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  1. #1
    Registered User hikernutcasey's Avatar
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    Default Where to start in Davenport Gap going north?

    I'm going to do the short section from Davenport Gap north to Hot Springs in a couple of weeks. I was wondering where to tell the shuttle driver to dump me out at? I have not done GSMNP yet so one of these days I will be coming into Davenport Gap from the south and would like to finish where I start this time. I thought about TN 32. Would that work?

  2. #2
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    Best bet is Standing Bear (Green Corner Road). That is where you will want to leave your car when you do the Smokies.

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    or right by I 40 where the trail crosses the bridge.........

    that would be the easiest to access.........

    but if you want to pick up where you left-----then i would have them dump you at davenport gap (rt 32) so that you wouldnt have a small missing piece of the trail...........

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    I-40 at the bridge off the Waterville Road exit (Standing Bear Hostel is @ 1 mile N off that exit up the gravel road) or since it looks like you will "someday" do the Smokies section, Standing Bear is a good spot. I've stayed there 3 or 3 times & had them shuttle me to NFG, it's a good set up when you need a place to base a night before or after your hike. Enjoy!!! It's a Sweet Section!!
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  5. #5
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    Another option, Casey, is the Big Creek Ranger Station, which is just over a mile downhill from Davenport Gap where the AT exits the park. We were told that I-40 wasn't very safe to park a car - not saying it isn't, but that's what we were told. I see that you're in NC, so if you're planning to drive to the Smokies when you do that section(s), think about where you'll park.

    That section, by the way, is really nice! Hope you enjoy it.

  6. #6
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    If you are going to eventually hike GSMNP southbound I'd start at Davenport Gap proper - not I-40, Standing Bear Farm or Big Creek ranger station. Then when you get around to hiking the park you can start right at Davenport Gap an shoot for Tri-Corner Knob shelter on your first day.

    If you're hiking every section northbound then Standing Bear Farm would be the best place to get dropped off because then when you hiked the park NOBO you could park at Standing Bear Farm and get Curtis to shuttle you to Fontana.

  7. #7
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Here's a snapshot from Google Earth detailing the area being discussed.

    The Red trail denotes the AT.
    The White trails denotes trails (including the AT) in GSMNP.
    You can see Green Corner Road on the far side of I-40.
    I've labeled the location of Big Creek Ranger station near the end of Chestnut Branch trail.
    You can see where the AT crosses 32 at the park boundary.
    There is a river bordering I-40. There is parking in the area of the bridge the AT uses to cross that river to get to I-40 (where illabelle says isn't a safe place to park).
    Dav.jpg
    If you want to follow illabelle's advice (so that you can park at the Ranger Station when you do hike GSMNP):
    1. Get dropped off at the Ranger Station and hike up Chestnut Branch Trail to meet the AT, then hike down to 32 and out to I-40. That way, when you are parked at the Ranger Station in the future, you just hike down Chestnut Branch to finish your hike.
    2. Get dropped off at 32. Then when you are parked at the Ranger Station, hike the AT to 32, then follow 32 back to the Ranger Station 1.5 miles away. This section of 32 also appears to be the final section of the Benton-MacKay connecting it to the AT.

    Note: Chestnut Branch is about 2.0 miles, the AT from Chestnut to 32 is about 2.5 miles, and 32 to the Ranger Station is about 1.5 miles.

    IMHO, it looks like the best thing to do is get dropped off at 32, then in the future, park at the Ranger Station and hike 32 to get from the end of your AT hike back to the car.

  8. #8
    Registered User hikernutcasey's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the info. I think I will start at Standing Bear or where the AT comes closest to it. That way when I do the Smokies one day I can leave my vehicle and finish up there.

  9. #9
    Registered User hikernutcasey's Avatar
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    Default Follow up question

    Quote Originally Posted by hikernutcasey View Post
    Thanks for all the info. I think I will start at Standing Bear or where the AT comes closest to it. That way when I do the Smokies one day I can leave my vehicle and finish up there.
    One more question...

    I have the folks at Standing Bear picking me up Friday morning in Hot Springs. I forgot to ask them, where is a good place to park my truck? I would like to park on the north side of town because when I started there and went to Erwin I started at the bridge so I want to make sure and walk through town.

    Thanks

  10. #10
    Registered User Hikes in Rain's Avatar
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    There's a public parking area about half a block west, just before you go across the railroad track. Left as you go north. I've left my vehicle there several times without incident.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikernutcasey View Post
    One more question...

    I have the folks at Standing Bear picking me up Friday morning in Hot Springs. I forgot to ask them, where is a good place to park my truck? I would like to park on the north side of town because when I started there and went to Erwin I started at the bridge so I want to make sure and walk through town.

    Thanks
    Maybe check with Elmers?
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  12. #12
    Springer to Bland, VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikernutcasey View Post
    One more question...

    I have the folks at Standing Bear picking me up Friday morning in Hot Springs. I forgot to ask them, where is a good place to park my truck? I would like to park on the north side of town because when I started there and went to Erwin I started at the bridge so I want to make sure and walk through town.

    Thanks

    I'm doing the same section as you in mid-October. (I just did Springer to Standing Bear in April) But I'm parking at Laughing Heart Hostel in Hot Springs (free parking if you stay there) and having them shuttle me to Standing Bear to hike NOBO. I prefer to hike towards my car, rather than away from it. But I liked Standing Bear--Curtis shuttled me in to Asheville after my hike.

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