WhiteBlaze Pages
A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
$10 for printed copy(paperback). $6 for interactive PDF. $2 for printable PDF.
Read more here WhiteBlaze Pages Store

Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1

    Default South bound hike in NC

    Hello all, new here and tried searching, but couldn't find what I was looking for.

    Little backstory: I live in southern NJ. My six year old son and I are interested I hiking the JMT in 4 years, when he's 10 along with my nephew, who will be 18. Kid loves to be outdoors and we've done some hikes, but nothing overnight. To get a feel for whether this is going to be doable, I thought a few days out would fun for us.

    We have a friend who lives in Charlotte, so the idea is that we would drive down and somewhere around the VA/NC border, my wife would drop us off and a few days later pick us up, maybe 40-50 miles down the trail. Meanwhile, she would take our daughter to visit the friend.



    Iím looking for suggestions for a 40-50 mile hike southbound in NC. Something we could do in 4-5 days.

    Thanks all!

  2. #2
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-22-2002
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Age
    59
    Posts
    7,926
    Images
    296

    Default

    If you're going to be around the VA/TN border, the best hike is from VA 603 Fox Creek trailhead sobo to Damascus. It's ~43 miles and is an excellent hike. It's not that far off the interstate for your wife.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  3. #3

    Default

    From Sam's Gap (I26) to Hot Springs is 44 miles. When your wife and daughter pick you up at the end of your hike you all might enjoy a little time in one of my favorite small towns anywhere -- Hot Springs.

    My vote for most scenic hike in that part of the AT would be the 42.5 miles from US19E to Indian Grave Gap (TN395) -- it covers the Roan Highlands.

    Ten miles a day seems like a lot for a six year old on his first backpacking trip but since your wife can pick you up anywhere you can always see how things are going and bite off less -- the best way to turn a kid off of hiking is a forced march type trip where you are trying to get in as many miles as you can, so be flexible.

    And I hope the two of you have a wonderful experience.
    Life Member: ATC, ALDHA, Superior Hiking Trail Association

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-02-2011
    Location
    Neptune Beach, Fl
    Age
    46
    Posts
    6,220

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    If you're going to be around the VA/TN border, the best hike is from VA 603 Fox Creek trailhead sobo to Damascus. It's ~43 miles and is an excellent hike. It's not that far off the interstate for your wife.
    Best section in the south imo....great section with ponies and balds.....


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5

    Default

    The time of year will be a big influencing factor for deciding where to go. This fall, next spring or next summer? Late spring is the best time - not too cold and yet not too hot. Lots of wild flowers, trees and bushes. Damascus south to Hampton, TN is a nice easy stretch which straddles the VA/TN boarder. Going north from Damascus threw the Grayson highlands is more scenic, but a bit more difficult.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  6. #6
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-22-2002
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Age
    59
    Posts
    7,926
    Images
    296

    Default

    Another thing to keep in mind is that the trail is not really anywhere near Charlotte, nor is it on the way -- dropping you at Damascus or Hot Springs or wherever is going to leave her a long and roundabout journey to the Queen City and back. Many hours out of the way.

    If you could hike in Central Virginia, the trail parallels I-81 for a long stretch, with easy access from the interstate at many points long the way. You could, for example, hike from around Newport, VA, northbound to Daleville, which if I recall correctly is about 50 miles. You get Dragon's Tooth and MacAfeee Knob along the way, two classic trail locations. Or you could hike from Waynesboro southbound through some very big mountains with great views.

    This isn't any farther from Charlotte in terms of driving time, but it's a lot less out of the way for her. It's a straight shot down I-81 to I-77 to Charlotte. Heck, it might be closer in driving time.

    Wear blaze orange. Don't underestimate the trail. Once you pick a section, ask here on WB for a recent water report. Fall is generally more dry, though some places have had plenty of rain.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-04-2011
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Age
    54
    Posts
    561

    Default

    If you are looking at late fall-early spring consider King's Mountain very close to Charlotte. There is an 18 mile backpack loop that the state and federal parks share. You can extend the miles by using the Ridgeline trail (about 10 miles) which connects Crowders Mountain SP to the King's Mountain loop. We do this every winter between Christmas and New Years, and I can't say enough good about this little used but well maintained trail network, but I would not consider it at all from late spring through the summer.

  8. #8
    Registered User Tennessee Viking's Avatar
    Join Date
    04-10-2007
    Location
    Morganton, North Carolina
    Age
    43
    Posts
    3,544
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    242

    Default

    If you friendr is in Charlotte and you are coming from NJ, you might want to think about the SC's Foothills Trail or NC's Mountains to Sea Trail (parkway trail). If you want to go with the AT, I would suggest sticking around the I-81 corridor. Or I-40 or I-26 crossing to Hot Springs.
    Last edited by Tennessee Viking; 10-21-2015 at 11:14.
    ''Tennessee Viking'
    Mountains to Sea Trail Maintainer
    Former TEHCC (AT) Maintainer
    Falls Lake Trail: 2011

  9. #9

    Default

    All, thanks for the input.

    Quote Originally Posted by map man View Post
    From Sam's Gap (I26) to Hot Springs is 44 miles. When your wife and daughter pick you up at the end of your hike you all might enjoy a little time in one of my favorite small towns anywhere -- Hot Springs.

    My vote for most scenic hike in that part of the AT would be the 42.5 miles from US19E to Indian Grave Gap (TN395) -- it covers the Roan Highlands.

    Ten miles a day seems like a lot for a six year old on his first backpacking trip but since your wife can pick you up anywhere you can always see how things are going and bite off less -- the best way to turn a kid off of hiking is a forced march type trip where you are trying to get in as many miles as you can, so be flexible.

    And I hope the two of you have a wonderful experience.
    He'll be seven by trip time. As my brother-in-law says, he doesn't have a battery, he has a power cord. However, I'll keep our plans flexible so as to not do more than he can handle.

    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    Another thing to keep in mind is that the trail is not really anywhere near Charlotte, nor is it on the way -- dropping you at Damascus or Hot Springs or wherever is going to leave her a long and roundabout journey to the Queen City and back. Many hours out of the way.

    If you could hike in Central Virginia, the trail parallels I-81 for a long stretch, with easy access from the interstate at many points long the way. You could, for example, hike from around Newport, VA, northbound to Daleville, which if I recall correctly is about 50 miles. You get Dragon's Tooth and MacAfeee Knob along the way, two classic trail locations. Or you could hike from Waynesboro southbound through some very big mountains with great views.

    This isn't any farther from Charlotte in terms of driving time, but it's a lot less out of the way for her. It's a straight shot down I-81 to I-77 to Charlotte. Heck, it might be closer in driving time.

    Wear blaze orange. Don't underestimate the trail. Once you pick a section, ask here on WB for a recent water report. Fall is generally more dry, though some places have had plenty of rain.
    Can you explain the part about wearing orange?

    If I were to follow map man's suggestion of 19E to TN395, we could conceivably drive from home to somewhere like Elk Park, NC which is about the same drive time as to Gastonia, NC (the town the friend actually lives in, bit west of Charlotte.) That would leave about a two hour drive to Gastonia in the morning after dropping us off. Coming to get us at TN395 would be a bit farther, about 2.5 hours.

    However, one of the other reasons I wanted to do this part of the AT was to be able to take the kids on a drive home up the Blue Ridge Parkway. My wife and I drove home from a visit there when she was pregnant with our son and we'd like to be able to do it again.

    I will bring up the extra drive time with her, but I'm pretty sure she's going to be ok with it.

  10. #10
    Registered User Tennessee Viking's Avatar
    Join Date
    04-10-2007
    Location
    Morganton, North Carolina
    Age
    43
    Posts
    3,544
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    242

    Default

    As of right now, TN/NC are in hunting season. It would be advised to wear blaze orange.

    If you go with Indian Grave to 19E, meet your friend at Mountain Harbour B&B at the 19E crossing or somewhere like Boone or surrounding areas if you are needing a hotel. Drop a car at MtnHarbour, and then shuttle to Indian Grave.

    Then its just a short drive to Pineola or Linville (the closest parkway points to the AT).

    The NC MST runs along several sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway around Asheville and Boone areas. However, camping is very limited north of Grandfather Mtn. You would be day hiking and getting picked up at a crossing at the end each day or find a friendly landowner. Trail guides @ http://www.ncmst.org/the-trail/trailguide/
    ''Tennessee Viking'
    Mountains to Sea Trail Maintainer
    Former TEHCC (AT) Maintainer
    Falls Lake Trail: 2011

  11. #11
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-22-2002
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Age
    59
    Posts
    7,926
    Images
    296

    Default

    Hunting season if you go now through the end of the year.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bigcranky View Post
    Hunting season if you go now through the end of the year.
    Gotcha. I thought I had added it to the OP, but we'll be going next summer. Sometime between late June and mid August. We don't want him to miss school.

++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •