Yeah, Fodderstack can dish it out, especially after hiking from 900 ft at the bottom of North Fork to 5200 ft to Fodderstack. It's listed as difficult at 12.2 miles. I've always wanted to hike it from Far Gap, but trying to find someone that'll shuttle down that long windy mountain road (Double Camp\Jake Best Road?) to get there is impossible---I'm sure that end sees very little use if any. It would be a great way to go as most of it would be "DOWNHILL".
North Fork and Grassy Gap were washed out bad during those floods years ago. I couldn't believe the difference on Grassy Gap. Both had a lot of big rocks, deep roots. As far as water crossings go, I think there are more than five. I know that you can plan on a lot of crossings in the area. I know the waterfall you’re talking about. The trail cuts across it. We stayed back a bit to be safe. Too close to the edge and too far to fall in a place like that. It would be a great spot to hang for the night though.
I've heard of the pigs and I know there are record size Black Bears. Fortunately, I never saw either one. I do know that it's the same general area where that woman and her kids were attack by a big Black Bear---sad it killed the kids and badly mauled her. You have to be prepared and they may not like it, but I always go packing!
I agree about the no permits required as well---very nice. Camp anywhere you want as long as its 100 feet of the trail and camp fires allowed as well. The only thing I don't like is the unbelievably high cost of an out of state trout permit, WOW!
Last edited by leepingreenlizards; 05-05-2010 at 08:06.
Know how to read a map\compass and GPS and you'll be alright. Just take your time and don't panic if the trail seems to disappear. For instance, at the top of North fork, the trail is actually a small shallow stream and you have to walk in it because it’s surrounded by a lot of tall, thick brush.
Even with all that you’ve been told, you’ll have a great time, but, you need to know your abilities\limits and plan well!
Last edited by leepingreenlizards; 05-05-2010 at 07:35.
For us, we were content to hike 8 miles a day. It allowed us the time to swim, enjoy views and other stuff along the way.
I've been considering planning a hike around fall (before hunting season) or early to mid spring. Should be really nice. Only problem is that there's so much rain fall in the area, especially that time of year, that the stream's can get pretty high.
Could this be an HF member? He said he uses a hammock. Probably a curious bear, thoughts?
There are some big critters in that area. Some with claws, some with hooves. If you set camp in the hollows, the wind will rush down the trail sound like a heard of rhinos just before it smacks up against your tarp. Just as you settle in after that, another wind will come up the trail in the opposite direction.
Two adults with their food hung won't have much problems with bears. A herd of wild pigs on the other hand have much less fear.
If you are trying to make your miles after sunset, be wary. A lot of bear activity happens around dusk.
Like I said, it is wild in there. That's part of the fun.