WhiteBlaze Pages 2022
A Complete Appalachian Trail Guidebook.
$5 for printable PDF, AVAILABLE NOW. $9 for interactive PDF(smartphone version)
Read more here WhiteBlaze Pages Store

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 31
  1. #1
    Registered User vaporjourney's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-28-2006
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Age
    41
    Posts
    370

    Default Great weekend/3 night hikes in GSMNP?

    I've got 4 days for a backpacking trip, and I'll probably return to GSMNP. I've only been to 3 areas thus far: cosby, cataloochie valley, and big creek. I was a huge fan of cosby and big creek (big creek has way too many creek crossings though), and didnt dig cataloochie so much because horses have made those trails terrible. What is another essential area to hike? i wanted to hike up smokemont up to Charlie's Bunion, but there are only shelters, and I prefer to pitch in a tent.

  2. #2
    Registered User Hikes in Rain's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-14-2005
    Location
    Georgia Mountains
    Age
    68
    Posts
    2,185
    Images
    23

    Default

    I've wanted to do these for years, but... Think you'd need a shuttle for each.

    Deep Creek. Starts up near Newfound Gap and follows Deep Creek (Horace Kephart's old stomping grounds) down to Bryson City. Eight different campsites along the way. Good weekend hike, I'd think.

    Lake Shore Trail (also part of the Benton Mackaye Trail). Follows the old road along what's now Lake Fontana. Start or end at either Road to Nowhere (Lakeview Drive) out of Bryson City to or from Fontana Dam. Lots of old signs of early inhabitation, many intersecting trails to explore and get lost on. You could spend days doing this.

    And of course, the AT!

    Gotta agree about the horses around Cattaloochee! Hiked the Little Cattaloochee trail a couple of years ago, and my goodness! what hooves and dropping will churn into what passes for a trail.

  3. #3

    Default

    The area around High Rocks just north of Fontana Lake is very nice. Fabulous views from High Rocks, site of a former fire tower. It sits along a ridge across a valley from the AT. This area is best accessed from the Road to Nowhere and the Lakeview Trail.

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    10-27-2005
    Location
    Berks County, PA
    Age
    61
    Posts
    7,159
    Images
    13

    Default It's all good!

    Quote Originally Posted by vaporjourney View Post
    I've got 4 days for a backpacking trip, and I'll probably return to GSMNP. I've only been to 3 areas thus far: cosby, cataloochie valley, and big creek. I was a huge fan of cosby and big creek (big creek has way too many creek crossings though), and didnt dig cataloochie so much [Shades of Gray edit: things that maybe cannot be proven, I didn't deem necessary and didn't wish to repeat here]. What is another essential area to hike? i wanted to hike up smokemont up to Charlie's Bunion, but there are only shelters, and I prefer to pitch in a tent.
    You keep starting threads and you're bound to have a great hike and generate lots of ideas for other people too. Make us pick our brains! That's why this site exists IMHO.

    Other people likely have better ideas and I have other things to which I must now attend. I just wanted to offer my encouragement and attempt to motivate people to help you.

    Happy hiking.
    Last edited by emerald; 10-05-2006 at 16:10.

  5. #5
    walkin' in 2k12 humunuku's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-11-2006
    Location
    Knoxville, Tn
    Age
    49
    Posts
    360
    Images
    7

    Default

    here's one i did last month.
    day 1 Park at Tremont and hike toward Elkmont via Lumbar ridge/Meigs mtn then go up Jakes creek and camp at #26
    Day 2 down Lynn camp prong. up greenbrier ridge to the AT, take the AT to and go down Goshen prong and camp at #23
    day3 take little river trail/ cuccumber ridge back to elkmont and then hike back to Tremont.

    something like 16 miles, 20 miles, then 16 miles

    you could add more to the loop by adding Jonas creek and camping at #70, 69, or 68 (neat cascade here) and hiking up forney creek tho clingmans dome

    Or, my next hike is parkingat Newfound gap, doing a look off to the west, then pass thru where i park and resupply, then do a loop on the east side

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by littlelaurel59 View Post
    The area around High Rocks just north of Fontana Lake is very nice. Fabulous views from High Rocks, site of a former fire tower. It sits along a ridge across a valley from the AT. This area is best accessed from the Road to Nowhere and the Lakeview Trail.
    - I"ll second the High Rocks hike, it has a great view. You can start at Clingman's Dome and with 4 days there are several possibilities to make a loop depending on how much distance you want to cover. Even hit a little stretch of A.T. without a shelter stay.
    -Gregory Bald is also another beautiful spot that can be reached from the Cades Cove area or Fontana. It is a rationed spot so be sure to make a reservation. The site 1/2mile from bald is popular, but large enough not to feel crowded. There is a nice little spring on the opposite side of the bald from site 13. Be sure to check road closure times for Cades Cove Loop. It's closed for a few hours on certain days for nature walks.

  7. #7
    Twisted Walkingstick Chip's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-20-2004
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    365

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by vaporjourney View Post
    I've got 4 days for a backpacking trip, and I'll probably return to GSMNP. I've only been to 3 areas thus far: cosby, cataloochie valley, and big creek. I was a huge fan of cosby and big creek (big creek has way too many creek crossings though), and didnt dig cataloochie so much because horses have made those trails terrible. What is another essential area to hike? i wanted to hike up smokemont up to Charlie's Bunion, but there are only shelters, and I prefer to pitch in a tent.
    If you have a GSMNP map you might want to check out and / or buy "Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park" by Kevin Adams, this is a "Falcon Guide" book. I have hiked and backpacked many trails in the Smokies. I have found this book to be the best. The info on each trail gives the highlights, type of hike, map, directions, how to get to the trailhead, trail profile, summary and key points. If you want any other info regarding the Smokies send me an e-mail. I see that you live right here in Asheville. Are you a member of the Carolina Mountain Club ?

    Happy trails,
    Chip
    If we look at the path, we do not see the sky. We are earth people on a spiritual journey to the stars. Our quest, our earth walk is to look within, to know who we are, to see that we are connected to all things, that there is no separation, only in the mind.
    - Native American, source unknown

  8. #8

    Default Just...

    a caution note on #13 (Sheep Pen Gap). It's closed for bear problems again, as it seems to be the majority of time. A bear there swiped my wife's pack 12-13 years ago. I like the High Rocks idea. I've stealth-camped there once, dragging our water up from Hazel. It's still remote. Forney Creek is not overworked yet either. However, there're a lot of fords and the water's going to be getting colder...

  9. #9
    Twisted Walkingstick Chip's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-20-2004
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    365

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TIDE-HSV View Post
    a caution note on #13 (Sheep Pen Gap). It's closed for bear problems again, as it seems to be the majority of time. A bear there swiped my wife's pack 12-13 years ago. I like the High Rocks idea. I've stealth-camped there once, dragging our water up from Hazel. It's still remote. Forney Creek is not overworked yet either. However, there're a lot of fords and the water's going to be getting colder...
    Wow ! I really like hiking up to #13 the last weekend of July to pick & eat blueberries on Gregory Bald. We have seen deer graze up there right before sundown. Have never seen any bears up there. Thanks for the tip.
    If we look at the path, we do not see the sky. We are earth people on a spiritual journey to the stars. Our quest, our earth walk is to look within, to know who we are, to see that we are connected to all things, that there is no separation, only in the mind.
    - Native American, source unknown

  10. #10

    Talking If you need a shuttle in/around....

    I am more than willing to help you get from point A to point B. I live near the park and will be happy to shuttle you around if needed. Just let me know 48 hours out. No cash payment, just share some great pictures and stories.


  11. #11

    Default Chip...

    We were able to drive the bear off with rocks - during the day. He came back for his mischief at night. They closed the site after the pack incident, but they gave me permission to go back and hunt for my wife's pack. When I found out at the 20 Mile trailhead that the bear had, IN THE INTERVENING WEEK, learned how to chew through ropes, I didn't bother to climb back up. This was around 12-13 years ago. They closed the site then for pack depredation (no bear cables back then), but I don't know what the standard is now for closure. When I've called them, they've not been very forthcoming. It may be that I've talked to the wrong people...

  12. #12
    Twisted Walkingstick Chip's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-20-2004
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    365

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TIDE-HSV View Post
    We were able to drive the bear off with rocks - during the day. He came back for his mischief at night. They closed the site after the pack incident, but they gave me permission to go back and hunt for my wife's pack. When I found out at the 20 Mile trailhead that the bear had, IN THE INTERVENING WEEK, learned how to chew through ropes, I didn't bother to climb back up. This was around 12-13 years ago. They closed the site then for pack depredation (no bear cables back then), but I don't know what the standard is now for closure. When I've called them, they've not been very forthcoming. It may be that I've talked to the wrong people...
    Thanks again, neat story ! I wish the AT was back up there. I think alot of hikers would really enjoy that section as well.
    If we look at the path, we do not see the sky. We are earth people on a spiritual journey to the stars. Our quest, our earth walk is to look within, to know who we are, to see that we are connected to all things, that there is no separation, only in the mind.
    - Native American, source unknown

  13. #13

    Default I agree...

    I've done the old section of the AT down to Deal's Gap as an off-trail and it's neat. The relocation is probably more dramatic, but Gregory and Parson's Balds are missed, along with Sheep Pen Gap. I don't know how much is left of Parson's Bald. I haven't been up there in years and it was growing in rapidly...

  14. #14
    Twisted Walkingstick Chip's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-20-2004
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    365

    Smile Parsons Bald

    Last time I was up there was the first weekend in August 2003. The Park Service had cut back some of the growth up on Parsons Bald to keep the trail clear. I think that they may do that each year, late summer.
    If we look at the path, we do not see the sky. We are earth people on a spiritual journey to the stars. Our quest, our earth walk is to look within, to know who we are, to see that we are connected to all things, that there is no separation, only in the mind.
    - Native American, source unknown

  15. #15

    Default I've always seen...

    quite a few pigs in that area, although they haven't bothered me, unlike the bear. One, when we were camped in the Gap area, we came across a contractor hunter (we'd heard gun shots for a couple of days). It was during the week, and I don't think he knew there were any campers in the area. They had also set up hog traps. He was evasive in his answers, but he made it pretty clear that they didn't think the pigs were "worth relocating." We concluded that they must be shooting them, both in the open and in the traps, and, probably heli-lifting the carcasses out of the areas where there was no 4-wheel access...

  16. #16
    Twisted Walkingstick Chip's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-20-2004
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    365

    Default

    I have seen traces of those hogs up there too. Another area that has a few hogs is the Cataloochee Area. Hiked up to Mt. Sterling via the Pretty Hollow Gap trail where the ground had been torn up from where the hogs had been looking for something to eat.
    If we look at the path, we do not see the sky. We are earth people on a spiritual journey to the stars. Our quest, our earth walk is to look within, to know who we are, to see that we are connected to all things, that there is no separation, only in the mind.
    - Native American, source unknown

  17. #17

    Default Hmm...

    When did you do PHG? I thought I'd read that they'd stopped maintaining that trail. Last time I was through there, it had so many blowdowns, they might as well not have tried. It was no horses at that time, but we met a four horse train. The lead horseman's advice to me was "Don't let him kick you." I understood that he meant "Get the hell out of my horses way." When we got to the bottom, I turned them in to the Big Creek ranger and he took off after them. Around Cattaloochee, it'd be a tossup as to whether the horses or the pigs cause more damage...

  18. #18
    Registered User CaptChaos's Avatar
    Join Date
    10-06-2005
    Location
    Bowling Green, KY
    Age
    65
    Posts
    160
    Images
    19

    Default Shooting the Hogs

    Quote Originally Posted by TIDE-HSV View Post
    quite a few pigs in that area, although they haven't bothered me, unlike the bear. One, when we were camped in the Gap area, we came across a contractor hunter (we'd heard gun shots for a couple of days). It was during the week, and I don't think he knew there were any campers in the area. They had also set up hog traps. He was evasive in his answers, but he made it pretty clear that they didn't think the pigs were "worth relocating." We concluded that they must be shooting them, both in the open and in the traps, and, probably heli-lifting the carcasses out of the areas where there was no 4-wheel access...
    I know that this happens as several years ago on a trip from New Found Gap to Cades Cove we were visited one night right before we went over Thunderhead Mtn by a seasonal ranger who was packing a 12 gage shotgun.

    For a couple of days we had heard that there was a bear that was trying to get into the food and climbing up the tree and shaking the food wires in an attempt to get the food. As described he was a rather tall bear and one of the NOBO told us to check out the tree and look for the claw marks that the bear had done two nights before.

    When we got to the shelter 2 days later we did see the marks left from the bear and he was a tall one. As evening fell we were visited by a young ranger who had been boar hunting. He said that they kill the boar and drag the body off the trail and the bears take care of the rest. If you leave the bear something dead then it will eat it.

    The bear never did show up that night but we were rather happy that the ranger stayed until midnight before heading back to his camp somewhere on the trail. If you check my pictures under CaptChaos you will find the group picture of all of us with the ranger and his shotgun.

    Capt Chaos
    Capt. Chaos

    Col. John "CaptChaos" Knight
    Bowling Green, KY USA

  19. #19

    Default Hmmm...

    Makes sense. However, in the Gregory/Parsons balds area, there are already problem bears (#13 is closed as we speak). Seems like providing fresh pork would just concentrate more bears there also.

  20. #20
    Registered User TN_Hiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    04-25-2005
    Location
    Kingston Springs, TN
    Age
    58
    Posts
    267

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ForceSmokyMountains View Post
    I am more than willing to help you get from point A to point B. I live near the park and will be happy to shuttle you around if needed. Just let me know 48 hours out. No cash payment, just share some great pictures and stories.

    WOW ForceSmokyMts. -- that is a generous offer indeed!! Does that hold true for anyone?

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
  •