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  1. #1
    The perpetual thru-hiker!
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    Default False Gap in Smokies?

    On one of my very old AT maps from the Smokies there used to be a shelter marked at "False Gap", near Porter Gap, I think, in between Icewater Springs Shelter and Pecks Corner Shelter. The old guidebook had listed it as "closed", but I was wondering if they had actually gone to the trouble of tearing it down like they did Birch Springs Shelter. I've always wanted to stop there and see if there are any old foundations or a spring, but am usually steaming along with no time to look. Has anyone ever run across the old False Gap Shelter?

  2. #2

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    I've seen plenty of false summits around there....

  3. #3

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    It's amazing what the internet can reveal:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4V6gVOgAJiw

  4. #4
    Registered User Desert Reprobate's Avatar
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    Shelter is gone. I bet the mice are still there.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldStormcrow View Post
    I've always wanted to stop there and see if there are any old foundations or a spring, but am usually steaming along with no time to look.
    Having the time to stop and look around is possibly the best thing about hiking!
    What? Me worry??

  6. #6
    1,630 miles and counting earlyriser26's Avatar
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    False Gap shelter has been closed for a long time. I guess from the video not much is left. It was already closed in 1978, because a group of us saw it was still listed on a old map and we stayed there. Even then it was in poor shape. I always like to look for old shelter sites.
    There are so many miles and so many mountains between here and there that it is hardly worth thinking about

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by earlyriser26 View Post
    It was already closed in 1978, because a group of us saw it was still listed on a old map and we stayed there.
    I remember it still being open in 1974. It was the first shelter I ever stayed in.

  8. #8
    The perpetual thru-hiker!
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    Quote Originally Posted by sliderule View Post
    I remember it still being open in 1974. It was the first shelter I ever stayed in.
    Do you remember if there was a spring in the area? I have been considering bushwhacking up to the old shelter site from the Tennessee side sometime in the summer. There used to be a very old trail going up from that side at the end of a dead end road. I've never been in the Smokies except in the dead of winter, so this should be an interesting experience.

  9. #9

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    As I recall, there was a spring in the immediate vicinity of the shelter. The Trails Illustrated map of the park (1994 revision) shows a spring west of False Gap, in the approximate location of the shelter.

  10. #10
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    OldStorm,
    I think the old trail that you are referring to is what is currently referred to as 'the manway'. A lot of hikers go up that old roadbed and ultimately make the rock climb up to Charlies Bunyon. Watch for snakes in that area in the summer.

    I havent been on that old trail, but have seen many postings on backpacker.com in the SE Region section of people that have hiked that route. It could be a good source of information. Some of those guys are pretty serious about off trail adventures in the park and could give all the specifics you might need.

  11. #11
    Registered User Rcarver's Avatar
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    I visited the site in November last year. If you are looking at the shelter from the front, the spring is just past it about thirty yards on the right. A great piped water source. Not much left of the shelter. Just the three walls. The park service uses the area as a place to stay while doing trail work.

  12. #12
    The perpetual thru-hiker!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rcarver View Post
    I visited the site in November last year. If you are looking at the shelter from the front, the spring is just past it about thirty yards on the right. A great piped water source. Not much left of the shelter. Just the three walls. The park service uses the area as a place to stay while doing trail work.
    Hmmmm....probably wouldn't be a great idea for me to stealth camp there, then.......

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldStormcrow View Post
    Hmmmm....probably wouldn't be a great idea for me to stealth camp there, then.......
    Talk to the park volunteer coordinator. Tell her you want to clean the site up and that you will need to camp there to get the job done.

    Or get a reservation for Peck's Corner. Then become geographically challenged. As long as you have a permit, you can always be "enroute" to the designated site!!!

  14. #14
    Can you dig it?
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    be careful, that place becomes a MUDPIT with any rain whatsoever and if someone does wander down there (hog hunter, Ridge runner, ranger :0 etc.) they might not be too nice as its obvious the park is trying to keep folks outa there.

    I know you're going to say 'what can a Ridgerunner do!?'...use their radio.

    Just a humble onion guys.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Digger'02 View Post

    I know you're going to say 'what can a Ridgerunner do!?'...use their radio.
    Citations can't be issued over the radio. And the chances of a law enforcement ranger getting out of his car and hiking 15 miles round trip to issue an illegal camping ticket are zero.

  16. #16
    Can you dig it?
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    devils advocate here..no passive aggression.

    The don't have to hike the 15 miles, they just have to wait at the right trail head. but you are right, the chances of that aren't great.

    Hopefully, the old "be a part of the solution and follow the rules" is enough for most folks.

  17. #17

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    Odd. I hiked the eastern part of the AT in the Park in November, 1973, and I think it was closed then. I wonder if the manway from Porters Flat is even passable any more. I climbed it back in the mid 90s - took the wrong draw, the left one. I ended up walking on top of the slicks, a la Kephart. I met the friend who was supposed to have hiked it with me within 100' of gaining the AT (he had come up the right way). I persuaded him to go down the correct way with me. He had been intending to hike on to Pecks. It's not something I'd ever want to do again...

  18. #18
    Registered User gollwoods's Avatar
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    the manway is passable. recently. kind of difficult to keep on the actual trail at the upper part and lots of blowdowns, etc. near the steepest part you have to decide on various furrows going up i took the less obstructed one. it got so tough i went diagonally to the right and wound up eventually topping out 50 ft from the A T just east of the bunion.

  19. #19

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    I went up the draw to the left at the Porter bottom. I still can't believe I was dumb enough to ignore the string people had strung across it with debris tied on it. Oh well. After I kept angling to the left and walked across on top of the rhodo slick, I finally made a little pig trail on top of Porter Mtn, the top of which ridge is all of 4' wide. As I approached the AT, I started to worry that I might have a 200' straight up approach where the spur ridge met the main. Thank god it was only like a 4" stepdown onto the AT...

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