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  1. #21
    Senior Member ikemouser's Avatar
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    I am seriously considering the joyce-kilmer three area trip discussed above, these pics has me wanting to check it out:

    http://lh4.ggpht.com/_KgJXapMkgvI/SD...s/IMG_0526.jpg

    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...26tbs%3Disch:1

    "The Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest along Little Santeetlah Creek is a rare example of an old growth cove hardwood forest, an extremely diverse forest type unique to the Appalachian Mountains. Although there are many types of trees in Joyce Kilmer, dominant species include poplar, hemlock, red and white oak, basswood, beech, and sycamore. Many of the trees in Joyce Kilmer are over 400 years old. The largest rise to heights of over 100 feet (30 m) and have circumferences of up to 20 feet (6.1 m). The Slickrock Creek basin is coated primarily by a mature second-growth cove hardwood forest, although a substantial old growth stand still exists in its upper watershed.[3][4]"

    Sounds awesome. Time to make a new thread.

    I am a big fan of solitude/few crowds, i know the smokies will be packed. this area will not. Also you have the smog to deal with.

  2. #22
    MacEntyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ikemouser View Post
    i know the smokies will be packed.
    That they will be in July!

    I have a hard time discerning between smog and fog in the Smokies. How do you tell the difference without instrumentation? At any rate, both obstruct the view.

    One thing about the NC mountains... every time you go they look different!

    "We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately." - Ben Franklin
    www.MollyMacGear.com

  3. #23
    Senior Member leepingreenlizards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ikemouser View Post
    I am seriously considering the joyce-kilmer three area trip discussed above, these pics has me wanting to check it out:

    http://lh4.ggpht.com/_KgJXapMkgvI/SD...s/IMG_0526.jpg

    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...26tbs%3Disch:1

    "The Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest along Little Santeetlah Creek is a rare example of an old growth cove hardwood forest, an extremely diverse forest type unique to the Appalachian Mountains. Although there are many types of trees in Joyce Kilmer, dominant species include poplar, hemlock, red and white oak, basswood, beech, and sycamore. Many of the trees in Joyce Kilmer are over 400 years old. The largest rise to heights of over 100 feet (30 m) and have circumferences of up to 20 feet (6.1 m). The Slickrock Creek basin is coated primarily by a mature second-growth cove hardwood forest, although a substantial old growth stand still exists in its upper watershed.[3][4]"

    Sounds awesome. Time to make a new thread.

    I am a big fan of solitude/few crowds, i know the smokies will be packed. this area will not. Also you have the smog to deal with.
    I'm telling you; you won't be dissapointed friend. Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock, NC is right next door to Citico Creek Wilderness Area, TN. The Fodderstack Trail is actually the border between the 2 states. On one hike, we hiked Citico and stayed one night at Bob's Bald, in Joyce Kilmer.

    One thing though, in warmer weather, Fodderstack Trail (an equestrian trail) and Bob's Bald are eat up with bitting flies and gnatts by the millions. That's why I prefer fall and early spring hikes there.

    I had a movie posted at YouTube that I took on my last hike there, but I removed it to redo and repost---have yet to do that.

    Map I used was the National Geographic, Tellico & Ocoee Rivers #781.

    Be aware, this is a Black Bear Reserve and a true wilderness area. There are little to no trail markers at all, so have your ducks in a row; and some of the trails are extreemly difficult (no exageration) as well, but it's well worth it.

    Remember, the more remote hikes offer the highest degree of solitude---dude.

  4. #24
    Senior Member ikemouser's Avatar
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    What about delorme, will they have maps for this? i was planning on buying a delorme, especially for areas like this.

  5. #25
    Senior Member leepingreenlizards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ikemouser View Post
    What about delorme, will they have maps for this? i was planning on buying a delorme, especially for areas like this.
    I believe they do. I know for sure that Delormes TOPO 5, 6, 7, 8 has the areas trails. When I had my Brunton Multinavagator, I downloaded a route I created for it---very good idea to do this becsue some of the trails can be very difficult to follow with simply a paper map. In fact, after the big floods they had up there years ago, some of the trails became more difficult to hike and folllow.

  6. #26
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ikemouser View Post
    What about delorme, will they have maps for this? i was planning on buying a delorme, especially for areas like this.
    Good luck getting your GPS to pick up in the canopy there. It is quite dense. The NatGeo maps 781 and 784 are the ones that I use most for that area.(The USFS maps are not all that up to date)

    You won't get the altitude that you'd see in the GSMNP, but there are some awesome hike to be had there.
    The trails are not maintained like in the GSMNP, but the crowds are way lower as well. There are dozens of three day loops to be had there. If the weather is nice, you'll want to make sure and visit Bob's Bald for the view. Most of the time "the Bob" is clouded or fogged over though.

    PM me if you need more info. I usually go up that way 6 to 10 times a year.

  7. #27
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ikemouser View Post
    How would you compare it to big south fork or RRG? I assume you have been to both.
    GSMNP does not have as many ticks as BSF. The ticks are horrible in BSF. I went on a hike there last spring and stopped counting after the first 150 ticks, and that was just a day hike.

    Most of the bad air days are when it has been hot with no rain. The heat causes the photochemical reaction. When it rains, the views won't be all that good either. The Smokies were smokey long before air pollution hit. Parts of it are qualify as rain forest getting over 100 inches or rain per year.

    If you want to do the Smokies and you are concerned about air quality, just plan to hike on the South or East sides of the mountains. Most of the pollutants are trapped in the valley to the North. Hitting the other side of the slope will get you out of that "bowl".

    Personally, I hike them year round. When it's gonna be hot, I just plan a route with lots of cool streams. You'll sweat a bunch either from the heat or just the humidity.

  8. #28
    Senior Member leepingreenlizards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wisenber View Post
    Good luck getting your GPS to pick up in the canopy there. It is quite dense. The NatGeo maps 781 and 784 are the ones that I use most for that area.(The USFS maps are not all that up to date)

    You won't get the altitude that you'd see in the GSMNP, but there are some awesome hike to be had there.
    The trails are not maintained like in the GSMNP, but the crowds are way lower as well. There are dozens of three day loops to be had there. If the weather is nice, you'll want to make sure and visit Bob's Bald for the view. Most of the time "the Bob" is clouded or fogged over though.

    PM me if you need more info. I usually go up that way 6 to 10 times a year.
    I had no difficulty at all.

    In fact we were in a valley, when we lost part of the North Fork Citico Creek Trail, even after extensive searching. I turned on my GPS, got a lock and we were able to relocate it. What happened was that after the floods, a big piece of the trail was missing. The GPS kept pointing in the direction it was supposed to be, but my friends thought it was wrong and decided to look for it. They were unable to locate it, so I got a fresh lock, it pointed the same direction, we followed through some dense brush and picked up the trail.

    Now, that being said, it can be difficult to get a lock due to the steep-deep valleys, but I never failed to get one, it just took awhile a few times.

    This is also why you had better be able to navigate with map and compass as well and this should be the case wherever you go.

    Elevation at Bob's Bald is around 5300 feet with 360 views and there are higher ridges than that. The veiws are every bit as powerfull as the Smokies. If your able to wait untill fall when the hiking's better and there are fewer bugs, you'll be rewarded with some incredible views and fall colors.
    Last edited by leepingreenlizards; 05-04-2010 at 17:26.

  9. #29
    Señor Member wisenber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leepingreenlizards View Post
    I had no difficulty at all.

    In fact we were in a valley, when we lost part of the North Fork Citico Creek Trail, even after extensive searching. I turned on my GPS, got a lock and we were able to relocate it. What happened was that after the floods, a big piece of the trail was missing. The GPS kept pointing in the direction it was supposed to be, but my friends thought it was wrong and decided to look for it. They were unable to locate it, so I got a fresh lock, it pointed the same direction, we followed through some dense brush and picked up the trail.

    Now, that being said, it can be difficult to get a lock due to the steep-deep valleys, but I never failed to get one, it just took awhile a few times.

    This is also why you had better be able to navigate with map and compass as well and this should be the case wherever you go.
    North Citico tends to give better results as it is above most of the ravines. South Citico and Brushy Mountain are a tough signal. I used a Delorme PN-40 with alkaline batteries without much luck. When I used lithium batteries it made quite a difference. Fall and Winter works much better than Spring and Summer.

    It's easy to lose the trails there, but on N. Citico and S. Citico just keep following the stream and you find the trail. The same goes for Slick Rock on the other side of the ridge.

  10. #30
    Senior Member leepingreenlizards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wisenber View Post
    North Citico tends to give better results as it is above most of the ravines. South Citico and Brushy Mountain are a tough signal. I used a Delorme PN-40 with alkaline batteries without much luck. When I used lithium batteries it made quite a difference. Fall and Winter works much better than Spring and Summer.

    It's easy to lose the trails there, but on N. Citico and S. Citico just keep following the stream and you find the trail. The same goes for Slick Rock on the other side of the ridge.
    I've been told Brush Mountain\Jeffery Hell is tough.

    Yeah, on our second trip went Grassy Gap, South Fork, North Fork (don't ever hike up North Fork, take my word for it), FodderStack, Bob's Bald. Foddertack has great veiws, but it's buggy in warm weather.

    The best loop route for us would have been to park at the parking area just before the horse campers (talk about messy and smelly) on SR35-1. Then hike up South Fork, Fodderstack, Bob's Bald, back to Fodderstack, down North Fork and back to the parking. There were a lot of waterfalls and swimming on this hike.

    I'm sure there are many other great routes in the area as well.

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