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  1. #41
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    I heard that the reason CS4 closed was because someone like an ex-mayor of Alcoa that owns a nice house just outside the park near-by complained about campers (perhaps something like campers coming up to the house to fill water bottles from the hose spigot).



    that is correct...

    that campsite was literally in the backyard of a house...

    and the people at the house didnt like people using spigot to fill up...

    more than likely, you heard that from me as i asked the PIO years and years ago about it...

  2. #42
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    but i never heard of it being the ex mayor...

  3. #43
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    But if that's the case, not sure why CS7 was also closed.


    where was 7 at?

    im having trouble recalling that one....

  4. #44
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    In the mean time, we've lost Pinnacle Creek, Polls Gap, Hughes Ridge


    hughes ridge was closed because a part of it crossed private land.....

    i dont suggest hiking this manway........

  5. #45
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    i'm thinking CS 7 was on ace gap trail....

    and since ace gap was relocated years ago (private property issues along with being close to an ex governor of TN house), my guess is that they couldnt find a suitable place for a new campsite and/or didnt want the same problems as CS 4......

    but, i will never know a clear and definitive answer on that one due to the Park's PIO's that retired...

    the ones that retired would give out all sorts of info----new ones not so much.....

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Makes me wonder if it isn't something political... local land owner?

    I heard that the reason CS4 closed was because someone like an ex-mayor of Alcoa that owns a nice house just outside the park near-by complained about campers (perhaps something like campers coming up to the house to fill water bottles from the hose spigot).

    But if that's the case, not sure why CS7 was also closed. It too is near the park boundary, and only a 500' bush-whack to a private cul-de-sac (but as of 2015, the satellite imagery doesn't show any near-by houses).
    I have no evidence to base this on but "political" sounds right to me. Scott Mountain trail skirts right by several residences. Other trails do too (thinking of Round Top and Cataloochee Divide), but who knows if someone with clout is involved? My objection is that having that one closed messes up loop opportunities by redirecting or forcing a long road walk. I can appreciate the heart of preservation but don't see any harm in keeping some of these trails open.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    I can believe that... only because in the 25 years I've been visiting the park, the only trails that have been added to the back country map are Lakeshore (the section that connects Eagle Creek to Hazel Creek and Mingus Creek.

    In the mean time, we've lost Pinnacle Creek, Polls Gap, Hughes Ridge, Scott Mountain?, Blanket Mountain, Spruce Mountain. Add to that the numerous trails that were on the maps prior to 25 years ago (Greenbrier Pinacle, Sugarland/ChimneyTops connector, Breakneck Ridge, and many others).
    This is interesting to me. Three or four years ago we did a bushwhacking trip (with an experienced guide) to the area of the Park near Calderwood (My son-in-law's great-great-great-grandpa is thought to have lived on Maynard Creek). There are zero trails in this area according to current maps. But the old maps show several trails, and possibly even roads going to homesites in the area. Why abandon them? Just because a tree fell down? To protect habitat? I've wondered if there's a long-range plan to close certain areas to let them recover, and open others that perhaps haven't seen a human in decades. For example, instead of closing Polls Gap "temporarily" forever, close it for 10-15 years, and create a new trail elsewhere. Imagine a trail paralleling the AT between Eagle/Jenkins to Hazel/Welch, with a side trail down to Bone Valley. Maybe that one isn't a great idea, but my point is there are plenty of areas that haven't been explored in a long time.

    A while back we hiked to Rainbow Falls, I was dismayed to see the damage caused by people getting off trail. I think it's being rehabilitated now... That would be a difficult trail to close with it being so close to Roaring Forks/Cherokee Trail.

  8. #48
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    I have no evidence to base this on but "political" sounds right to me. Scott Mountain trail skirts right by several residences.


    what i heard from the old park pio's is that the damage was so great/so much that they didnt have the resources and what not to open it...

    that's what he told me shortly after it closed down due to that storm.....

    that being said----there probably was some other factors that were not mentioned....

  9. #49
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    and create a new trail elsewhere


    the trouble with creating new trails is money...

    they dont have enough money to keep up with trails that are open now which means they wont open new trails.....

  10. #50
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    A while back we hiked to Rainbow Falls, I was dismayed to see the damage caused by people getting off trail. I think it's being rehabilitated now... That would be a difficult trail to close with it being so close to Roaring Forks/Cherokee Trail.


    the rehab on rainbow falls was completed a couple of years ago....

    popular trails like rainbow will never close due to the backlash of it....

    it's easier to close the least traveled trails.......

  11. #51
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    I hiked Spruce Mountain Trail on Saturday. It dead ends near campsite 42.

    The sign for Polls Gap says "Polls Gap Trail is unsafe and temporarily closed".

    It is very weathered.

  12. #52
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    It dead ends near campsite 42.


    other than having to lug water up there, i loved this site when i stayed there.........

    a rare campsite not exactly near a water source (and i looked to the east there was some sort of old trail or something----just could never find a spring or any water)..

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    the trouble with creating new trails is money...

    they dont have enough money to keep up with trails that are open now which means they wont open new trails.....
    but I thought the trails were mostly maintained by volunteers. or is that only the AT?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    where was 7 at?

    im having trouble recalling that one....
    Here's a screen shot from some of my Google Earth data showing CS7 and CS4 as X7 and X5
    CS7.png

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    but i never heard of it being the ex mayor...
    I could have my stories cross... but a frequent hiking partner of mine told be some of the history of the closing of CS4. The hiking partner either spent an evening at a shelter with the mayor of Alcoa and was told about the issue with CS4, or he spent the night with a frequent hiker (say 900 Miler Club 6X) who said it was because of the mayor.

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by illabelle View Post
    but I thought the trails were mostly maintained by volunteers. or is that only the AT?

    The AT in the park (and south to Nantahala) is maintained by volunteers from the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club.

    Some trails in the park are maintained by adopt-a-trail volunteers. The Sweat Crews and Rocky Top crews are ATC volunteers led by paid crew leaders.

    There are park service crews that do trail clearing but I think their funds are limited.

    When I worked a session with Rocky Top Crew we actually passed by a uniformed crew of four cutting brush on Snake Den trail. Often when they cut brush they don't throw it off the trail. One of our crew asked about that and the reply was that they were only given so much time to get the work done.

    On my loop hike I could tell that the upper mile or so of Jenkins Ridge had been cut as far as the stream crossing. They had also done a good deal of side hill work in the same area.

    The park service crew also installed drainage dips on Low Gap II a couple of years ago. They are deep dips with no wood or stone water bar.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Here's a screen shot from some of my Google Earth data showing CS7 and CS4 as X7 and X5
    CS7.png




    ok.....thats what i was thinking.....

    im thinking it got closed down around the time of the reroute of ace gap.............and the reroute was done as a result of the private property in that area....

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