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  1. #1

    Default Western Extension Bartram to BMT

    You guys may be interested to know of the rumor-mill info that the Bartram Trail has a Western Extension which enters the Snowbird Backcountry and travels up Snowbird Creek all the way to Hogjaw Gap and Laurel Top and reaches Big Junction on the Cherohala Skyway and veers up on a foot trail to Haw Mt and down to Whiggs Meadow where the Bartram will junction with the BMT.

    I hiked part of it in November and the Crosscut Mountain Boys cleared much of the Snowbird/Haw Mt section. There are two ways to find this---

    ** Hike off the Whigg towards Mud Gap and right past the Whigg look for a ribboned logging cut going to the right which will take you to the top of Haw Mt (good camping except for the summer when the motorcycle motards are out screaming and roaring). Then head down to Big Junction.

    ** Park at Big Junction as you head east in NC and stand facing off the road and looking at the overlook view. To the left is a newly cleared trail to the top of a ridge and here the Upper Snowbird Creek trail begins---all newly cleared and switchbacked. Excellent humpage potential.

  2. #2

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    At Mud Gap on Cherohala Skway is where I left the BMT for a family emergency. IF I had know about this BT western extension this is the alternat I would have done rather than taking the BT to Cheoah Bald. great! something else I need to consider hiking now. THX Tipi.

    Makes for some interesting loops incorporating this BT extension. I know I didn't have to tell U that though.

  3. #3
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    I know that they are working on a connection, and that it does involve the snowbirds, but no details other than that.

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    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
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  4. #4

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    This is an interesting rumour - there's nothing on the BT website about it and in past years I've volunteered on some of their work days in the Nantahala Gorge portions and never heard anyone mention it. A couple of decades ago, there was a "western extension" - namely the trail itself ran up the ridge line from US 129 to JoAnna Bald and a bit westward from there but the club ran into tremendous maintenance problems so they abandoned it in favor of its current terminous on Cheoah Bald. So this is fairly surprising news.
    Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.

  5. #5
    First Sergeant SGT Rock's Avatar
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    I talked with a couple of the Bartram Trail reps at their booth during the Franklin Hiker Bash about 4 years ago and they were the ones that told me.
    SGT Rock
    http://hikinghq.net

    My 2008 Trail Journal of the BMT/AT

    BMT Thru-Hikers' Guide
    -----------------------------------------

    NO SNIVELING

  6. #6

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    Back in the 1980's the BT ran up the main ridge line from US 129 up to JoAnna (Teyahalee) Bald then on down to Tathan Gap and further westward to Porterfield Gap and there it ended. The goal was to eventually push it all the way to the state line but there were a couple of hurdles: there was at the time, a chunk of private land that would have been difficult to get around - maybe the forest service has since baught it or someone has figured out a way around it; the bigger problem was the sheer lack of people to construct the trail and then maintain it. The 15 or so miles up to Porterfield Gap was maintained soley by an elderly couple from Robbinsville and when they moved down to Florida that was that and the trail eventually became an unmanageble mess. Burt Kornegay and some of the BT leaders decided in the 90's that a more reasonable solution would be to route the trail up to Cheoah Bald to the AT and call it quits there.
    If the club has figured out a way to complete the trail out to the state line that would just be awesome - the possiblity for long wilderness loop hikes in western NC and east TN would be amazing. I for one hope this pans out.
    Thanks for the updates.
    Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.

  7. #7
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    Bumping this in case anyone has any updates. I have been considering making a loop someday in the future. I anticipate overgrown/non-existent path most of the way from Jutts to Porterfield along the fabled Western Extension. Not new to bushwhacking/navigating such terrain, but curious if anyone has gotten out to ground truth any of this recently. Proposed loop: goo.gl/mn4FqP

  8. #8

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    Matt, links not working.

    I'd like to hear more about this, large loops involving these trail segments in this area.

  9. #9

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    Taking this east I met a hiker with the trail name Nuclear on the Foothills Tr twice. If I recall correctly he was an ex Navy Nuke hiking with other ex Navy. I wish I had spent more time last encounter hearing him but he was packing up to go and I was finishing up anothet Foothills thru with a shuttle pick up time. He told me about his propsed Nuclear Loop involving the Foothills, Bartram, AT, bushwacking and going through Dupont Rec Area and Jones Gap SP.

    Does anyone know him? Can you put me in contact?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Matt, links not working.

    I'd like to hear more about this, large loops involving these trail segments in this area.
    link corrected...

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Matt, links not working.

    I'd like to hear more about this, large loops involving these trail segments in this area.
    link corrected...

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