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  1. #1
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    Winter Camping Sites for Boy Scout Troop - NC or TN

    I'm looking for camp site ideas for a winter campout. I'm the scout master for a scout troop in the NE Atlanta area. Our troop would like to plan a winter camping trip between Christmas and New Years (3-4 days) and I'm looking for ideas where to go. Below are some of the criteria/recommendations.

    - within 3-4 hour drive from NE Atlanta (thinking NC or TN)
    - our troop is a mixture of hammocks and tents (we've still to convert the remaining boys)
    - don't mind a bit of a hike to a camp site. But since the weather conditions this far out are an unknown, would like to keep any hike-in/hike-out minimal.
    - the experience level of the boys runs the gammot (from new scouts/campers to boys that are believe they are Daniel Boone reincarnated).

    Any suggestions or ideas would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    dakotaross's Avatar
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    Hiking all the way or hiking to and from a spot where you'll stay? If the former, you might consider keeping it in GA and hiking on the AT from Hwy 75 north of Helen to Hwy 76 west of Clayton (Unicoi Gap to Dicks Creek Gap). That's a 16m section with 2 shelters and a number of campsites along the way. A good 2-nite hike would be to Tray shelter and then Deep Gap shelter. For 3 nites, and less mileage per day, just camp wherever in that section. Consult Whiteblaze.net for info on water. Might check there, too, for other suggestions.

  3. #3
    Senior Member revbknox's Avatar
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    Might consider Shining Rock Wilderness area right off the blue ridge Parkway in NC. The Art Loeb trail goes from davidson river campground all the way over shining rock down into camp daniel Boone. Could do one section or both starting from the campground all the way into the camp. Only problem up there is that point of the year access could be limited from the parkway due to weather.
    "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

  4. #4
    Senior Member zukiguy's Avatar
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    Stone Mountain State Park in NC has 4 primitive group sites (max 25 each). They also have a number of backcountry hike-in sites but I don't know what the max group site for those might be. I've hung and tent camped at a couple of the backcountry sites and they're very nice. Only a few are near water though. In the winter months you'll likely have the place to yourself. It's a little outside your driving radius though....
    Last edited by zukiguy; 10-15-2012 at 21:54.

  5. #5
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    I went on a winter camping trip with my troop last year and winter camp can be really challenging. It takes a lot of planning and the right gear. I can't stress enough how having the right gear is essential.

  6. #6
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    Are you familiar with Standing Indian Campground, 10-12 miles west of Franklin? Nice loop hike, about 24 miles (other trails there, too, so you have options). Safe parking/facilities at the campground, a couple of AT shelters on the loop, other nice campsites, water not a problem, and an observation tower on Albert Mountain. You can tailor the hike to best fit the boys' abilities. Google it for more info.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jtupnsmoke's Avatar
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    There's the Walls of Jericho. It is on the TN/Alabama state line, just below Winchester,TN. It is a 1 hour hike to the primitive campsite. It shouldn't be more than 2 hours from Atlanta.

  8. #8
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    There was a recent post on a trip to Savage Gulf,15 mi. or so north of South Pittsburg,Tenn.I24 west will take you to S.Pitt.,a good 2 lane hwy. the rest of the way.It's a beautiful place,with car camping and backcountry sites.Haven't been in a while.but it is well worth consideration.Closer,there is the Cohutta Wilderness with numerous possibilites.You should know that anything exceeding a 2-3 in. snow often closes some of the higher roads for a day or three.Lower Jacks' River trail is well used but in the winter is mostly deserted.There are several fair sized areas,one about 2mi. in;last one before the first river crossing.Easy to get to from Cisco,on US411.

  9. #9
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    Thanks. Appreciate the input.

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