Hiking Thread

Volunteer_Kirby

Its not what you think...
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I was sitting on a rock at Citico one year cleaning my trout. Feet in water. Knee deep maybe. Pulled trout back up from rinsing and a 5 foot brown snake that had locked down my trout's tail came up with him between my legs. It's amazing the noise a young man can make and how fast you can come up from that position. The trout and the snake both flew a good 10 feet. He did let go. I found my trout about 50 yards down stream and got it back. Only had two other close encounters. Another fishing where I step on a large boulder and looked down. About an inch from my foot was a very large snake draped across. could not see head or tail. Trust me, a 14 year old can walk on water. The other was day hiking, and that rattler was stretched across the trail. Invented a jump back dance move.
I was always thought it was interesting the way rabbits hop when they get scared or run into a predator (like a snake). What I find more interesting, is seeing how quickly a human can move when put within stepping distance of a snake. Ive seen really athletic maneuvers from less than athletic men and some damn near circus act moves from some of the more athletic. They say white men can't jump... show him a snake, he'll jump for ya.

No but seriously, the jumping manuevers you make when you're about to step on a rattler (or any snake, really) are pretty amazing. Some areas are so bad that I refuse to hike (off trail, generally) without trekking poles or some sort of long stick.
 

Volosaurus rex

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For anyone who might be contemplating a visit to grizzly country in the foreseeable future, here is the link to a video that illustrates a behavior that most definitely should be avoided: Montana driver has a lucky escape after grizzly charges car when he slows down to look at her cubs | Daily Mail Online.

Incidentally, this incident was surpassed in stupidity by at least one encounter with a grizzly. If memory serves me correctly, this event was recorded long ago in Andy Russell’s classic book, “Grizzly Country.” And, if memory serves me correctly, the particulars were as follows:

Around dusk, a driver spots a grizzly crossing the road at some distance. For some inexplicable reason, the driver decides to play a practical joke on this bear. He turns his headlights off, turns off his engine and slowly coasts up behind the bear. Upon getting into close proximity with this bear, he then proceeds to startle it with a prolonged honk of his horn. Grizzlies are, of course, enormously powerful animals. Close your eyes and ponder the thought of filling such an animal with an immediate rush of adrenaline and instantaneous rage. You can imagine the outcome.

After practically jumping out of its skin, this grizzly charged the vehicle, brought both forepaws up and all but crushed the engine block with one powerful blow, before sprinting up the side of the nearest mountain to get away from this idiot. Can you just imagine the call that must have transpired between this driver and his insurance agent: “Sir, I have no idea why this bear decided to virtually destroy my pickup truck.”
 

volwindy

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Cammerer, Leconte, and Rocky Top/Thunderhead have the best views of the hikes I've done in the Smokies.

I'm going to try to do Gregory Bald this year, too.
This post and the ones by @VolnJC are a couple years old so I'd like an update please! Got a sitter for the dog so we are going to take advantage and finally get back to this area.

Definite on the list:
1. Leconte via Alum Cave

Any others to must do? It's been awhile so I'll have to go see what we did. I know chimney tops and a couple others.

Thanks!
 

VolnJC

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This post and the ones by @VolnJC are a couple years old so I'd like an update please! Got a sitter for the dog so we are going to take advantage and finally get back to this area.

Definite on the list:
1. Leconte via Alum Cave

Any others to must do? It's been awhile so I'll have to go see what we did. I know chimney tops and a couple others.

Thanks!
Charlie's Bunion- great view
Mt. Cammerer- fire tower at top
Grotto Falls- get there early and you might see the llamas heading up to restock LeConte
Porter's Creek..not a hard hike but I always enjoy it...old home sites..cantilever barn and cabin
One of the balds...Gregory is better in June so I would suggest Andrew's now..much easier hike too
Alot of people like Ramsey Cascades...that trail hates me for some reason...it's been flooded both times I've hiked it and I feel like I'm either walking over big tree roots or boulders but I'll still recommend it because of the huge trees and awesome falls Great Smoky Mountains Trails | Hiking trail guide for the Smokies
 

volwindy

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Charlie's Bunion- great view
Mt. Cammerer- fire tower at top
Grotto Falls- get there early and you might see the llamas heading up to restock LeConte
Porter's Creek..not a hard hike but I always enjoy it...old home sites..cantilever barn and cabin
One of the balds...Gregory is better in June so I would suggest Andrew's now..much easier hike too
Alot of people like Ramsey Cascades...that trail hates me for some reason...it's been flooded both times I've hiked it and I feel like I'm either walking over big tree roots or boulders but I'll still recommend it because of the huge trees and awesome falls Great Smoky Mountains Trails | Hiking trail guide for the Smokies
Thank you!
 

flatiron

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If you go to Charlies Bunion keep going north for a half mile or so to Dry Sluice Gap (the gap itself, not the trailhead) where you’ll see a social trail leading up the mountain. This will take you to the “real” Charlies Bunion (the peak marked as Charlies Bunion on the USGS topo map). It’s higher than the Bunion everyone visits and isn’t well known, so you should have some pretty spectacular views to yourself. Also, depending on how fit you are, you can make a nice 15 or so mile loop up to the Bunion by going up Kephart Prong/Grassy Branch/Dry Sluice Gap trails to the AT and then take the Sweat Heifer Trail back down to Kephart Prong. No matter which way you go to the Bunion, make sure you stop off at the Jumpoff on Mt. Kephart. The views there are as good as any in the park, and it is usually never crowded.

Other hikes I’d recommend are Middle Prong Trail to Indian Flats Falls in Tremont, Little River Trail to CS30 at Three Forks in Elkmont, Twentymile Trail to Shuckstack Fire Tower near Fontana and Ramsey Cascades in Greenbrier.
 
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flatiron

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Charlie's Bunion- great view
Mt. Cammerer- fire tower at top
Grotto Falls- get there early and you might see the llamas heading up to restock LeConte
Porter's Creek..not a hard hike but I always enjoy it...old home sites..cantilever barn and cabin
One of the balds...Gregory is better in June so I would suggest Andrew's now..much easier hike too
Alot of people like Ramsey Cascades...that trail hates me for some reason...it's been flooded both times I've hiked it and I feel like I'm either walking over big tree roots or boulders but I'll still recommend it because of the huge trees and awesome falls Great Smoky Mountains Trails | Hiking trail guide for the Smokies
Access to Porters Creek is closed now because the road is washed out past the turnoff to Ramsey.

Also, @volwindy, if you do Grotto, make sure to go up the intersection at Trillium Gap and take the spur trail to the summit of Brushy Mountains. It gives you great views of the Sawteeth, Kephart and LeConte. Just make sure you don’t go between Monday and Thursday if you want to go to Brushy because they are currently doing some trail upgrades during those days and the trail is closed down past Grotto Falls.
 
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VolnJC

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Access to Porters Creek is closed now because the road is washed out past the turnoff to Ramsey.

Also, @volwindy, if you do Grotto, make sure to go up the intersection at Trillium Gap and take the spur trail to the summit of Brushy Mountains. It gives you great views of the Sawteeth, Kephart and LeConte. Just make sure you don’t go between Monday and Thursday if you want to go to Brushy because they are currently doing some trail upgrades during those days and the trail is closed down past Grotto Falls.
Thanks for the update.. shame about the Porter's trail...that's the one I recommend for people who don't normally hike but want a good experience
 

golfballs

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Will be in the park next week. Looking for easy trails to enjoy w my toddler (I have a backpack carrier) and wife, ideally a little higher up to enjoy fall colors. Also some that might be more off the beaten path to avoid the crowds this time of year.
 

golfballs

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Porters Creek is a great hike. I hope they can get it open in time for the fall (and also because I’d like to mark the Brushy Mountain Trail off my map soon)
I believe this is still closed. It's not very clear to me, but I think Greenbrier Rd is closed to traffic entirely and only open for pedestrian/bike traffic up to the Ramsey Prong Bridge
 

goldenvol

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I believe this is still closed. It's not very clear to me, but I think Greenbrier Rd is closed to traffic entirely and only open for pedestrian/bike traffic up to the Ramsey Prong Bridge
I dont knownhow far you can hike with a toddler on your back, but I saw a few people walk around the washed out bridge and walked the road up to porter creek. You would be pretty much alone.

I hope we have good weather because I will also be in greenbriar next week. There is a small pull off at a bridge before you get to the Ramsey's trail head that we like to pull off at and hang at the creek.
 

GoDucks349

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I've trout fished in small streams since I was a kid, and am surprised at how little I come across snakes. They don't really want anything to do with us. It goes in stretches... take 5 fishing trips, no snakes. 1 fishing trip, 5 snakes.
Wall creek in southern Oregon has some really nice trout fishing (at least that's what I've been told), however, Oregon Fish and Game tends to close it during parts of the year where rattlers are active. I've been told that you need to pay attention where you walk so you don't start trouble for yourself. Personally, I can find plenty of fishing without the rattlers...
 
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flatiron

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Will be in the park next week. Looking for easy trails to enjoy w my toddler (I have a backpack carrier) and wife, ideally a little higher up to enjoy fall colors. Also some that might be more off the beaten path to avoid the crowds this time of year.
The ones I know that are easy and high elevation are usually the ones most of the tourists head to. If you want a spot with good views, the beginning of Baskins Creek has some burned out areas with really good views looking south towards Meigs and Blanket Mountains. The waterfall on Baskins Creek is great too but it’s a pretty good mile-long climb back up to the car from the falls.
 
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