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Stale Cracker
09-08-2005, 08:13
The guide book talks about a now abandoned town, Lost Cove, just up river from the Bridge South of Erwin over the Nolichucky. Now private property they say. Has any body been to this town, or know the story?

Great setting for another Freddie Kruger episode.

Jaybird
09-08-2005, 08:51
The guide book talks about a now abandoned town, Lost Cove, just up river from the Bridge South of Erwin over the Nolichucky. Now private property they say. Has any body been to this town, or know the story?Great setting for another Freddie Kruger episode.


AGE OLD STORY: railroad town founded....railroad leaves....town dies.


source: WJSK-TV (Johnson City,TN) "Archives of Appalachia" E.T.S.U. 30 min. documentary.


"Lost Cove and Unaka Springs." Pat Alderman discusses North Carolina ghost town accessible only by rail and by foot. When the railroad ceased to run through the town, the town died. :D

Frolicking Dinosaurs
09-08-2005, 08:56
History of Western North Carolina[/u] - Chapters 13-14 @ http://www.webroots.org/library/usahist/hownc009.html]A MOONSHINER'S HEAVEN. Forty years ago Lost Cove was almost inaccessible,
except by trails; but last year (1912) a wagon road over three miles long
was constructed to it over the ridges from Poplar Station on the C. C. &
0. Railroad. Such a secluded place was a great temptation to moonshiners,
and when to its inaccessibility was added the fact that it was in dispute
between Tennessee and North Carolina, its fascinations became
irresistible. Accordingly John D. Tipton was accused of having begun
business by the light of the moon, as was evidenced by sundry indictments
in the United States court at Asheville. His example was soon followed by
others; but, whenever it appeared to Judge R. P. Dick. that the alledged
stills were in the disputed territory, he directed the discharge of the
defendants. However, a mighty change has taken place in Lost Cove within
the past few years, and not only is there no moonshining there now, even
when fair Luna is at the full,. but the good people will not suffer the
"critter" to be brought in from Tennessee. And better still, in 1910 they
built a school house and a church, and voted a special school tax, the
first school having been taught in 1911.
Info re: location of town is at:
http://www.mountaintravelguide.com/Hiking%20Trails/North%20Carolina/yancey/Lost%20Cove%20Trail.htm

zephyr1034
09-09-2005, 00:47
Great setting for another Freddie Kruger episode.[/QUOTE]================================================== ===========
Lost Cove (along with Dudleytown, Conn) plays a prominent part in the novel "Some Other Place The Right Place" by Donald Harington. Sometimes I think I'm the only one who knows this author exists. He's written some great novels, mostly about Arkansas. In many libraries, he's misfiled as "Harrington" but his name only has one R.

Frolicking Dinosaur provides a link as to how you can get into Lost Cove. It's 3.5 miles down a dirt road from 19-W. Since the ghost town is on the river, that means it's 3.5 miles back to the highway uphill.

I would not advise hiking the tracks into Lost Cove. That's trespassing, and railroads have gotten tough with that lately, especially since 9/11.

Morning Glory
09-10-2005, 20:44
I've now been to the Lost Cove twice...most recently in June. Walking the tracks is the only way I know of getting there, although I hear there is another way in. There are only about 4 buildings still standing. Vandals have pretty much ruined the place. Also, it looks one cabin that is still in tact is is being used as a hunting cabin, since there was some cookware and firewood inside it, along with a few canned goods. A lot of fishermen walk the tracks. It is an absolutely beautiful walk since it takes you right down the middle of the Nolichucky gorge.

buddha_child
12-03-2007, 02:21
Got back from there today... hiked over Fattop Mtn, NC downhill most of the way. Got a little lost but had good maps and a compass. Came into Erwin via Railroad tracks. It's all downhill this way. :) i will post pictures. -Elizabeth

Tennessee Viking
12-03-2007, 03:20
The guide book talks about a now abandoned town, Lost Cove, just up river from the Bridge South of Erwin over the Nolichucky. Now private property they say. Has any body been to this town, or know the story?

Great setting for another Freddie Kruger episode.
Some friends and I are looking into researching Lost Cove. Its really not an easy place to get to. From what I have been told, Lost Cove was a remote logging settlement at the base of Flattop Mountain in the Nolichucky River Gorge. Residents used to hop the train into Unaka Springs to get supplies. When the railroad business moved from Unaka Springs to Erwin. Lost Cove became too remote for the residents. One day they decided to pack up and leave. Leaving their houses, vehicles, and buried loved ones.

The easiest accesses are from the rafting launch at Popular NC, hike about 5 miles along railroad. There is a spur trail over a steep hill or look for the railroad spur that runs into the settlement.

The other is to park at the Chestoa Rec Area at the Nolichucky River trailhead for the AT. Hike the railroad as well. There is another parking spot near the remains of the old Unaka Springs hotel. It is another 5 miles but the grade will be all uphill. This is a bit more dangerous direction because the trains are rounding around the gorge at high speeds. People say they didnt see the train until it almost on top of them.

There is one more route. Love Cove residents also used a timber road on top of Flattop when they had to move their timber and make supply runs. This is the route I am trying to locate. A couple websites say there is a blue blazed forest road that will lead to the timber road and down into the settlement, but I could never find it. It is supposed accessed from eastern side of Flattop near Souix NC. Taking WhiteOak Flats road up to FSR 278, you follow it until you see the road. But there are several FSR's and timber trails along it. It is hard to tell what it is. I took the first gated road, and hiked to the very end. But I believe, I hiked along the eastern ridge of Flattop near the Toecane area.

Another option but requires a bit of bushwhacking is on the western side of Flattop Mtn. Using the AT or westend of FSR 278, hike up to the top of Devil Creek Gap where the AT crosses the road. There will be a number of junctions here. A couple of old timber roads and the main FSR 278 leading up to some open meadows. Follow the bottom timber road just above the AT. After about a mile and half, you will come to a grassy open flat area. You will have an awesome view of No Business, Temple Ridge, and Unaka. There is a posted blue blaze forest trail at the right side of the field near a gate. It is listed as Devils Creek Trail. This trail has not been maintained in a while. It is full of rodo and is very narrow. I could only get to the first cascade crossing before it started raining. But around the 2nd creek crossing, you should be able to bushwhack to the top of Lost Cove.

Miss Janet and a friend of hers know of some of the exact routes

buddha_child
12-05-2007, 17:31
www.freewebs.com/lostcove (http://www.freewebs.com/lostcove)

bekkastern
04-03-2008, 18:57
My father and grandfather owned half of Lost Cove in the 50's and early 60's. I have never been there but would love to visit as I have many pictures and stories that my father left me. They always left their car in Irwin, TN and walked the railroad tressel. My mother still writes "snail mail" with old friends in Irwin.





The guide book talks about a now abandoned town, Lost Cove, just up river from the Bridge South of Erwin over the Nolichucky. Now private property they say. Has any body been to this town, or know the story?

Great setting for another Freddie Kruger episode.

Tennessee Viking
04-03-2008, 20:46
With the help of Buddha Child, I am heading to Lost Cove pretty soon. I have hiked down to the property line before having to hike out. I am planning to take the approach from the gap in between the peaks on Flattop again as soon as the roads open. It should be the next week or so.

ncmtns
04-04-2008, 08:25
Wasnt too bad a hike. Came in from Erwin side. I was disappointed how the area has been trashed out and most the buildings burned. It held a certain mystic in the wonder of the history of it. Glad I went but dont think Id go again. Its definitely a party area in the summer. The graveyard was interesting.

double j
04-06-2008, 11:55
whats the easiest way to access this i think im gonna head there maybe sat...... what exit and roads will i need to know and markings thanks ......

veteran
04-06-2008, 13:03
Another Lost Cove Link. (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=29311&highlight=lost+cove)

spthibault
01-19-2010, 03:28
:welcomeI am planning to hike out to Lost Cove on the 25th, I will be approaching form the Gap to the South of town on Bald Mtn. Any who want to go are welcome. It should be 5 of us currently scheduled to go with me, but the more the merrier. Also, anyone who knows the trail who wants to go would be wonderful, haha, as this will be all 5 of us's first time. at least with less foilage we'll be able to to see further and read the topo better. I'll try to bring back some pictures, and current reports on the state of the town.:banana

dmax
01-19-2010, 08:54
From an earlier post from a few years ago it stated not to go up the tracks. This is the way I always go. I also fish this river ALOT. According to the game wardens it is perfectly fine to walk the tracks. He even will ask me all the time how many people are up in the gorge or if I was up at the state line. If I hadn't made it to the line he throws on a daypack and heads up the tracks.

If you do take the tracks, keep on ear open. Listen for the singing of the tracts and always keep looking behind you. There has been a couple of times I didn't hear it till it was right up on me. Also don't let a dog run loose on the tracks. They don't know to get off the tracts when the train comes.

I don't know if he will be up there at this time of year, but there is a caretaker for the property. If you act civil and respect the signs on some of the houses you will be o.k. If you head up there and start drinking and carry on, you'll be sure to meet him.

With some snow up there you might get some nice pictures. I went last year in January with a couple of friends. There's not too many house left standing but there is a few out buildings. And don't forget to visit the graveyard. Have Fun!

Tennessee Viking
01-19-2010, 09:55
From an earlier post from a few years ago it stated not to go up the tracks. This is the way I always go. I also fish this river ALOT. According to the game wardens it is perfectly fine to walk the tracks. He even will ask me all the time how many people are up in the gorge or if I was up at the state line. If I hadn't made it to the line he throws on a daypack and heads up the tracks.

If you do take the tracks, keep on ear open. Listen for the singing of the tracts and always keep looking behind you. There has been a couple of times I didn't hear it till it was right up on me. Also don't let a dog run loose on the tracks. They don't know to get off the tracts when the train comes.

I don't know if he will be up there at this time of year, but there is a caretaker for the property. If you act civil and respect the signs on some of the houses you will be o.k. If you head up there and start drinking and carry on, you'll be sure to meet him.

With some snow up there you might get some nice pictures. I went last year in January with a couple of friends. There's not too many house left standing but there is a few out buildings. And don't forget to visit the graveyard. Have Fun!
I don't think Tennessee Wildlife or Forest Service really care who walks the tracks except for the railroad company.

There is a way to access Lost Cove from the middle of Flattop Mtn using USFS 293. But the road is only open mid-April to first snow fall. And there is some unofficial trail routes. But this is the easiest way to access Lost Cove of only 2.5 miles compared to 6 miles.

moytoy
01-19-2010, 10:08
Also, it looks one cabin that is still in tact is is being used as a hunting cabin, since there was some cookware and firewood inside it, along with a few canned goods. A lot of fishermen walk the tracks.

Please stay out of my Living Room. I'm gonna shoot these dang trespassers.

Morning Glory
01-19-2010, 10:36
Please stay out of my Living Room. I'm gonna shoot these dang trespassers.

Actually, since I posted this almost 5 years ago, I've been up there one last time. Sorry to tell you, but your living room doesn't exist anymore. In fact, last time I was there about 4 years ago, there was only one building left partially standing. Who knows if it is even still up anymore. Stupid vandals have ruined the place. The easiest hike really is going up the tracks just past Uncle Johnny's. It's about exactly 3 miles down the tracks and then there is a trail that is about a mile long that leads you to the Lost Cove.

veteran
01-29-2010, 02:26
I don't think Tennessee Wildlife or Forest Service really care who walks the tracks except for the railroad company.

There is a way to access Lost Cove from the middle of Flattop Mtn using USFS 293. But the road is only open mid-April to first snow fall. And there is some unofficial trail routes. But this is the easiest way to access Lost Cove of only 2.5 miles compared to 6 miles.

I think it is USFS 278, and this is a TOPO Map (http://terraserver-usa.com/map.aspx?t=2&s=12&lon=-82.391404&lat=36.060793&w=800&h=600&opt=0&f=Tahoma,Verdana,Arial&fs=8&fc=ffffff99) that has the old trail from Flattop Mtn. I don't know what condition the trail is in.

This trail provides access to the deserted community of Lost Cove. Follow timber access road 5505 and the blue blazes. Watch for switchbacks.

http://www.mountaintravelguide.com/Hiking%20Trails/North%20Carolina/yancey/Lost%20Cove%20Trail.htm

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=7926&stc=1&d=1264876077

Tennessee Viking
01-29-2010, 09:47
Your correct. I had another USFS road on the brain.

tzbrown
01-29-2010, 10:02
Very interesting read, Christy A. Smith has a copy of her thesis available online about the settlement for detailed research and further information.
http://etd-submit.etsu.edu/etd/theses/available/etd-1112107-162048/unrestricted/SmithC121407f.pdf (http://[URL="http://etd-submit.etsu.edu/etd/theses/available/etd-1112107-162048/unrestricted/SmithC121407f.pdf")

max patch
01-29-2010, 10:20
Very interesting read, Christy A. Smith has a copy of her thesis available online about the settlement for detailed research and further information.
http://etd-submit.etsu.edu/etd/theses/available/etd-1112107-162048/unrestricted/SmithC121407f.pdf (http://[URL="http://etd-submit.etsu.edu/etd/theses/available/etd-1112107-162048/unrestricted/SmithC121407f.pdf")

corrected url

http://etd-submit.etsu.edu/etd/theses/available/etd-1112107-162048/unrestricted/SmithC121407f.pdf

BlistersBCB1995
03-24-2011, 13:35
whats the easiest way to access this i think im gonna head there maybe sat...... what exit and roads will i need to know and markings thanks ......
Jackson love exit. Take first right. Go past Holiday Inn. Take first left. Follow river. Uncle Johnnys is at a four way stop go straight. After you go up a little ways, you will see a little gravel spot where they have a gate. Go down that trail get on the rail road tracks, and you will come to a short bridge. Go past the bridge a little ways. After a while you will come to a place we call "The Walls". There's a huge rock on your left there should also be a little trail beside it. Go up there and follow the old jeep trail, and you will come to the lost cove(:

BlistersBCB1995
03-24-2011, 13:46
Some friends and I are looking into researching Lost Cove. Its really not an easy place to get to. From what I have been told, Lost Cove was a remote logging settlement at the base of Flattop Mountain in the Nolichucky River Gorge. Residents used to hop the train into Unaka Springs to get supplies. When the railroad business moved from Unaka Springs to Erwin. Lost Cove became too remote for the residents. One day they decided to pack up and leave. Leaving their houses, vehicles, and buried loved ones.

The easiest accesses are from the rafting launch at Popular NC, hike about 5 miles along railroad. There is a spur trail over a steep hill or look for the railroad spur that runs into the settlement.

The other is to park at the Chestoa Rec Area at the Nolichucky River trailhead for the AT. Hike the railroad as well. There is another parking spot near the remains of the old Unaka Springs hotel. It is another 5 miles but the grade will be all uphill. This is a bit more dangerous direction because the trains are rounding around the gorge at high speeds. People say they didnt see the train until it almost on top of them.

There is one more route. Love Cove residents also used a timber road on top of Flattop when they had to move their timber and make supply runs. This is the route I am trying to locate. A couple websites say there is a blue blazed forest road that will lead to the timber road and down into the settlement, but I could never find it. It is supposed accessed from eastern side of Flattop near Souix NC. Taking WhiteOak Flats road up to FSR 278, you follow it until you see the road. But there are several FSR's and timber trails along it. It is hard to tell what it is. I took the first gated road, and hiked to the very end. But I believe, I hiked along the eastern ridge of Flattop near the Toecane area.

Another option but requires a bit of bushwhacking is on the western side of Flattop Mtn. Using the AT or westend of FSR 278, hike up to the top of Devil Creek Gap where the AT crosses the road. There will be a number of junctions here. A couple of old timber roads and the main FSR 278 leading up to some open meadows. Follow the bottom timber road just above the AT. After about a mile and half, you will come to a grassy open flat area. You will have an awesome view of No Business, Temple Ridge, and Unaka. There is a posted blue blaze forest trail at the right side of the field near a gate. It is listed as Devils Creek Trail. This trail has not been maintained in a while. It is full of rodo and is very narrow. I could only get to the first cascade crossing before it started raining. But around the 2nd creek crossing, you should be able to bushwhack to the top of Lost Cove.

Miss Janet and a friend of hers know of some of the exact routes
Actually. It's really easy to get too. Me and my dad go all the time. I personally havent been all the way up, but we have camped right before you go up the jeep trail. And you say that people used to hop the train to get to town. That's wrong. There is a truck still up there I think. You can barely tell that it's a truck for all the vandalism, but that truck someone would drive it down the old trail, and there used to be a loading dock there. Well they had a crane that would pick the truck up from the loading dock and put it on the train. They would go to town and get what they needed and catch the next train back to the cove. There are no longer any buildings up there from what I understand from my dad. However, there are 2 graveyards still there. One is VERY hard to find, and only a few people have found it. And also your wrong about why the cove is abandoned. The people that lived there, started gettin very very sick. Diseases started goin around really bad. If you read the headstones in the graveyard that's hard to find, you will find this out. But they eventually almost died out. So the people that were still livin there, decided that it was just better to leave. So they hopped the train, and left. Ever since then it's been called "The Lost Cove". We also call the bridge "Imbred Bridge". And if you go up the trail beside the Imbred Bridge, you will then find "The Devils Washbowl" That is a VERY beautiful place. I have pics on my face book and myspace. If any would like too see these pictures.

moytoy
03-24-2011, 19:08
If you are really interested in a good accounting of Lost Cove and its people read this.
http://etd-submit.etsu.edu/etd/theses/available/etd-1112107-162048/unrestricted/SmithC121407f.pdf

Grits
03-24-2011, 20:39
A great hike.

PlaneLady
05-20-2011, 08:35
I'm trying to find out how the road conditions are getting to the trail from 19W. My husband and I tried this once and got turned around, as I remember it was a rocky dirt road requiring 4 wheel drive --- which I don't have in my little Honda. I've read several accounts, one says to try forest service road 278.

I'd also try the tracks IF the trestles are short -- too old to try and outrun a train. I have a newspaper accounting where my grandfather went in back in the 60s and talks about them hanging on for dear life under a trestle because of the train --- not my cup of tea!

Any info appreciated...

10-K
05-20-2011, 08:40
You do not want to do the RR bridge... Way, way too much traffic and you can't hear them coming.

As for the road - it'd probably be easier to park on 19W at Spivey Gap and just walk the AT the 1.5 miles up to the service road.

Tennessee Viking
05-20-2011, 09:25
I'm trying to find out how the road conditions are getting to the trail from 19W. My husband and I tried this once and got turned around, as I remember it was a rocky dirt road requiring 4 wheel drive --- which I don't have in my little Honda. I've read several accounts, one says to try forest service road 278.

I'd also try the tracks IF the trestles are short -- too old to try and outrun a train. I have a newspaper accounting where my grandfather went in back in the 60s and talks about them hanging on for dear life under a trestle because of the train --- not my cup of tea!

Any info appreciated...Here is another thread with some info...http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=10164

and a hiker friend of mine made this page. http://www.freewebs.com/lostcove/

I have been there. Its quite the backcountry experience. The only directions I have are word of mouth.

There is somewhat easier access by going over Flattop Mountain. When I say somewhat easier...this route is shorter but there is a good change in elevation and requires a little bushwhack.

This is the only book that comes close to describing the route. Highland Trails (http://books.google.com/books?id=lWdFGHXlkecC&pg=PA73&lpg=PA73&dq=highland+trails+lost+cove&source=bl&ots=PMC9KlaDR4&sig=x4Kn0NDq55feJasnBqABEr093g4&hl=en&ei=H2TWTeGGNIvUgAesob2mBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false). The Joe Lewis Fields/Lost Cove Trail.

Drive south on 19W past the Spivey Gap Rec Area and the AT. Take the first left onto Whiteoak Flats Road. Then take a left onto a gated USFS road (278). It its only open mid April to Winter time. Drive about 2 miles to a small turnout. The road becomes very rough after this point, so stop here. From the turnout, walk up past a small gate onto an old road turned trail to Joe Lewis Fields. This is Lost Cove Trail. Head westward in the fields. And look for a trail that drops down toward the gorge. Avoid the path that continues toward the peak.

I traveled down the trail for about 1.5-2.0 miles until I found a worn path with blazed ribbon going down a drainage. This is where the bushwhack comes in. From here, I found and lost and found again hillside trail. But I found the property boundary fairly easily (a series of trees with red blazing paint). Then walked into Lost Cove onto the main dirt road.

Buhzerker
06-17-2011, 00:20
If you use the RR track to go to Lost Cove, Contact the RR and get a schedule of when the Trains will be on the track. I have walked the track a few times and had no problems. Watch for snakes in the summer time, as they love the rocks on the tracks.

tdeaderick
12-27-2013, 08:18
I recently published a science-fiction novel ("Flightsuit (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H1TC8C6)") that is based on Lost Cove and Bumpas Cove. I've hiked to the Lost Cove many times, and I'm sure we all enjoy and appreciate many of the same elements of this experience. Here's an excerpt from the book…

"Sometimes the houses were gone entirely, leaving only smooth brown river stones stacked to form a house's crude foundations. Each spring daffodils bloomed. They marked boundaries of porch and path between the little houses where mothers and daughters planted them. They'd not realized all their hands went to would be left behind and forgotten. The wood and stones that had sheltered them from freezing cold winters and the deluge downpours of Tennessee summer rains crumbled without human attention, but the most fragile efforts they'd laid their hands to, the flowers, outlasted all. The flowers bloomed every summer, with none to admire them."

I hope the book is especially enjoyable for those who have actually been to these places and I welcome local feedback and reviews. It's available at Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H1TC8C6

Hikes in Rain
12-27-2013, 09:08
Wow. Science fiction, hiking and ghost towns! I gotta check this one out.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk (http://tapatalk.com/m?id=1)

tdeaderick
12-27-2013, 09:17
Awesome! I'd really love some local reviews. I hope you enjoy it!

tdeaderick
12-27-2013, 09:25
By the way, the paperback version should be listed at that link within a few days. The eBook is available now.

tdeaderick
01-28-2014, 09:36
The science fiction book (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H1TC8C6) I set in the Lost Cove is doing really well. 560 copies sold in January!


I received permission from the ETSU Archives of Appalachia to use the cool train wreck photograph from Christy's excellent thesis on the book's Facebook page (www.facebook.com/FlightsuitBook (http://www.facebook.com/FlightsuitBook)). I can't wait to take this picture and find the site of the wreck when it gets warmer.

paulherrin
05-19-2014, 07:16
tom, i know exactly where it is... feel free to contact me and i'll point it out however's easiest