Feb 16, 2011 at 6:19 pm #1269272
I am looking to do a 4-5 day hike in the general area of the Smokies in mid-May to early June with my daughter, a rookie backpacker, and my son, a veteran of Philmont. She's graduating from vet school and wants to do a backpacking trip before starting to work in the real world. We probably will shoot for about 10 miles per day. I have considered doing part of the AT but don't want to stay in shelters. Any recommendations?Feb 18, 2011 at 2:03 pm #1698451
What about this?
Day 1: Starting at Cosby front country campground take the Gabes Mountain Trail for 6.6 miles until you reach the intersection with the Maddron Bald Trail. Follow the Maddron Bald Trail for 4.5 miles (and take the 0.7 mile side loop to Albright Grove) until you reach Campsite #29
Total Miles: 11.8
Highlight Rating: B
Highlights: Hen Wallow Falls, Virgin Timber in Albright Grove
Day 2: Continue on the Maddron Bald Trail for 1.6 miles until you reach the Snake Den Ridge Trail, which you will take the additional 0.7 of a mile to the AT. Turn NoBo on the AT for 2.3 miles until you reach the Camel Gap Trail. Follow the Camel Gap Trail downhill for 4.1 miles unitl you reach CS#36
Total Miles: 9.7
Highlight Rating: C
Highlights: Big Creek
Day 3: From CS#36 take the Swallow Fork Trail four miles up over Mt. Sterling Ridge, when you reach the crest of the ridge, follow Pretty Hollow Gap Trail for four miles down the other side and camp at CS#39
Total Miles: 8
Highlight Rating: C
Highlights: Swallow Fork, Mt Sterling Ridge
Day 4: Starting at CS#39 continue down the Pretty Hollow Gap trail for 0.8 miles until you reach the Little Cataloochee Trail. Follow the Little Cataloochie Trail through the abandoned Little Cataloochee community for 4.1 miles until you reach the Long Bunk Trail witch starts the climb back up Mt Sterling. After 3.6 gently climbing miles on the Long Bunk Trail you intersect the Mt Sterling Trail which you will follow for 1.8 miles back to the main ridge of Mt Sterling. Follow the Mt Sterling Ridge Trail for 0.3 miles until you reach the Mt Sterling Fire tower and CS#38.
Total Miles: 9.8
Highlight Rating: A++
Highlights: Cook Cabin, Little Cataloochee Church & Cemetery, Hannah Cabin, Hannah Cemetery, Mt Sterling Fire Tower
Day 5: From CS#38 head back the way you came on the Mt Sterling Ridge Trail and follow it all the way back to the Swallow Fork Trail that you used a couple of days before. Follow the Swallow Fork Trail back to Big Creek, taking the Low Gap Trail back up and across the AT and back to Cosby Campground.
Highlight Rating B
Highlights: Mt Sterling, Big CreekFeb 18, 2011 at 7:59 pm #1698578
Thanks Bradford! You did some serious work mapping this out. Do you know where I can find any pictures of this area/trails? What map(s) could I find these trails on?Feb 20, 2011 at 6:20 pm #1699300Feb 23, 2011 at 6:32 pm #1700759
Great photos! Thanks!
I could not get the link to work for the map.
Are the trails well marked? I notice that the route switches from trail to trail, so I just wanted to know if it would be easy to navigate it.Feb 23, 2011 at 6:47 pm #1700766
The trails are not marked, but well maintained with signs at every junction. As long as you know what trails you need to take, you will not need a map or compass, you will not lose the trail.Feb 24, 2011 at 8:21 pm #1701311
Got it. Thanks!
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