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  1. #1

    Default BMT "Must See's" on a Thru-hike

    Hi

    I'll be thru-hiking the BMT this year. I have a couple of questions for the group.

    What are your favorite towns/hostels/motels for resupply or town visits?

    Do you have any standout campsite locations that are your favorites?

    One logistics question. I'll be flying into Atlanta and have a shuttle to the southern terminus. What is the best airport to use when I finish at the northern terminus, and do you have any suggestions on how to get there - hitch, shuttle, etc.

    I appreciate your feedback. Thanks!

  2. #2

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    On the north end, you're coming up to a hostel near Davenport Gap (Standing Bear if I remember correctly). If they're in operation, they may have suggestions for a shuttle. My recollection is that the owner passed last year though, so I don't know their status.

    I loved stopping at the fly and tackle shop in Reliance, TN. Great owner that lets you camp in the back yard of the shop, and he makes a good burger inside.

  3. #3
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    I planned a NOBO thru back in Sept. 2017 but my plans were changed due to hurricane Irma. I ended up starting a week later and skipping the first 100 miles because of road and trail closures and started in Reliance. I drove to Big Creek Ranger Station and shuttled from there to Reliance. Stopped at the fly and tackle for lunch. I originally had a shuttle lined up from Big Creek to Springer Mt. I don't remember the name but I got it off the BMT association web site. It turned out my original shuttle could not shuttle me and got me in contact with a fellow named Fred. As far as campsites the two I enjoyed the most were Whigg Meadow and Enloe Creek in GSMNP. I stayed at the Hike Inn when I got to Fontana and Nancy took me into Robbinsville for dinner and resupply. I am planning a BMT/AT loop hike this spring. Right now I am planning on resupplying along the BMT with mail drops in Cherry Log, Reliance, and Fontana Village.
    More walking, less talking.

  4. #4

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    Great info - thank you for the detail!

  5. #5
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    Do you have any standout campsite locations that are your favorites?


    i have not done the whole BMT-----but there are literally hundreds of standout campsites along the way.....



    One logistics question. I'll be flying into Atlanta and have a shuttle to the southern terminus. What is the best airport to use when I finish at the northern terminus,


    either knoxville or asheville......

    terminus in big creek is just a bit west of center between those two cities...

    one thing to keep in mind is that the knoxville airport is about 20-30 minutes from knoxville........

    it would involve using interstate then a 4 lane highway down to airport...

    the asheville airport is about 15 minutes (probably less) from downtown.....

    and it's interstate to interstate and airport if right off the interstate.....

    i would go with whatever airport had the cheaper fare......

    however, if the difference is 20 bucks or something-----i would go to asheville...

    a touch easier to get to airport-----and downtown asheville is a nice place to spend a day or so...

    both airports are small...........i fly maybe 1-4 times a year from knoxville, and have never waited more than 10 minutes in line....

    often it's more like 5.....


    as for getting to airport after finishing----could call a local shuttler and see where they can take ya...

    not sure if they would go to an airport or just take you to some place to get an uber......

    i wouldnt hitch coming outta there----you might get lucky............or it might take you a few days to
    hitch all the way to an airport......


    from big creek----45 or so minutes to knoxville

  6. #6

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    As TNhiker says, there are so many great campsites on the BMT. The beauty of this trail is that every day is different so savor it and be flexible.

    The only blue blaze that I recall that you should not miss is the Hangover. The views are the best in the southeast, IMHO. Mile 171.2.

    Some notables...

    Great CS mm 119.3
    Free shower in Reliance at Hiwassee Outfitters (not needed if you stay at Reliance Fly and Tackle)
    Tapoco Lodge mm 180.3...great food and nice place to stay if you can afford it.
    CS 86 mm 205.6...not necessarily notable but it avoids some heavily used sites along the Lakeshore Trail.
    Mt. Sterling Summit CS 38, mm 280.2.

    I'm sure you know that reservations are needed at all sites in the Smokies and Mt Sterling and Laurel Gap Shelter need to be reserved as early as possible, the rest shouldn't be an issue. I didn't stick to my itinerary through the Smokies but had no trouble changing my CS reservations as I hiked.
    Last edited by Traffic Jam; 01-30-2021 at 10:39.

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    The only blue blaze that I recall that you should not miss is the Hangover. The views are the best in the southeast, IMHO. Mile 171.2


    i was going to mention this but with the new reroute----i was hoping it would be obvious...

    but yes, there's really no finer view in the SE than the hangover...

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    Free shower in Reliance at Hiwassee Outfitters (not needed if you stay at Reliance Fly and Tackle)


    also free shower at the dam visitor center and the fontana hilton........

  9. #9

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    Not sure if it's still available for rental and more than expensive than a campsite, but the watchman's place in Reliance was really cool. Stay in the basement, not the upstairs. Since it's a house, it's open when the campgrounds are still closed, and the historic aspects of staying in a place where someone's job was to keep the bridge from burning was really cool.

    I was able to get a shuttle to Ashland and take a bus home from there.

    You might find the logistics easier if you start at the Northern end and head South. Since you need advance reservations in the Smokies and it's very difficult to keep to your plans, particularly if it rains heavily (Slickrock Creek and Noland creek can have dangerous and impassible fords). I'm sure an AT shuttler would be willing to pick you up near Springer and drop you in Atlanta (assuming the covid crisis ends).

  10. #10
    Leonidas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Average Hiker View Post
    Hi

    I'll be thru-hiking the BMT this year. I have a couple of questions for the group.

    What are your favorite towns/hostels/motels for resupply or town visits?

    Do you have any standout campsite locations that are your favorites?

    One logistics question. I'll be flying into Atlanta and have a shuttle to the southern terminus. What is the best airport to use when I finish at the northern terminus, and do you have any suggestions on how to get there - hitch, shuttle, etc.

    I appreciate your feedback. Thanks!
    I hiked the BMT in November of 2020. Reliance was my only town stop. I stayed at the Fly & Tackle and had a great time there just relaxing as I neroed in. Spent ~$50-65 between the stay and all the deli food and I had a resupply box mailed there so I did a very small resupply. I ate at the Tapoco Lodge, food was great but to stay was way pricier than I wanted to spend solo. I had a friend who was meeting up with me to hike the Smokies portion bring me my last resupply box instead of staying at the Fontana Lodge or the Hike Inn. I did attempt to go to the Hike Inn but apparently I missed the only pickup. We tried to hitch into Cherokee for an hour but never got picked up. I ended up doing a $15 resupply out of the vending machine at the Stables. I also was given some additional snacks by a family who lives near the AT but were in the Smokies on vacation.
    Whigg Meadow was awesome minus the 50-60 mph winds that drove me in closer to all the other campers. The other great campsite was at Newton Bald, we went up the hill from the trail sign and there is a decently large set of flat spots and a nice fire ring. I stayed at Mt. Sterling the last night but unless you get there early and it isn't windy, I wouldn't stay there. Wind howled all night long, luckily I had ear plugs!
    AT: 471 mi
    Benton MacKaye Trail '20
    Pinhoti Trail '18-19'

    @leonidasonthetrail https://www.youtube.com/c/LeonidasontheTrail

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    We tried to hitch into Cherokee for an hour but never got picked up


    that's a long hitch to get to cherokee.......

    bryson city would have been a touch shorter....

    and possibly robbinsville would be a touch shorter than that as well.....


    all three would be a tough hitch, unless got real lucky......

    the village used to run a shuttle from the rest rooms at the marina (there's a phone to call them) but not sure if they
    still do that.......

    there's a small gas station/restaurant right at the entrance of the village that might have small supplies....

    other than that, there is not much in that area at all....

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    Camping at Whiggs Meadow or Bobs Bald and the Hangover.
    Bunch of shweet CS's in GSMNP on Lakeshore Tr, Deep Crk, and the one at Newton Bald. Laurel Gap Shelter should be renamed The Mouse House.
    Looking for Hellbenders on The Hiawassee River. Reliance is one those southern historical throwback hamlets. The rafting company can set you up with a float. The fly shop rented me a fishing set up. I already had my Fishing License.
    Yakking the Hiawassee on a BMT Fig 8.

    Thunder Rock CG. I like walking over to the Atlanta Ocoee River Olympic paddling Center checking out the yakkers. You can raft here or yak if you skills are up to it.

    Relaince
    Covered Bridge at Cherry Log
    Long Creek Falls
    Cheoah Dam. I can imagine Richard Kimble swan diving off the dam.
    Smokemont Historical, Nature, and Interpretative Center.
    Hazel Crk town homestead.
    Walking through THE Tunnel.
    Bryson City. I always stop in talking to the old timers at Mountain Perks over a cup of joe.
    The shelter at mile 50 or so. I always have it to myself despite it being so close to homes.
    Bfast at the cafe on Aska Rd near Shallowford Bridge.
    Skeenah Crk CG. Those folks always take care of me even when I had lost my wallet letting me stay a night in one of their several RV's. They had a nice kitchen area last I was there. The quirky but mind awakening quotes on signs always make ne pause and be grateful for something. The old mill still has some of it's original component and tools.
    TN Hiker and Slo-goen showing off his BioLite stove. I saw them both.

    IMO if you're thru hiking the BMT it's considerate to embrace the history you can expose yourself.
    Last edited by Dogwood; 02-01-2021 at 01:31.

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    and the one at Newton Bald.


    one of the best in the Park......

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    TN Hiker and Slo-goen showing off his BioLite stove. I saw them both.


    yeah....

    what a chance encounter.....

    i remember it well........

    you had a post saying you were thruhiking it, but we never talked about what part you were on at the time.....

    my route for that weekend took me down stiffknee creek trail and you had just crossed over slickrock creek......

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    I was headed for Whigg just missing Tipi who I so wanted to give the UL razzzz.

  16. #16
    Leonidas
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    that's a long hitch to get to cherokee.......bryson city would have been a touch shorter....and possibly robbinsville would be a touch shorter than that as well.....all three would be a tough hitch, unless got real lucky......the village used to run a shuttle from the rest rooms at the marina (there's a phone to call them) but not sure if they still do that.......there's a small gas station/restaurant right at the entrance of the village that might have small supplies....other than that, there is not much in that area at all....
    I should have been more clear, we were trying to hitch from the 441 crossing of the BMT right down from Oconaluftee Visitor Center.
    AT: 471 mi
    Benton MacKaye Trail '20
    Pinhoti Trail '18-19'

    @leonidasonthetrail https://www.youtube.com/c/LeonidasontheTrail

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    I should have been more clear, we were trying to hitch from the 441 crossing of the BMT right down from Oconaluftee Visitor Center.



    ahhhhh.....

    thought you were trying to hitch from fontana....

    but that surprises me that a hitch from near the visitor's center into cherokee would be tough....

    in that general area----from the visitors center to smokemont---i have gotten easy hitches...

    but they were all going north (towards NF gap)....

    one ride from smokemont, i hadnt even put my thumb out yet and someone picked me up..

    it was the campground host though, but the other 2 or 3 hitches ive done there have been easy...

    not sure if there's cell coverage near the visitor's center----but i think there's a taxi service in
    cherokee that might be able to pick someone up....

    also, not sure if the cherokee bus system runs from the visitor's center into town....

    in needed, there is a trail that would avoid the road walk going into town......

    and quite possibly, might be able to figure out a way that the casino shuttle or hotel shuttle
    could pick one up around that area...

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    yeah....

    looks like the bus system still runs....

    and kinda get close to the park-----i can't picture where the park and ride is at, but guessing right near the entrance to the Park...

    that wouldnt be too bad them---come off BMT, walk the road a touch to visitor's center then take the oconaluftee trail down to edge of
    park and catch bus.....

  19. #19

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    @Average Hiker - I was wondering what, if any, guidebook, app and/or maps you are using either for trip planning or while you are on the trail?
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

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    Quote Originally Posted by PennyPincher View Post
    @Average Hiker - I was wondering what, if any, guidebook, app and/or maps you are using either for trip planning or while you are on the trail?


    i know you didnt ask me....

    but ive meant to put this in my posts and forgot....


    i would use the sgt. rock guidebook....

    i just woke up after 2 hours of sleep and cant recall what other guidebooks exist for the BMT (i think there's at least 2)...


    i've used sgt rock's and have found it to be very easy and at one point a few years ago, it was up to date.....

    he had the new re-route of the JK/slickrock area as paper copies inside but everything else seemed good to go...

    doubt much has changed since his last update......


    he used to be on WB but seems to have dropped off a few years ago...

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