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Topic: GSMNP A.T. Hike Trip Report, From Newfound Gap to Davenport Gap< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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GeorgiaPete Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2012, 7:49 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A friend and I did our annual Appalachian Trail section hike from 21 to 23 September, this time from Newfound Gap to (almost) Davenport Gap in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  

We arrived a day early because of the long drive from our homes and spent the night before the trip at a hotel on the Cherokee Indian Reservation.  Early the next morning, we drove both vehicles to the Big Creek Ranger Station parking lot near Davenport Gap and left one there.  From many sources, we heard vehicles were not safe in the actual Davenport parking lot and chose the ranger station lot instead.  There were already several cars at the station.  From there , we drove the other vehicle to the Newfound Gap parking lot, about a 90 minute drive.  

Originally, we had planned to spend the first day at Ice Water Spring Shelter, but when I called to make reservations, the shelter was already full so we chose Peck's Corner Shelter.  The first day hike was about 10 miles.  The trail was in pretty good shape and we saw no animals.  After Charlie's Bunion (a rock formation) there were no more day hikers and the condition of the trail became more rustic.  Peck's Corner Shelter was full by the time we went to sleep.  Although we were expecting colder weather, my 35F bag was more than warm enough.

On day two, we hiked from Peck's Corner to Cosby Knob Shelter, about 12 miles.  The trail was often very rocky and we could see that horses were allowed to use it.  More than once, we ran into trail maintainers on an 8-day outing to fix the treadway (thanks!).  Cosby Knob also had a lot of people.  Again we saw no animals although bear scat was evident in a few places.

The last day, we hiked out to Big Creek taking the Chestnut Branch Trail the last two miles.  The trail was very steep in spots with loose rocks and overgrown vegetation.  An A.T. Ridge Runner stopped to talk to us on his way to Cosby Knob, and we also chatted with a park volunteer on Chestnut Branch Trail.  The latter noted that some of the parking lots along the A.T. outside of the park were not safe and he recommended using a shuttle or other means to access the trail.

We were a bit early for the fall colors and yet the back country had lots of hikers.  One regular at a shelter told us that starting in January 2013, back country permits will be $4 per person.  By law, the GSMNP can not charge vehicles like other parks so the backpackers will be footing the bill.  No one could explain how people hiking into the park would pay.


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Georgia Pete
AT Section Hiker
May you have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night, and the road downhill all the way to your door. - Irish Toast
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pastywhite Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 03 2012, 7:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the TR.
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cgaphiker Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 04 2012, 10:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for sharing. For what it's worth, there is no where to park at Davenport Gap.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 04 2012, 10:46 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

there is a small pull off at davenport gap that people park at...........

but i would advise against it..
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cgaphiker Search for posts by this member.
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 04 2012, 12:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

It's blocked off with big rocks.
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wornoutboots Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 06 2012, 1:45 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thankf for the TR! So you didn't make it up the Mt Camererr Fore Tower? Or does the Trail split off before that?

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5 replies since Oct. 03 2012, 7:49 pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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