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  1. #1
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    Default Watauga Lake Shelter

    I'm doing some preplanning on my next section, Dennis Cove Rd to Damascus. This past April we hiked up to Dennis Cove, and I remember hearing and seeing signs about Watauga Lake shelter being closed due to bear activity. AWOLS books states it to, as does the ATC website. So, planning this next hike, and assuming it's closed again in 2017, where near (ish) to there is a good, safe camping area? Preferably a mile or 2-3 past Watauga NOBO.

  2. #2

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    closed from oliver hollow rd to wilbur dam. 4.2 miles?

    You got to go at least 2.5 past shelter nobo
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 12-02-2016 at 23:07.

  3. #3
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    at wilbur dam rd. there is camping

  4. #4
    Registered User ChuckT's Avatar
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    When I hiked past in October the shelter was closed from Bear activity. The last water was at the dam, cross damm & go right to the lake. And there was an obvious camping spot, well used, just above where the trail crossed the paved road. Unless the rain has improved conditions _substantially_ (can't emphasis that enough) there was no water beyond a seep that was about 2/3 of the way to the first shelter.

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  5. #5
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    Thx all. Specifically, looking for a place to camp with water (or water nearby) between Pond Flats and Iron Mountain. I think that's about 20 miles, so if there's a good spot in the middle, that's what Imakes looking for.

  6. #6
    Registered User Hikes in Rain's Avatar
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    Looks like the shelter is no more. RIP. http://tehcc.org/2019/05/goodbye-watauga-lake-shelter/

  7. #7
    Registered User IslandPete's Avatar
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    We walked across the dam, down a trail toward the huge dam overflow, through the hole in the fence, and camped on the grass lakeside! Pretty nice spot actually! And the restrooms at the visitors center were open all night.

  8. #8
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    The shelter dismantling and the fact that camping in the area is discouraged sort of secures the longevity of the Boots Off Hostel. It's a nice hostel where I stayed just after it opened a couple of years ago, and it's about the only option in the immediate area.
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  9. #9
    Leonidas
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    It's still a nice place, we stayed there this past June. But you are correct, you either camp in the gorge, Pond Flats or at Boots Off. Vandeventer is the next place after I believe that you can camp.
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail: 254 mi

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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by ldsailor View Post
    The shelter dismantling and the fact that camping in the area is discouraged sort of secures the longevity of the Boots Off Hostel. It's a nice hostel where I stayed just after it opened a couple of years ago, and it's about the only option in the immediate area.
    Kincora, Black Bear Resort, and Bramer Hostel are all within a couple miles of Boots Off too.

    Camping is only banned north of US321. There are lots of spots on top of Pond Mountain and in the Laurel Fork Gorge.

  11. #11
    Leonidas
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrogLevel View Post
    Kincora, Black Bear Resort, and Bramer Hostel are all within a couple miles of Boots Off too.

    Camping is only banned north of US321. There are lots of spots on top of Pond Mountain and in the Laurel Fork Gorge.
    If you are a person that doesn't care for technology on the trail, Kincora and Black Bear are both good options as they don't have wi-fi. Most people we hiked with avoided them for that reason. Just another data point.
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail: 254 mi

    @leonidasonthetrail

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JC13 View Post
    If you are a person that doesn't care for technology on the trail, Kincora and Black Bear are both good options as they don't have wi-fi. Most people we hiked with avoided them for that reason. Just another data point.
    As legendary as Bob's Hostel is. It could quite possibly be the dirtiest hostel on the whole Appalachian Trail.

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