View Full Version : section hike advice

Blue Wolf
10-11-2003, 18:23
Does anyone know what the actual trail miles is from Erwin to Damascus and which way is the more downhill route of the 2 north to south or vice versa? And would this be a good section hike for a couple of newbies?

Kevin:-? :-?

10-11-2003, 18:58
this time of year the top of roan can get real cold.

10-11-2003, 21:54
Depends on how new...this section has tremendouse variety-the Roan Highlands are 180 from Laurel Fork George, the lake walk around Watauga disparate from the river walk leaving Erwin-tremendous variety in my opinion and the views from the approach to Hump Mtn some of the most glorious from all I have seen on the trail--but know this section is difficult with many climbs (Nolichuckey to Beauty Sport, the Roan itself, Hump and those past 11E...true the temps at Roan can get bone-chilling (see my report of a summer hike there)...you've also got good history with the Overmountain Trail, some awesome shelters (Overmountain and Roan High Knob {highest on the AT}...I could go on...just dont do big miles until you get past Watauga Dam and then you can cruise into Damascus.....oh, this hike is not a place to scrimp on rain gear or insulation any time of year...and as you cross Little Rock Knob and Hughes Gap you will be 2.5 miles from my house...

10-11-2003, 22:01
you could shuttle out of erwin to indian grave gap and then one night supply to greasy creek friendly...over night at the freindly and resupply ..then to roan high knob shelter ..which is a secure shelter even in bad weather...then on to the apple house ...from there to kincora..so that you would not be needing to carry as much food and could carry plenty of cold weather gear for roan

10-11-2003, 22:04
adding to smokymtnsteve, you could alway slack a lot of this section which I would recommend from Carvers Gap to 11E so you can fully appreciate the stunning views and be selective weatherwise so you can more assure the views....something hard to do in the smokies since it is not slakable

10-11-2003, 22:06
and with bob there at kincora..very easy to do

Blue Wolf
10-12-2003, 05:41
Do you need to get backcountry camping permits? If so where do I get them? And I'm confused actual mileage is what 180?


10-12-2003, 07:32
no BCP's needed for that section.
Erwin (Nolichy River) to Damascus is 118.5miles-where did you get 180??????? so 12 days would be nice....
remember nothing wrong with slacking...i will pack the smokies soon for the second time but in November I'm gonna slack VA42-Daleville just so I can forget the pack over Dragon's Tooth and McaFee

10-12-2003, 09:46
Originally posted by Simva the Medicine Man
...this section has tremendouse variety-the Roan Highlands are 180 from Laurel Fork George, the lake walk around Watauga disparate from the river walk leaving Erwin-tremendous variety in my opinion ...

where'd you'd get 180???? from here..????

Blue Wolf
10-12-2003, 09:53
I guess I must have miss read something, I just hope I don't do that on the trail map, which by the way where is a good place to obtain a detailed trail map? I figure were gonna try it what's the worse that could happen I get cold one night and wind up in a car slacking the next part but I have been camping in extreme cold weater before when i was on a hunting trip in the UP of Michigan but we also had a radiant tent heater then too but it didn't help much. So is it possible to average 10 miles a day thru that section?


10-12-2003, 21:31
you should plan on 10/day....that gives plenty of time for a hot tea/cocco break at a kickbutt view...get your maps with an AT trail guide, copy what you need and use a zip lock....I have visited the upperP and our cold is def. different

Jack Tarlin
10-14-2003, 13:20
I have done that section in both directions, and it probably doesn't matter much which direction you go. Climbing Roan Mtn. from the south is sharper hiking, but shorter than doing it northbound. But the stretch from Carver's Gap to Rt. 19 is probably easier as a Northbounder.

As far as difficulty, this is a fairly "moderate" section, assuming everyone in your party is reasonably fit, well equipped, and especially, properly shod.

Highlights of the section: (From Erwin): The Beauty Spot; the summit of Unaka Mountain; Roan Mountain; Overmountain Shelter; Kincora Hostel; Laurel Creek gorge and Falls.

For information on possible shuttles in the area, or leaving a vehicle, etc.; I suggest you contact Miss Janet at her hostel in Erwin, or Bob Peoples at Kincora Hostel in Hampton, TN.

This is a beautiful section of the Trail; in fact, if I were to pick one section of the Trail for a 10 day hike (or maybe a few days less if I felt like it, or a few days more if I had the time), this is one of the 2 or 3 places on the Trail that'd be on the top of my list---you have a great section of trail, some spectacular scenery, the most striking shelter on the Trail (Overmountain); one of the best waterfalls and swimming holes (Laurel Creek); and the 2 best hiker hostels in the South. All in all, a fantastic section-----have a great trip!

10-14-2003, 13:27
and the greasy creek friendly

Blue Wolf
10-14-2003, 13:59
Hey thatnks for all the great tips I kinda figured this would be a nice place to start when I talked to Bob at the Kincora he said that he maintains that section and that if we got tired or needed a lift to just call what great people him & Janet seem to be were leaving the truck at the otfitters in Damascus & getting a shuttle to Erwin, Eating at the Erwin burrito fo some extra gas........lol then gonna stay that night at Janets and leave out in the morning we have 14 days we can take I just hope there is still some good fall peak color too see in the lower elevations Bob said it's past peak now above 4500 feet. And thanks to all who gave advice we will post pictures of the trip when we return.


10-14-2003, 20:20
if I were to pick one section of the Trail for a 10 day hike...this is one of the 2 or 3 places on the Trail that'd be on the top of my list
Jack, what are the other 2 places you'd consider???

10-20-2003, 08:44

just to let u know....theres an extra 4 + miles between Apple House shelter & Hampton,TN (US-321) thats been added because of trail relocation.

i know this from personal experience as I & hike partner: TeePee, found this info. out as we stopped for morning energy bars & water break @ Apple House shelter & found the notice. yikes!

enjoy the hike.


Jack Tarlin
10-20-2003, 17:05
Kerosene: If I were gonna go out for a shorter trip, say a week to ten days or so, here are some other favorites:

1. Davenport Gap to Erwin, with the area around Max Patch Mountain being especially memorable

2. Southwest Virginia, i.e. Damascus to Atkins, with special emphasis on the area between Thomas Knob Shelter and Partnership shelter. If possible, I'd spend several days JUST in Grayson Highlands State Park, especially in the Massie Gap area.

3. Any or all of Vermont, ( the whole state takes about 10 days to do) but especially the section from Rt 9 near Bennington to Sherburne Pass. Favorite places: Glastenbury shelter and Mountain; Stratton Mountain and Pond; Baker Peak north of Manchester Center; Clarendon Gorge, and the area just north of it, including Killington Peak.

4. In Maine, my favorite section is North of Stratton, including Avery Peak and the Bigelow range, tho I'd also like to do the 100-mile wilderness from Monson to Katahdin again some time, but travelling slower than usual; there are simply too many good places to camp here and I always miss some of the best ones.

If I had to pick any of these, tho, it'd probably be the Virginia trip, and probably in LATE May or June as the weather'd be better than when I usually go thru. However, I bet it's pretty spectacular any time of the year.