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Boy Scout Troop 485 Jax, FL -
"Delivering the Promise"

2006 Smoky Mountain Trek -  Troop 485


We have been monitoring the weather and trail conditions in the Great Smokies National Park the last few weeks. There have been very heavy rains and stream and lake levels are very high making some trails impassible. Most of the open trails will be very muddy. There should be a normal rain fall pattern next week


Total trail distance is 57.4 miles, not counting any side trips we may make without packs.

Sunday, July 2nd

Trails: Tunnel Trail (0.8 miles), Lake View Trail (2.5 mile)
Distance:          3.3 Miles
Site:      Backcountry 74, Lower Forney (elevation 1720�)

From Bryson City we will check in at the Deep Creek Ranger Station for our permit and shelter reservations (#50322). We will drive to the end of Lakeview Drive and park near the tunnel on the �Road to Nowhere�.

We will hike through the 1095� long abandoned road tunnel. The fist camp is at the mouth of Forney Creek which empties into Fontana Lake and the mountainsides rise steeply up either side.

Monday, July 3rd


Trails:               Forney Creek Trail (9.6 miles)
Distance:          9.6 Miles
Site:      Backcountry 68, Steeltrap (elevation 3960�)

This is an all day climb to the second campsite. There is a nice pool in the stream and a nice flat site in a stand of beech trees.

Tuesday, July 4th

Trails:               Forney Creek (3miles), AT (4.5 miles)
Distance:          7.5 Miles (plus 2 mile detour to Clingman�s Dome)
Site:                  Siler�s Bald AT Shelter (elevation 5460�)


One of the best spots in the park for wildflowers. The spring here is across the state line and is the head waters of the Fish Camp Prong of the Little Tennessee River . Great shelter!  The extended roof with benches is very nice.


Wednesday, July 5th


Trails:               AT (12.3 Miles)
Distance:          12.3 miles
Site:                  Spence Field AT Shelter (elevation 4915�)

This is the �marathon day� up and down the AT along the backbone of the Appalachians . Our stop for the nights is an old-style shelter, with chain-link across the front and a dark interior. The water source was hard to locate ... if you are looking at the front of the shelter, it is around the left side of the shelter and through the clearing and down the hill behind the shelter. Down the hill, past the shelter is a GREAT privy. The privy gives this shelter a rating of 4 out of 5.


Thursday, July 6th

Trails:               Jenkin�s Ridge Trail (10.3 miles)
Distance:          10.3 Miles
Site:                  Backcountry 84, Sugar Fork (elevation 2160�)

This day takes us down hill. In one spot -- 600� in less than a half a mile. This area has extensive evidence of early logging camps, railroads, and an abandoned copper mine. The day ends along Hazel Creek in the only site for miles that excludes horses.

Friday, July 7th

Trails:               Hazel Creek (1.3 miles), Cold Spring Gap (3.5 miles), Bear Creek (3.3 miles)
Distance:          8.1 Miles
Site:                  Backcountry 75, Poplar Flats (elevation 2800�)

This is the day that someone WILL get wet! Much of this trail is on abandoned rail lines, but there are no bridges left. There is one ford across the creek that is at normal water levels 1-2� deep. There are numerous old home sites on this trail as well. The day ends at Poplar Flats and we many share the site with overnight horseback campers.

Saturday, July 8th

Trails:               Bear Creek (3 miles), Tunnel Trail (0.8 miles), Lake View Trail (2.5 mile)
Distance:          6.3 Miles
Site:                  Hotel for the night.

And easy day back to through the tunnel and back to the car. We may end the week tubing Deep Creek at Bryson City .

Described as Nature�s Best Water Ride, the Deep Creek course consists of two sections: (1) The upper �whitewater� section, which flows from Indian Creek through the narrow Deep Creek gorge. This is a wild, bouncy ride that often separates the rider from the tube, especially when the water is swift from spring rains. At the end of the rapids section, there�s a wide, deep swimming hole that provides a relaxing break before getting back on the tube. (2) The lower section, which is wider, easier going and more appropriate for smaller kids, ends at the parking lot. Put-in for this section is at the swimming hole just above the first bridge on the Deep Creek trail.