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  1. #1
    2010 hopefully? sum41punk91's Avatar
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    Default Nantahala standing indian area

    This july my brother, my father and I are going to standing indian and we are planning on backpacking about 10 miles then setting up camp and staying there for about threee days then hiking out... We would like very much to stay next to a river or creek or lake i was just wondering if anyone has any suggested paths or websites for a good map. Any advice would help thanks

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    Kimsey Creek Trail. Great for base camping, and offers access to the AT at Deep Gap.

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    Default Nantahala Hiking Club

    Check with the Nantahala Hiking Club. They were quite helpful to me when I hiked through the area. You can Google for their web site.

    Also, beware the KCT. It is quite overgrown and not well-blazed.

    RainMan

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    Wasn't overgrown or difficult to follow the last time I was out there last fall. In addition, the Kimsey Creek Trail is shown on the AT trail map for the Standing Indian area. Anyone been out there in the last month or so?

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    It is very easy to get onto the wrong trail around Standing Indian. That being said most either lead to the AT, or Deep Gap road, so it is hard to get "lost". It is a great area to spend a few days, Have a great time!
    Stumpy

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    Also, if you decide to take the lower ridge trail, take it from the top of Standing Indian to the campground. It is a haul in the other direction!
    Stumpy

    You can never go wrong with butter or bacon!!!!

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    The journey is the destination eventidecu's Avatar
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    I hike that area a lot and it's not "easy" to get on the wrong trail at all. That area is very well marked and maintained. The Kimsey Trail is a wonderful trail, it's an easy 3.7ish mile access trail up the creek to Deep Gap where the AT joins. From there your about a mile to the Standing Indian Shelter. Then it's about a mile up ( easy grade ) to the summit then about 6 miles mostly down hill (easy grade again) to I think it's Beech gap where there is one of the best tent camping areas I have ever seen. ( you can't miss it, it's marked ) I would suggest going there which would put you at about 10 miles. When you leave then take the trail from there which I believe is the "Beech Gap" trail and make your way back to the camp ground making a loop. (Or park a car up at the Albert Mnt fire tower which is about 5 miles past Carters gap shelter on the AT.) Note I have not done the "Beech" trail but if it's like any of the others I've hiked in the area I wouldn't worry. If you camp at Beech and run into some bad weather your only about 2 miles from the next shelter which is Carter Gap shelter. Of course get a map and do some research so you know where the water sources are and have fun. But don't worry it is very well marked and maintained. I don't know why anyone would say otherwise that has hiked it in the last several years. Kimsey Trail is part of a staffed park and being a loop there it gets alot of traffic and they keep it up very well.

    I usually hike the full loop which is about 24 miles in two or three days. The "full loop" I mean the AT almost makes a complete loop there and comes out at the Rock Gap shelter which is about 100 yards from the road and about a half mile from Standing Indian camp ground where you would start. There are 3 or 4 trails that go off the AT but they are well marked at the trail junctions and go to the left as you hike North on the AT. It's like a big counter clockwise circle and the camp ground is in the middle where most of the other trails lead to.

    The lower ridge trail that Stumpy refers too is from the camp ground and goes up STRAIGHT UP to the summit of Standing Indian and yes he is right. Its very hard going up but there is no need for you to be on it. Take Kimsey Creek from the amphitheater at the camp ground. You can park right there by the trail as well for like 2.00 a day in the camp ground, right by the bathrooms too. Rain Man saying it's over grown and not well blazed is incorrect. I've hiked it for years several times a year and I have never not once seen it overgrown and it's marked (blue blaze) as well as the AT is anywhere. PM me if you have any questions.

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    2010 hopefully? sum41punk91's Avatar
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    ive been there and i was figureing the kimsey creek was the best bet ive done the 7.4 mile trail (3.7 each way) and it was a wonderful hike I just have another question... is there some sort of law on how far away from the campsite we have to be???

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
    Check with the Nantahala Hiking Club. They were quite helpful to me when I hiked through the area. You can Google for their web site.

    Also, beware the KCT. It is quite overgrown and not well-blazed.

    RainMan

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    http://www.maconcommunity.org/nhc/index.htm this is Nantahala Hiking Clubs web address

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    Ron Haven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sum41punk91 View Post
    ive been there and i was figureing the kimsey creek was the best bet ive done the 7.4 mile trail (3.7 each way) and it was a wonderful hike I just have another question... is there some sort of law on how far away from the campsite we have to be???
    none i am aware of.

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    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    I agree with the people who say the Kimsey Creek Trail is somewhat confusing. There is at least one intersection where three blue-blazed trails meet, none of them marked by name. I have gotten off track there, and have talked to other hikers who have. It's not getting LOST, but it does involve some frustrating walking here and there, wondering how to get back to the car.

    That said, it is also one of my favorite trails. Very lovely and not strenuous. I like the whole Standing Indian area--the views, the creeks and springs, the long but gently graded climbs and descents... A good choice for your hike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eventidecu View Post
    . . . I usually hike the full loop which is about 24 miles in two or three days. The "full loop" I mean the AT almost makes a complete loop there and comes out at the Rock Gap shelter which is about 100 yards from the road and about a half mile from Standing Indian camp ground where you would start. There are 3 or 4 trails that go off the AT but they are well marked at the trail junctions and go to the left as you hike North on the AT. It's like a big counter clockwise circle and the camp ground is in the middle where most of the other trails lead to.
    My favorite loop hike in the area. Usually takes me three days. Last day's usually a short one, but I've got to drive back to Atlanta, so that's a good thing in my book.
    Quote Originally Posted by eventidecu View Post
    The lower ridge trail that Stumpy refers too is from the camp ground and goes up STRAIGHT UP to the summit of Standing Indian and yes he is right. Its very hard going up but there is no need for you to be on it . . .
    Bearpen Gap is pretty steep, too. The one time I got on Beech Gap was a little tricky. As best I could determine Beech Gap shares some tread with a horse trail. Keeping that sorted out was a challenge to my navigation, but that could be a reflection on my navigation, too.

    Short version: the Kimsey Creek - AT - Long Branch loop is a great loop hike. Stronger hikers can do it in a weekend easily. If you're desk bound like me three days is probably a better option. Another great part is that loop goes over Standing Indian and Albert Mountain, some really awesome views if the weather cooperates.

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    I'm not real sure I could say the trails are well marked. I went there a couple of years ago to a 2 nighter to tag Bly Gap. I parked at the lot just past the entrance/ranger station. No one was there, I asked someone about the Kinsey trail and they pointed down the road just a little ways to a trail sign. It was torn to pieces, couldn't read it but it was heading the right way so off I went. It soon came to the gravel road and didn't continue. I searched both ways looking for the continuance of the trail but that was it. So I started walking up the road and soon came to a small parking lot and noticed a trail going off the side of that. It was an old railroad bed trail and it started off as a really nice and wide well maintained trail. But it got worse as I went along. I did find one of the coolest campsites ever on this trail and spent the night here. It was in a bow of the creek underneath large hemlocks. The next morning I hiked on up the trail and now I'm starting to fight thrugh brush and having to guess which way the trial went. Finally I'm at a swampy boggy area and there's no trail. I jumped in the creek and walked up that for about a 1/2 mile and came to where a road crossed the creek. I found some people with Outward Bound scouting for a future hike. They sent me back across the the creek where I picked up a horse trail that took me to an intersection with a signpost and numbered trails. I went right heading up the direction I wanted and it soon started dropping back down so I decided it must be the other way and backtracked and started the other way. It gradually climbed the mtn and then circled back heading in the right direction. We'll, it took me like 5 hours to finally get to the AT at Beech Gap from my campsite. I should have stayed on that first trail, I found out this was a loop trail and I took the long way around. So, I spent the 2nd night about 1/2 way down the south side of Standing Indian. The next day I tagged Bly Gap and came back to Low Gap where I took the Kimsey Trail down. I wasn't impressed. This is a horse trail and in being so it was rocky and eroded in places. It crossed a road at one point and there was no visable marking so I went down and came back up and went the other way to where I came to a parking lot on the main gravel road and found a blaze.
    After walking down hill on what felt like baseballs for a couple of hours I noticed I was walking above the campground. I did a steep bushwhack down the hill and walked thru a campsite and back to my car. So, from what I saw the trails were very poorly marked. I only had the AT maps with me the first time there which didn't show the horse trials. The next time I had the Nat'l Geo maps which did and it helped me to get me back up to Beech Gap, along with the help of Ron Haven and one of his friends. But now I'm an expert on getting to Beech Gap from Standing Indian... Park at the Ranger Station, take a little unsigned trail to the gravel road, hike that about a mile to a small parking lot, take the trail out of that heading up the mtn on an old rail bed, when it ends walk the creek about 1/2 mile to where a horse trail crosses, go right up to a numbered sign post, turn left and follow that up till it reaches another signed post, turn right and follow that to another numbered signed post, turn left here and it takes you to Beech Gap. Very simple. Good luck.
    Hokey Pokey

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain Man View Post
    . . . Also, beware the KCT. It is quite overgrown and not well-blazed. . .
    Quote Originally Posted by Marta View Post
    I agree with the people who say the Kimsey Creek Trail is somewhat confusing. . .
    Quote Originally Posted by Hikerhead View Post
    I'm not real sure I could say the trails are well marked. . .
    Well, there appears to be two opinions on the subject. Personally I didn't find it to be that bad. I will say that anyone who finds the trails around Standing Indian difficult to follow probably won't enjoy parts of the Alabama Pinhoti either.

    After thinking about it for a while, I think the best advice is to:
    • check with the Nantahala Hiking Club
    • know how to use a map and compass
    • bring a flexible attitude and a sense of humor
    If you're still in doubt you could always check with Ron Haven; he shuttles a lot of folks in the area and seems to have a pretty good idea of what trail conditions are, etc. How's that strike everyone?
    Last edited by Two Speed; 04-12-2007 at 06:08. Reason: (Forgot to mention that Ron is probably an expert on that area)

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    Registered User orangebug's Avatar
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    Ron Havens educated me that Kimsey Creek and Long Branch were original AT - which is good as it is a nice blue blaze when that area gets icy as we were after Christmas.

    Lower Ridge trail is hard to follow going up, but a nice downhill jog back to the campground. The whole area is special. My favorite loops are BackCountry up Kimsey Creek, north on AT, and back at Glassmine Gap on Long Creek Trail.

  16. #16
    The journey is the destination eventidecu's Avatar
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    The easiest way it to park in the back of the park by the bathroom and the amphitheater. Go to the amphitheater and the trail starts behind it right there at it. It goes up above the campground onto a road and follow it back down and look to the right where the creek starts and follow that up to Deep Gap. I don't know what some of the other trails others have spoken of but this is the way I go and it's always marked and well maintained. There are other trails in the area but this one doe's not cross any other trails until you hit the AT. No horses on it either. Start behind the amphitheater, it seems starting out like a big climb but it's not. It just goes around the camp ground and worth it. It sounds to me some of the other trails are the bad ones others are talking about. This one has never been just watch for the right turn at the creek.

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    The journey is the destination eventidecu's Avatar
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    Also I think going the Long Trail after Albert Mnt is about the same distance as just continuing on the AT down to Rock Gap which comes out right there at the entrance to the park. About a half mile or so from your car.

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    2010 hopefully? sum41punk91's Avatar
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    The Kimsey Trail is a wonderful trail, it's an easy 3.7ish mile access trail up the creek to Deep Gap where the AT joins. From there your about a mile to the Standing Indian Shelter. Then it's about a mile up ( easy grade ) to the summit then about 6 miles mostly down hill (easy grade again) to I think it's Beech gap where there is one of the best tent camping areas I have ever seen. ( you can't miss it, it's marked ) I would suggest going there which would put you at about 10 miles
    eventidecu, so what you are saying is after the 3 and a halfish mile hike when you get up to the gravel part and the road you just keeping heading out past the shelter and to this site you speak of... now i was wondering if you could give me either a site to a map or a little more vivid directions because the hike you described seems great, ive done the trail and loved but never packed so it sounds really cool

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    Quote Originally Posted by sum41punk91 View Post
    eventidecu, so what you are saying is after the 3 and a halfish mile hike when you get up to the gravel part and the road you just keeping heading out past the shelter and to this site you speak of... now i was wondering if you could give me either a site to a map or a little more vivid directions because the hike you described seems great, ive done the trail and loved but never packed so it sounds really cool
    The Kimsey Trail comes up to Low Gap at the parking lot, which is at the end of this gravel road, which is on the south side of Standing Indian. Beech Gap is on the other side of Standing Indian Mtn, on the north side. You get on the AT at Low Gap and head north or up Standing Indian mtn. At Beech Gap, the camp site, there is a trail heading west, or to your left if heading north on the AT. You can go down this to make a loop bak to the campsite but have a Nat'l Geo map handy, it will involve some gravel rd walking back to Standing Indian Campground.
    Hokey Pokey

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hikerhead View Post
    The Kimsey Trail comes up to Low Gap at the parking lot, which is at the end of this gravel road, which is on the south side of Standing Indian. Beech Gap is on the other side of Standing Indian Mtn, on the north side. You get on the AT at Low Gap and head north or up Standing Indian mtn. At Beech Gap, the camp site, there is a trail heading west, or to your left if heading north on the AT. You can go down this to make a loop bak to the campsite but have a Nat'l Geo map handy, it will involve some gravel rd walking back to Standing Indian Campground.
    I think you mean Deep Gap, not Low Gap?
    Skids

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