Just a small bit of the AT
The wife is trying to plan for vacation this year. She is looking at Orlando and beach places etc, etc, etc.
I want to go back to Gatlinburg (I know, tourist trap, but we have a lot of fun there with the kids there). The ulterior motive is for me to go ahead of them and do 3 - 4 days on the AT, ending up in GSMNP and Gatlinburg and we have the rest of the week together doing all the stuff they like to do.
So, here is my query. I can sell this (I can sell anything) to the wife but I need to know the following:
Where would be the best spot for me to put in to the AT assuming 10 - 15 mile days and a schedule of 4 days?
What is the best way to get to that spot? I don't relish the idea of driving there just to leave the car and have to swing back by on our way out to pick it up again. I was thinking bus line but haven't done that in close to 3 decades so not sure how close, fast or reliable that will get me to this potential spot.
Lastly, is there a particular time of the year you would suggest. I obviously would like it cooler than warmer but at this point, I'll take what I can get.
A little guidance or pointing in the right direction for more precise information is appreciated but particulars based on experience are extremely welcome.
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you could hike from Fontana Dam NOBO to Newfound Gap through the GSMNP. about 40 trail miles. You could talk to the people at the NOC about parking and a shuttle or the Hike Inn but you may have to backtrack to get your vehicle.. if you want further info or phone numbers, PM me and I'll dig up my Awol version of the AT guide.
another option is to sobo back to Newfound from Max Patch (about 47 miles). you could call check with outfitters in Gatlinburg and see if you could park there and get a shuttle to either max Patch or Fontana. You will need a permit in either case to hike through the Smokies. Hope this helps.
you can also check out white Blaze if you haven't already. you can post this question in the straightforward forum and maybe get some other ideas. Hope this helps and have fun.
btw, late May and early June is really nice. still comfortable at nights(even cool) and not too hot to be toting a pack up and down the hills over there.
I am actually planning to do a similar trip myself in mid-May. I need to get in shape first but I have it on the schedule.
I am not going to start at Fontana because you have to hike extreme elevation gains going that way and it is just a little easier going down than up (for me at least). I am also taking my time - doing it over 4 nights, 5 days because it will be my first time and I want to really enjoy it.
I am actually going to start at Newfound Gap and head toward Davenport. I have it already kind of broken down and have attached it as a pdf if you want to see it.
You may already know about all of them but here are a few links that I have found helpful:
AT Info Page
GSMNP AT Mileages
MississippiVol - did you look at the BMT any? I have been thru the park on both and prefer the BMT for several reasons. A big one is I don't like shelters and there's only one on the BMT. I also like the scenery and sites and less hikers (although more apt to run into horseback campers but not so much in May).
I have heard of the BMT and would love to hike it one day. I want to do the other Smoky Mtn section of the AT by next year and then was thinking I may plan a BMT hike.
Originally Posted by 4shot
You could go on to Gatlinburg and get, A Walk In The Woods shuttle service to take you back to Fontana dam and hike to Newfound gap then have your wife just pick you up in the parking lot at Newfound gap. Thats what we did two years ago.