Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 22
  1. #1

    Default Looking for a loop an AT loop at Newfound Gap or Clingmans

    June is my daughters 5 yr birthday. She normally asks to go to a water park, but not this year. She told us the other day that she wants to go to Tennessee and hike with dada . Yahoo!!!!

    So, I couldnít think of a better way to make her trip memorable, for both of us, to begin our journey on the AT. But, knowing that she is 5, clearly I wonít be hiking 10-15 mi in a day. Last trip we were there the most she did with me and momma was 6 mi. She is an amazing 4 year old.

    So maybe someone can help me out. I am looking for a section at clingmans dome or at newfound gap that has a side trail that would intersect with the AT. Any help I would truly appreciate.

    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    17,878

    Default

    One car or two? Does it have to be a loop? That's some of the tougher terrain area for GSMNP.

    If it doesn't have to be a loop: NFG > AT N(w/ side trip to Charlies Bunion, can stay at Icewater Shelter Night 1) > Boulevard > Mt LeConte > Alum Cave or instead of Alum Cave > Rainbow Falls or Grotto Falls

    You get great overlooks, a lodge, Alum Cave(explain the history) or a waterfall. All my nieces and nephews love waterfalls especially when they can walk behind the falls. Be mindful of kids and yourself around falls.

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks dogwood.
    I think I found what I was looking for at newfound gap, going the AT, traveling down sweat heifer creek, and coming back around along a different trail, finishing up on the AT at newfound gap. Itís around 7mi.

    I have 4 months to plan the trip, just trying to get some ideas cooking.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    06-10-2008
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Age
    38
    Posts
    397

    Default

    Thatís probably about the shortest loop youíll find. The out-and-back to Andrews Bald is just shy of four miles ógreat hike, very rewarding


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #6

    Default

    I love your daughter's enthusiasm for spending time with her Dada and your excitement about it. You have to treasure this time because they grow up so darn fast! Have a GREAT hike and be sure to share a trip report with us.
    Trillium

  7. #7
    GSMNP 900 Miler
    Join Date
    02-25-2007
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Age
    52
    Posts
    4,320
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JosephDurham View Post
    Thanks dogwood.
    I think I found what I was looking for at newfound gap, going the AT, traveling down sweat heifer creek, and coming back around along a different trail, finishing up on the AT at newfound gap. Itís around 7mi.

    I have 4 months to plan the trip, just trying to get some ideas cooking.
    Carefully study your hike again...

    There is no day hike that includes (all of) Sweat Heifer Creek Tr that's going to only be 7 miles.

    Sweat Heifer itself is about 3.7 miles, and its trail head is about 1.7 miles along the AT from New Found Gap. That's 5.4 miles and it leaves you at Kephart Shelter. The shelter is only 2 miles (7.4 total) from New Found Gap road, but that puts you 9 road miles below New Found Gap.

    From Kephart Shelter, if rather than heading towards New Found Gap road, you instead climb Grassy Branch and Dry Sluice Gap to return to the AT, that adds 3.8 miles to the 5.4 it took to get to Kephart, but you're 4.5 miles from New Found Gap (i.e. a loop totaling 13.2 miles).

    If you are willing to forgo the AT, I've found that kids tend to like creeks, water falls, and views.

    If you are willing to do an overnight trip, I can offer more suggestions I think kids would enjoy.

  8. #8

    Default

    No I wasn’t meaning all of sweat heifer, there was a spot, where it intersects with another trail; at least that’s what I thought when I looked. I could very well be wrong.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-19-2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    3,134
    Images
    3

    Default

    does she like waterfalls and things like that?

    and does it have to be on the AT?

    if not----maybe a walk along deep creek trail.....

    or, and this is somewhat of a crazy idea but it would give her a "real" sense of adventure----

    take the boat shuttle over to hazel creek and just explore in the area........

    theres a ton of history and a nice creek that I'm guessing would be somewhat interesting to a 5 year old...

    and giving her a boat ride will add to the sense of adventure as she will be going "deep" into the backcountry...

  10. #10

    Default

    Weíve hiked a great deal in Tennessee and she is no stranger to the falls; grotto, laurel, and abrams last trip. I was hoping for some of the AT for me.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JosephDurham View Post
    Weíve hiked a great deal in Tennessee and she is no stranger to the falls; grotto, laurel, and abrams last trip. I was hoping for some of the AT for me.
    Have you considered hiking out to a shelter and having lunch? Double Springs Gap shelter is about 2 1/2 miles from Clingmans one way, Icewater Springs is about 2 from Newfound Gap. It's not a loop, but the shelter as a destination would be a good introduction to the AT.

    The only AT loop I can think of in your range is Davenport Gap to Chestnut Branch trail, then back to Big Creek.

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by johnacraft View Post
    Have you considered hiking out to a shelter and having lunch? Double Springs Gap shelter is about 2 1/2 miles from Clingmans one way, Icewater Springs is about 2 from Newfound Gap. It's not a loop, but the shelter as a destination would be a good introduction to the AT.

    The only AT loop I can think of in your range is Davenport Gap to Chestnut Branch trail, then back to Big Creek.
    I had not given that a thought at all. Thank you! Iíll have to look into that. That sounds like it would be a good idea.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-19-2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    3,134
    Images
    3

    Default

    ha...

    i was just (not lunch idea though) about to suggest same route...

    on a nice day----going to double springs has excellent views.....

    and there are a couple of open areas where if y'all dont make it to double springs, can throw a blanket down and have lunch.....

    the only thing i would consider is that going to double springs is basically going downhill while the return trip would be going uphill.....

  14. #14

    Default

    Be mindful of the kind of climbs involved when leaving a ridge. Also be mindful of kids climbing on wet rocks along waterfalls.

    While not a loop, a hike out to Charlies Bunion and back is reasonable.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  15. #15
    Registered User Tennessee Viking's Avatar
    Join Date
    04-10-2007
    Location
    Morganton, North Carolina
    Age
    41
    Posts
    3,470
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    242

    Default

    Hard to say with a 5 year old. If you are at Clingmans, you can walk up to Clingmans and then back south to Andrews Bald. IF you are at Newfound, then walk the AT to Charles Bunion and out.

    The AT in the Smokies is fairly straight forward. But the side trails tend to get rocky and steep. In June, you will get the start of the summer storms.
    ''Tennessee Viking'
    Mountains to Sea Trail Maintainer
    Former TEHCC (AT) Maintainer
    Falls Lake Trail: 2011

  16. #16
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-01-2014
    Location
    bronx
    Age
    56
    Posts
    310

    Default

    The side trail to mount LeConte is highly recommended in my AT guide. I did not hike it myself, but it is definitely on my bucket list. it is northbound from Newfound Gap. I don't know if you make a loop back to Newfound Gap though.

  17. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    01-07-2016
    Location
    Pace, Florida
    Age
    50
    Posts
    107

    Default

    Last November, my whole family including a 5 year old girl, hiked in the Smokies from Clingmans Dome to Newfound Gap on the which is 7.8 miles, all on the AT. We dropped off everyone at Clingmans then drove back to Newfound Gap. My son and I who is 8 hitched back to Clingmans. It is a easy hitch especially with a child, it took less than 5 min. There is very minimal risk hitching, because it is a dead end road, and everyone is going there for the same reason. Just walk to the fork where you cars turn to Clingmans, there is a place where it is easy for them to pull over.

    My 5 year old daughter didn't have any trouble hiking the 7.8 miles in about 6-7 hours taking our time.

  18. #18
    illabelle's Avatar
    Join Date
    06-25-2012
    Location
    Lurkerville, East Tn
    Age
    60
    Posts
    3,324
    Journal Entries
    1

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JosephDurham View Post
    Thanks dogwood.
    I think I found what I was looking for at newfound gap, going the AT, traveling down sweat heifer creek, and coming back around along a different trail, finishing up on the AT at newfound gap. It’s around 7mi.
    I have 4 months to plan the trip, just trying to get some ideas cooking.
    We did almost this same loop with our daughter several years ago. She wasn't so young as yours, though. We parked at the Kephart Prong Trail one evening and hiked 2 miles to the Kephart Shelter in the dark. That was easy, because the trail follows an old road. The next morning we went clockwise on the loop, up Sweat Heifer to the AT to Icewater Springs Shelter, 4.7 miles. The next day we finished the loop, approximately 7.5 miles that day, but with a break at Kephart.

    This loop goes past Charlie's Bunyan, which is an awesome viewpoint.

  19. #19

    Default

    Instill have plenty of time to get it all figured out, and I appreciate everyone’s responses. It’s been very helpful. Danica loves to hike and having hiked abrams falls with me last year, she wants more of it.

  20. #20
    GSMNP 900 Miler
    Join Date
    02-25-2007
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Age
    52
    Posts
    4,320
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by johnacraft View Post
    Have you considered hiking out to a shelter and having lunch? ... Icewater Springs is about 2 from Newfound Gap. It's not a loop, but the shelter as a destination would be a good introduction to the AT....
    It's actually 3 miles from Newfound Gap to Icewater...

    But that does remind me of a nice outing me an my then 6yo had.
    We had planned a day-hike out to Charlie's Bunion (8+ miles round trip). But rain caused us to seek shelter at Icewater before we made it to the Bunion. When the rain had stopped, it was getting late and we didn't want to continue out to the bunion. So we started heading back and instead took a side trip to see the view from The JumpOff.

    The JumpOff (and its trail) is not shown on the back country trail map, even though the park service has a sign for the JumpOff trail.
    To reach the JumpOff, you hike to the Boulevard/AT intersection, then hike about 1/10 mile along the Boulevard. The JumpOff trail will be on your right. The trail is a little more than 1/4 mile til you reach the view.

    So a suggested plan that we fell into by accident would be to hike to Icewater Spring Shelter (3 miles with a 1,000' elevation climb), eat some lunch, then hike over to the JumpOff (total of about 3/4 mile from the shelter) and then return to Newfound Gap (about 3 miles). It would be less than 7 miles round trip.


    If you want to hike to Double Springs, I would think the way you would go about that would be to hike upto the observation tower at Clingman's Dome, then hike out to Double Springs, and return via the Clingmans Dome Bypass trail rather than returning all the way back to the tower.
    The sidewalk to the tower is about 0.5 miles and about a 300' elevation gain. The hike out to Double Springs would be 2.8 miles and about a 1,100' elevation drop. The return trip is about 2.5 miles to the Bypass (with a little less than 1,000' elevation gain) 0.5 miles down the bypass to the intersection with Forney Ridge Trail, plus a final 0.2 miles to the parking lot.

    While I initially thought the trip to Double Springs would be shorter, when you add up all the pieces, it's roughly equal distance (and elevation change) to do Icewater and the JumpOff as it is to do Clingmans Dome and Double Springs.


    {Late Addition}
    If you like the idea of an AT shelter out-n-back but want something with less climbing, you could drive out Climans Dome Road to the Road Prong trail, and hike the AT from their to the Mt Collins shelter and back.
    ...
    Well, I just looked at the milage, and once you add up all the parts, that's still a 6 mile round trip (but with a lot less climbing).


    So the only short hike to an AT shelters and back (and these might be too short for you) would be:
    1. Drive to Davenport Gap and hike upto Davenport Gap shelter. Total distance would be less than 2.5 miles.
    2. Drive Clingmans Dome road and park at the small parking lot at Collins Gap (the one spot along the drive where the road dips rather than just climbs). If you walk about 200' towards Clingmans Dome, the AT is only about 30' (level walk) into the woods. From there, you can hike back towards Newfound Gap to reach Mt Collins shelter (1.5 miles away, which includes the 0.3 miles down Sugarlands Mountain Trail to reach the shelter). But that amounts to only 3 miles round trip.
    Last edited by HooKooDooKu; 02-04-2019 at 14:39.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
++ 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
  •