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chris
10-27-2003, 11:20
The water source at Russell Field in the Smokys is dry as of October 25. It rained a little bit the next day, which may help. If you are planning to stay there, bring water from another place.

Stuart
06-23-2004, 09:18
June 11, 2004

The water source is a small spring coming out of the ground about 20 feet to the left of the trail (as you are walking down the hill to the water source).
At first glance you may notice it. Instead what you will notice is a small trickle of a stream I believe fed from a spring, crossing the trail. This is a horse trail and there is horse crap all over. As I walked down looking for the water my water bottle slipped out of my hand and landed in horse crap and then when we first saw water there was horse crap withing 12 inches of it and the water was toilet-brown. The spring is located just left of this disturbing sight under some tree branches, etc and back up the trail maybe 5-10 feet above the contaminated water. The spring itself is situated in such a way that it does not receive flow from the horse-crap water.

When I was there it was the end of our day and I really needed some water. Mollies Ridge a few miles back was dry. We did not see the clean spring at first and I only found it on a second trip back to the water. I was not very happy about horses on the trail at the time!!

sliderule
06-15-2005, 22:44
Stayed at Russell Field on 6-10-2005. The shelter was in good shape. The fence was still in place. Food storage cables were also provided. Despite numerous warnings of bear activity in the area, no bears were observed.
Russell Field itself is located about 1/4 mile down the Russell Field Trail. Several trails exit to the right (east) and lead to a quite attractive clearing. Well worth a visit.

Lilred
06-18-2005, 20:21
Russell Field shelter as of 6/14/15 has bad water. Horse manure in the spring. Don't count on water there.

Lilred
06-18-2005, 20:22
Stayed at Russell Field on 6-10-2005. The shelter was in good shape. The fence was still in place. Food storage cables were also provided. Despite numerous warnings of bear activity in the area, no bears were observed.
Russell Field itself is located about 1/4 mile down the Russell Field Trail. Several trails exit to the right (east) and lead to a quite attractive clearing. Well worth a visit.

Russell Field is right on the AT. Spence Field shelter is 0.5 miles off the AT. The water is good at Spence Field.

sliderule
06-18-2005, 22:34
Russell Field is right on the AT. Spence Field shelter is 0.5 miles off the AT. The water is good at Spence Field.No, Russell Field is not right on the AT. The Russell Field shelter is right on the AT, but Russell Field itself is not.

Pencil Pusher
06-18-2005, 22:43
No, Russell Field is not right on the AT. The Russell Field shelter is right on the AT, but Russell Field itself is not.
Relax and take a chill pill already...:rolleyes:

Baby Blue
07-02-2005, 02:31
Stayed at Russell Field on 6-10-2005. The shelter was in good shape. The fence was still in place. Food storage cables were also provided. Despite numerous warnings of bear activity in the area, no bears were observed.
Russell Field itself is located about 1/4 mile down the Russell Field Trail. Several trails exit to the right (east) and lead to a quite attractive clearing. Well worth a visit.I stayed at Russell Field shelter in mid April and shortly after dark a black bear walked right up to the shelter and peered in from the other side of the fence. Sure was glad the fence was still there!

sliderule
07-29-2005, 10:44
As of 7/27/2005, Russell Field shelter was closed due to bear activity.

Dainon
08-02-2005, 13:41
I'm going to do a week's section in the Smokies in September, so I was reading posts about shelters from Fontana to Davenport. I noticed that Sliderule had posted that several shelters were closed because of bear activity.

Last week after reading about shelter closures, I went to the GSMP website for further info. It said that no shelters were closed because of bear activity.
http://www.nps.gov/grsm/gsmsite/roadinfo.html

Am I missing something?

sliderule
08-02-2005, 14:27
Last week after reading about shelter closures, I went to the GSMP website for further info. It said that no shelters were closed because of bear activity.
http://www.nps.gov/grsm/gsmsite/roadinfo.html

Am I missing something?Possibly you missed the date on the NPS website: April 2, 2005.

As of July 27, the NPS had posters at the Backcountry Registration sites in the park listing the closed shelters and campsites. For up-to-date information, I suggest calling the GSMNP Backcountry Information Office at 865-436-1297.
But keep in mind that anything that they tell you today can change tomorrow, if not sooner.

Dainon
08-03-2005, 06:51
I don't think that I missed the date -- it showed August 2, 2005 when I checked. But that said, I certainly understand how bear activity can change quickly and I'll take your advice and call before leaving to hike.

nok
10-09-2005, 18:23
The water source was rather pitiful as of sep 25, 05. Horses and all that goes with them all around and in the little mud puddle called a water source

sliderule
10-09-2005, 21:05
There used to be a pipe in the spring there. It flowed quiet nicely then.

CaptChaos
10-09-2005, 21:09
I have stayed many times at Russell Fields shelter and it is true that the water source, the spring, can be at best very trying when you are in real need of water.

Years ago, I was at Russell Field and an AT work crew was camping behind the shelter. They would come in every night before dark and they would head down the trail towards the spring with a backpack frame that had a very large metal jerry can, looks like the old WWII fuel can, and they would go down the trail and then come back in about 25 min with a full load.

I asked them once where they were getting the water as the spring at Russell Field was slower than anything that I had ever seen since I had been going to the shelter. The AT guys said that they had driven a pipe into a rock breakdown just a little ways past the spring down the trail on the left. They would go into the brush and put their can under this pipe and get the water that they needed.

I have never looked for this site but I know that it exist. Has anyone else ever seen it? If so, let me know.

NINpigNIN
06-13-2006, 09:48
Paused here coming from Derricks Knob Shelter on the way to Mollies Ridge Shelter last Saturday (6-10-2006). Was a nice spot to pause and sit down and eat a granola bar, but the site isn't the best looking and the shelter is not one that has been renovated recently, so the fence is still up and there isn't a privy. With the close proximity of the renovated Mollies Ridge (3.3 mi. south) and Spence Field (2.7 mi. north) shelters, I wouldn't stay here unless absolutely necessary.

Creek Dancer
03-31-2009, 08:38
Anybody stay here recently? My friends and I have reservations for one night next week. The ranger tells me there is a problem bear at this shelter. Just wondering if anyone has had any problems.

Ox97GaMe
04-02-2009, 16:39
There is current bear activity in the area, but I have not heard any of the thru hikers mentioning any problems with bears anywhere on the AT. Check back in with the rangers before you head out (when you fill out the back country permit). They have day to day updates on any known bear activity.

IF that shelter is closed, consider changing your route to stay at either Mollies Ridge Shelter or Spence Field shelter.

Also, be aware that the shelters will be full this time of year, due to the high number of AT thru hikers that are in the park. Even with a reservation, you may be expected to tent if the shelter is full. The rules are that thru hikers are supposed to leave space for folks with a reservation, but it is sometimes difficult to find folks that are willing to give up their spot if you arrive late.

Tennessee Viking
04-02-2009, 21:04
Check the backcountry closure alerts on the Smokies web pages

SGT Rock
04-03-2009, 08:26
Here is the page:

http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/temproadclose.htm