Mar 2, 2010 at 12:41 pm #1255967
would like to do a moderate 30-40 mile trip MAY 13-16th (4 days, 3 nights). Had my heart set on fox creek to damascus until i found out it's trail days. I live in Atlanta. Any other good recomendations? either need a loop trail or some way to shuttle because it will only be one car. realy looking for some views/ridge hiking. will be driving from ATL thursday and driving back sunday. thanks in advance!Mar 2, 2010 at 2:12 pm #1580726
Have you done many hikes in the Smokies? There are endless loop possibilities in the Smokies. IMHO I think the Smokies offer the best hiking within close proximity Atlanta if you are going for more than an overnighter.
One example – I did a 4 day 39 mile-ish hike last summer that was pretty awesome when it comes to views and ridge hiking:
Day 1: Started at Newfound Gap and camped at Mt. Leconte Shelter. Sunset and Sunrise are amazing if the weather is good (8.1 mi). Not very far but the hike up Leconte is pretty strenuous.
Day 2: Hiked to Kephart Shelter via The Boulevard Trail –> AT –> Sweat Heifer Cr Trail. (11.1 mi)
Day 3: The plan was to sleep at Peck's corner shelter but we arrived there (10.3 mi) by around 1:30 PM so we decided to hike the extra 7.5 mi to Icewater Spring shelter and have a short day out the following day. The AT between Peck's Corner and Icewater Spring Shelter is amazing – between the Sawteeth and Charlie's Bunion there is some amazing ridge walking and views on that section.
Day 4: Hiked back down to Newfound Gap (only about 3 miles).
If you followed our original plan it would be 4 days of pretty good hiking all between 8 and 11 miles I think.
There are some other folks though that know the Smokies better than I do that might be able to suggest some other hikes.
Good luck with the trip planning and have a great hike!Mar 2, 2010 at 2:17 pm #1580729Mar 2, 2010 at 7:52 pm #1580925
Lakeshore Trail is absolutely my favorite hike in the Smokies. 35 miles, uncrowded, lots of really nice campsites, easy hiking, lots of fishing oppurtunities. Only downside is there are not alot of nice views.
I am planning a trip there for late April early May.
JosephMar 3, 2010 at 4:17 am #1581028
@windwardLocale: NE Tennessee
Pardon the cross-post (this was posted to your original thread).
Sam's Gap to Hot Springs (N-S) is a 45 miler, climbing 8900' and descending 11200'. You'd end up in Hot Springs, where you could book a hot tub soak and a massage if you want to balance your yang with some yin. There are one or two hostels in Hot Springs, and you could probably work out shuttle that way.
Carver's Gap, on Roan Mtn, south to the Nolichucky River, is about 32 miles, climbing about 7200' and descending about 11,100'. Uncle Johnny's in Erwin, will do shuttle for a price. Start from 19E to add another 14 miles, but do NOT leave your car at 19E.
Iron Mountain Gap south to Sam's Gap is about 42 miles, climbing and descending about 11,200'. Again, Uncle Johnny's will get you from Sam's to the Nolichucky for a fee, and could get you to Iron Mtn Gap as well. You get ridge hiking, rhododendron, wooded areas, balds, the Nolichucky… I really like this section of trail.
All three sections obviously involve some ascending (nothing technical, just uphill), but each is lovely, relatively uncrowded, and has few problem bears. Water is plentiful and the topography is varied, with some excellent views here and there. I don't think you'd be disappointed by any of them, assuming the ascents don't put you off.Mar 3, 2010 at 7:28 am #1581054
Here are my suggestions for moderate 30-40 miles hikes with ridgewalks-views.
AT: Newfound Gap to Waterville School Road (33.3 miles) (climbing 4600ft and descending 7700ft)
This section has some great ride walks and tons of views. Highlights include Charlie’s Bunion, The Sawteeth, and Mt. Cammerer Fire Lookout. You can park at Standing Bear Hostel on Waterville School Road for $2 a day (Do NOT park at Davenport Gap!) and they can shuttle you to Newfound Gap. This trip is pretty easy due to the fact that you start at 5080 feet at Newfound Gap, and has no major climbs (for the AT). The downside is you have to have reservations and stay in the shelters.
AT: Carvers Gap to Dennis Cove Road (37.5 miles) (climbing 6900ft and descending 9000ft)
The highlight of this section is the Roan Highlands, which you will pass through on the first 8 miles of this trip. This is all wide open balds with views that are second to none. I have done the AT from Springer Mtn GA to Pearisburg, VA and Roan Highlands is my favorite section of trail. Again you start at over 5000 feet and have no major climbs (although some might seem like it). The second half of the trail is nothing spectacular, but it is relatively flat and easy. You can park at Kincora Hostel on Dennis Cove Road and Bob Peoples the owner can shuttle you to Carvers Gap. You will simply not find a nicer guy on the trail than Bob Peoples.Mar 3, 2010 at 8:02 am #1581069
newfound gap to waterville school road sounds great as I wanted to check out some of those points of interest. how/where do i make reservations and which shelters should i stay in. thanks!Mar 3, 2010 at 8:27 am #1581079
All of the key information for the park is on the National Park Service Website.
You'll need to call the Backcountry Information Office to make reservations @ (865) 436-1297Mar 3, 2010 at 8:50 am #1581091
Icewater Springs has a nice view, but it is the most used shelter in the park so it is often a zoo. It is 4 miles from Newfound Gap.
Pecks Corner is 0.4 off the trail and it's one of the older renovations, but it's not bad and is 10.8 miles from Newfound Gap.
Tricorner Knob is one of the newest renovations on that side of the park and the spring is close to the shelter. It is 15.7 miles from Newfound Gap.
Cosby Knob is another new renovation that is located close to the water source. It is 23.3 miles from Newfound Gap.
Davenport Gap was the first shelter to be renovated and still has the bear fence on the front. It is 30.4 miles from Newfound Gap.
For some reason, I don't have a picture of Icewater Springs even though I have passed it at least half a dozen times. I also don't have a pic of Davenport Gap as it is off the trail a little ways and I have never stopped.
Mar 3, 2010 at 9:14 am #1581101
Icewater Springs is really busy but it has a great view for a shelter. If you are starting at Newfound Gap you probably won't be staying here as it's so close but if you started on an evening just to get started it would be a good place to start your trip.
Icewater Spring Shelter
View from Icewater Spring ShelterMar 3, 2010 at 10:10 am #1581129
obx hikerBPL Member
@obxcolaLocale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
Bring some!Mar 3, 2010 at 11:24 am #1581165
hmmm, thanks for all of your help guys, but i think i am looking for a little more solitude. I think i am going to give up the views and hit the lakeshore trail. will save this hike for the winter when crowds are less and no earplugs needed. You guys rock. Thanks again.Mar 3, 2010 at 11:49 am #1581180
If you are wanting solitude then you made a great choice, I didn't see a single person when I did the Lakeshore Trail. If you need a shuttle I have had good service from Jeff and Nancy at the Hike Inn near Fontana Dam. You can reach them at 828-479-3677. Have a great trip!
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