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  1. #1
    Registered User vandelay's Avatar
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    Default Trail East of Davenport Gap

    Just finished my next section hike and completed the Smokies. For those that have completed Tennessee and North Carolina, is the 100 miles or so of Trail east of Davenport Gap easier, harder or about the same as the Smokey Mountain National Park?

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    It will be more difficult, but not extreme. The hike through the Smokies is relatively easy, as it runs the ridgeline most of the way once you make the initial climb. When you get out of the park, it is a lot of up and down all the way to Hampton TN.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Tennessee Viking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vandelay View Post
    Just finished my next section hike and completed the Smokies. For those that have completed Tennessee and North Carolina, is the 100 miles or so of Trail east of Davenport Gap easier, harder or about the same as the Smokey Mountain National Park?
    The trail is pretty well maintained in the Smokies. Outside the park, expect it to be a little bit more rugid, some steep climbs, and change in temps.
    ''Tennessee Viking'
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    Former TEHCC (AT) Maintainer
    Falls Lake Trail: 2011

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    north/east of the Smokies, you cross the NC/TN balds (Max Patch, Big Bald, Hump Mtn, and many others) and the Unaka/Roan Mtn highlands.... which are really cool terrain and scenery. Erwin, TN to Damascus, VA was one of my favorite sections with the Roan Mtn highlands and the Laurel Falls Gorge topping the list.

  5. #5

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    Generally a little more difficult on the whole because as others have said, the Smokies are more ridgeline and the trail is well-graded. Of course there's little exceptions; I hiked the Smokies SOBO and the ascents up Brier Knob and Thunderhead were pretty steep.

    IMO, both the Smokies and north/east are not as difficult as the Nantahalas.

  6. #6
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    I must be doing something wrong - GSMNP kicked my butt - but I did hike it SOBO.

    The ~100 miles between Davenport Gap and Erwin is really a good mix of easy walking, switchbacked climbs with a few solid ups just to remind you that you're in the mountains by gosh.

    Most of the trail is smooth without too many rocky sections - the ridge walk between Little Laurel Shelter and Jerry Cabin Shelter north of Allen Gap is the most difficult part due to the rocks but it's only 1.5 mile long and the views are so awesome they distract me from the trail.

    This is a great section - and you've got Standing Bear Farm and Hot Springs right on the trail so you don't have to hitch if you need something.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10-K View Post
    I must be doing something wrong - GSMNP kicked my butt - but I did hike it SOBO......
    I also did it SOBO and didn't find it easy at all but I continued on to the Nantahalas which were so butt-kicking to me, I soon forgot any difficulties in the Smokies.

  8. #8
    Registered User Hikes in Rain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10-K View Post
    I must be doing something wrong - GSMNP kicked my butt - but I did hike it SOBO.

    The ~100 miles between Davenport Gap and Erwin is really a good mix of easy walking, switchbacked climbs with a few solid ups just to remind you that you're in the mountains by gosh.

    Most of the trail is smooth without too many rocky sections - the ridge walk between Little Laurel Shelter and Jerry Cabin Shelter north of Allen Gap is the most difficult part due to the rocks but it's only 1.5 mile long and the views are so awesome they distract me from the trail.

    This is a great section - and you've got Standing Bear Farm and Hot Springs right on the trail so you don't have to hitch if you need something.
    That's the section I start Saturday next. I love hearing this sort of report! I'm so stoked.

  9. #9
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hikes in Rain View Post
    That's the section I start Saturday next. I love hearing this sort of report! I'm so stoked.
    If the weather is bad, it's foggy or so cloudy there aren't any views try and make a note to take the clearly marked bad weather route instead of the ridge walk in the above mentioned section.

    It's the same length (1.5 miles) but is an easy walk on mostly level ground compared to the ridge walk which is a rocky, kinda slow section to get around on.

  10. #10
    Registered User Hikes in Rain's Avatar
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    I'm hoping for nice sunny weather, but I did earn my trail name honestly. I'm just beginning to see weather forecasts for that week. So far, Saturday looks good!

  11. #11
    Registered User vandelay's Avatar
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    All Great Info....Thanks Everyone!!

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