy at the Hike inn to Fontana.
    "Sometimes you have to make a clean break from the past to make a new beginning"

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