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  1. #1
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    Default Nice 1st Backpack Location

    Soon I'm taking my daughter from UT on her 1st backpacking trip. I'm very excited that she has asked to start backpacking, can't wait to share this with her. The trip is steadily growing from she and I to now her, 3 of her girlfriends and 2 dogs and oh yeah me.

    I don't know the experience level of her friends, but we'll find out. What I'm trying to figure is a good loop for a 1 night trip. I want it to be fairly easy, 4-5 miles per day, something that will spur her to want to continue this activity.

    I'm thinking about a loop in Joyce Kilmer: Up the Naked Ground trail, camp at Naked Ground (Is the spring running there?) or up toward Bob Bald, then hike to Hangover lead and out (I forget the trail name, something Meadows, and don't have my map w/ me) the trail that ends up in the same parking lot that naked ground trail starts. Then take the girls into the Memorial Forest and just wait for the ooohs and aaahhhs. Wait that may be me. Those trees almost bring tears to my eyes.

    Any other good ideas that are close to Knoxville?

    PS. guys I don't need any volunteers for guides on this trip. But, thanks for offering in advance.
    If you don't make waves, it means you ain't paddling

  2. #2
    Registered User Phreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by envirodiver View Post
    Soon I'm taking my daughter from UT on her 1st backpacking trip. I'm very excited that she has asked to start backpacking, can't wait to share this with her. The trip is steadily growing from she and I to now her, 3 of her girlfriends and 2 dogs and oh yeah me.

    I don't know the experience level of her friends, but we'll find out. What I'm trying to figure is a good loop for a 1 night trip. I want it to be fairly easy, 4-5 miles per day, something that will spur her to want to continue this activity.

    I'm thinking about a loop in Joyce Kilmer: Up the Naked Ground trail, camp at Naked Ground (Is the spring running there?) or up toward Bob Bald, then hike to Hangover lead and out (I forget the trail name, something Meadows, and don't have my map w/ me) the trail that ends up in the same parking lot that naked ground trail starts. Then take the girls into the Memorial Forest and just wait for the ooohs and aaahhhs. Wait that may be me. Those trees almost bring tears to my eyes.

    Any other good ideas that are close to Knoxville?

    PS. guys I don't need any volunteers for guides on this trip. But, thanks for offering in advance.
    Jenkins Meadows is the trail that ends where Naked Ground begins. The view from Hangover will make the entire trip worthwhile.

    Not sure about the water situation on Naked Ground. It's been dry several times on a few of my trips over the past couple of years.

  3. #3
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    10-07-2006
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    You might look at Virgin Falls Pocket Wilderness in Sparta, Tennessee. If you are unfamilar with it, it's a eight mile round trip backpacking loop with four good waterfalls (Big Branch, Laurel, Sheep Cave, and the 120' Virgin Falls), 2 explorable caves (at the top of Virgin Falls, and Sheep Cave), a few big trees, and one good overlook (from a long steep spur trail). I am not sure how impressive the falls would be after this long of a drought, but you can see my pictures made in April here:

    http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/5...vhost=outdoors

    Savage Gulf State Natural Area has some nice trails and the Big Creek Rim trail might meet your needs. It is about 4 miles to Alum Gap Capsite and has good views along the way. The only downfall is that Alum Gap has no water so you would either have to hike down the Greeter Falls trail to get water or carry it all in. Here are pics of that trip a few years ago.

    http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/5...tdoors&start=0

    Another Possibility is the Piney River Segment of the Cumberland Trail. There is a campsite near the suspention bridge that would shorten the day to about 5 miles. You could do the whole trail in two low milage days if you have two cars or you can do a there and back. Here are some pictures from that trip:

    http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/5...vhost=outdoors

    And finally if you don't mind pushing the milage up a bit, I did a trip this spring that I think would make an excellent first backpacking trip. The Boogerman Trial in the Cataloochie Area of the GSMNP. We did a loop that included not only the Boogerman Trail but also sections of the Cataloochie and Rough Fork Trail. The Boogerman Trail is full of history and virgin timber. I once saw a chart that had 10 poplars on the Boogerman over 300 years old. It also sports the tallest tree this side of the Mississippi River a 207 foot tall pine. Camp at #41 and pass "Big Poplars" (the name says it all-my photos do NOT do these trees justice) then head back down past #40, past the "Woody Place" that you can explore and back into Cataloochie. Here are my Pics"

    http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/5...vhost=outdoors

  4. #4
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    Thanks Mocs. All good ideas. I'll check them out. I'm familiar w/ Virgin Falls and a little w/ Savage Gulf (It has always been so dry when I've been there, even on good years, this year must be real bad) Never done the Cumberland Trail or that route in GSMNP. I'll check them both out. Thanks again
    If you don't make waves, it means you ain't paddling

  5. #5

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    Do not forget that dogs are not allowed in GSMNP.

    Also a popular trail in Salvage Gulf is to go to Hobbs Cabin. Nice easy 10 mile hike (call ahead to ask about the spring) with plenty of views, rangers check every campsite every night (peace of mind maybe for the girls) and dogs have to be on a leash.
    A good friend will bail you out of jail but a great friend will be sitting beside you saying "Man that was fun!"

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