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Topic: Big South Fork loops, suggested loops in TN/KY< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 14 2012, 11:27 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm trying to decide on a loop (some doubling is fine) route in BSF for late September. How are crowds? I prefer to see as few people as possible. We'll have 3.5 days of walking. Strenuous trails are fine, but we aren't looking to cover huge territory. Anywhere from 3-7 miles per day I think is fine.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 14 2012, 12:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've only been to BSF once, but loved it.  We only did an overnighter starting at Leatherwood Ford parking lot.  Once you cross the river (on a cool bridge), you hit the John Muir trail.  We headed north toward Angel Falls overlook.  Fairly strenuous hike up to it, but worth it!  Fantastic views.  Once on top of the ridge we did the loop that was half John Muir Trail and half...some other trail (sorry).  No designated camp sites, so you could camp wherever was suitable/allowed, no caves or under over hangs, etc.  Only other people we saw were 2 mountain bikers, who were nice as could be.

On the way out the next day, we day hiked part of the Honey Creek Loop.  It was very good as well.  If I go back, I'll try and overnight that one.

Only downside is it's hard to find good maps of the area.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 14 2012, 12:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just remembered, my avatar is actually Angel Falls Overlook.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 15 2012, 1:48 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We're really looking forward to it. I am pretty sure we're planning on Honey Creek as an overnight right now. I'm hoping there are some things we can link into it. What time of year were you there?
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 15 2012, 9:41 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Honey Creek is one of my favorite hikes on the Plateau. if you go that route and wanna tack on some more mileage, you can hook up to the lower end of the John Muir Trail and take that down to the Burnt Mill Bridge loop

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 15 2012, 1:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

November 2010, Veterans Day weekend.  My buddy reminded me, that loop was called Grand Gap Loop.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 29 2012, 5:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(ashepabst @ Aug. 15 2012, 9:41 am)
QUOTE
Honey Creek is one of my favorite hikes on the Plateau. if you go that route and wanna tack on some more mileage, you can hook up to the lower end of the John Muir Trail and take that down to the Burnt Mill Bridge loop

This is the route I'm planning on right now. I've read several places to not try to carry a pack on Honey Creek. I see in photos that there are a couple tight spots, but I really couldn't figure out any other reason. I'm planning on going slowly enough that I just don't see it mattering unless someone tells me good reasons. I'm thinking we'll start Honey Creek on the Thursday and try to camp a couple miles in. After that, we'd have all of Friday to play around and make some progress in there. Saturday by lunch we should be at the end of that loop and ready to meet a couple joining us for the rest of the trip. If it's raining, I'll reverse the itinerary so that we're not in Honey Creek in the rain.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 30 2012, 9:19 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

yeah, i read that about honey creek, too. i think they might be referring to the ladder that goes down from the honey creek overlook -- might be hard to climb down with a pack due to the cage around the ladder. but the overlook is actually a side trip unless you start your hike from there. there are definitely a bunch of very tricky spots on the route, but they were only a problem for me the time i hiked it in high water. i don't think you'll have that issue this time of year.

there are limited campsites on the route. there are two campsites down on the big river (about two miles in going counter clockwise) and another site near the big rockhouse with the ladder leading into it. there's another small site right at the base of ice castle falls.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 30 2012, 3:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Perfect, I was hoping to get just about two miles in on the first day. That is very helpful.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 31 2012, 11:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Middle Creek Trailhead , down the Laurel , up Station Camp past Chariot Creek and over Twin Arches then return up Slave Falls. If you are worried about your vehicle park and start at Bandy Creek Ranger station/campground.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 04 2012, 8:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Honey Creek can be done with a pack but there aren't too many place to camp along it.  It is very tight & continually sloping. Parking at Bandy Creek will give you the best options for loops but remember the BSF is very rugged & you'll more than likely have to hike more miles than expected to find a place to camp unless your hanging.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 05 2012, 5:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'll be sleeping in the trees. We will have some tenters too though. We have more than one car coming, so my plan is to have one at each trailhead and shuttle. The route overall is short enough that I'm hoping the couple softies of the group won't be too strained if they have to go a couple extra. We have a sort of odd mix - a couple guys who are in not so great shape and a few who are ultra runners. I'm sure we'll distribute weight accordingly.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 06 2012, 7:13 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've never backpacked at Big South Fork, but I have camped at Bandy Creek and then done day hikes all over the place --- great way to get to know the different trails without having a backpack on! LOL  I've been there a couple times, and still have more trails to explore.  Have fun, it's a great place.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 10 2012, 10:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TheBeef @ Sep. 05 2012, 5:58 pm)
QUOTE
a couple guys who are in not so great shape and a few who are ultra runners. I'm sure we'll distribute weight accordingly.

I did this loop in a few hours with a day pack, again the tenters may have trouble finding a place to tent the hangers will be fine.  I sugggest doing this as a day hike but if your are going to camp, do it counter clockwise, IHO
the best camping is near the BSF, & Honey Creek.  Enjoy


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 10 2012, 10:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

sorry my biggest point on the "quote" was that the "out of shape hikers" might have some trouble if you do a long day through the middle section.  It entails walking up the stream, up waterfalls, ladders & such.  Great Hike Though : O )

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 28 2012, 9:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We ended up having perfect weather - 70s during the day, low 40s at night. Did Honey Creek, the connector, and Burnt Mill. We started with Honey Creek, so the rest was a little anticlimactic. There are actually 3 campsites right next to each other by the big river on the counterclockwise route. They're nice sites, but there was a disappointing amount of campsite abuse evidence - trees picked clean for firewood, tin can trash left in fire circles, and even broken glass in places. We disposed of what we were able, but there was still a good bit left behind. The prettiest campsites are on the other side, but aren't suitable for bigger groups like we had. My favorite has two lounge chairs built from stone slabs. We were able to base camp at that site for two days, then hiked the remainder of Honey Creek and the connector in one shot. Then we basecamped on Burnt Mill for two days. Burnt Mill had a couple freaky moments: one where a tree snake fell from very high up into the middle of the campsite, and another in the middle of the night where we could hear what guess was a very violent sounding coon hunting expedition.

Does anyone know when the JMT will be extended off the north side of Honey Creek?
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2012, 2:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

I had the same coon hunting experience while camping up at "Needles Eye" up on Hurricane Ridge, I thought they were going to run right through camp : O /

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