Thursday, December 20, 2012

Long Branch Shelter replaces the old Big Springs Gap Shelter

Out with the old ... and in with the new:  The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Nantahala Hiking Club, and a local company - Goshen Timber Frames - teamed up for the construction of Long Branch Shelter near Glassmine Gap.  The new structure is located north of Standing Indian on the Appalachian Trail and about 17 miles from Franklin, N.C.


The new two-story Long Branch Shelter replaces the old Big Springs Gap Shelter (shown below), which was built just north of Albert Mountain.  

The Big Springs Gap Shelter is reportedly in a state of disrepair and is scheduled to be dismantled.  It is a short walk from a parking area, so the new site for the Long Branch Shelter will offer backpackers more solitude and safety.   


The new shelter can also be accessed via Standing Indian Campground where the Long Branch Trail follows Long Branch Creek up 800 feet up to the A.T. at Glassmine Gap.  The trail is roughly 2.0 miles long and starts just across the road from the parking area.





Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lake Winfield Scott Hike To The Appalachian Trail


This is the trailhead for The Jarrard Gap Trail that leads from Lake Winfield Scott to the Appalachain Trail.


The Jarrard Gap Trail starts with a hike through a forest and across a small stream, but quickly hits a forest road for about 0.3 miles. 


Boone was enjoying the hike.


After 1.2 miles I reach the Appalachian Trail at Jarrard Gap.  I camped here back in 1994 during my thru-hike - so it was cool to see this area again.  It looked a lot different with leaves on the trees.  


I think my 1994 campsite was in the same spot as this 2012 campsite.  The A.T. heads northbound toward Blood Mountain from here (and to the upper right in this photo).

Lake Winfield Scott in a recreation area (with a nearby campground) that is managed by the U.S. Forest Service.