Sunday, April 19, 2009

It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times...

I've been asked for some "best" and "worst" lists. I can't rank them in strict order but I've grouped some trips and trails under these categories:

Most Memorable Days  
Curry Mountain and Laurel Falls with Megan and Laura - special days with my daughters
Eagle Creek with Judy - wild boar and conquering the crossings  
Deep Creek/Thomas Divide with Don - highest mileage day  
AT From Derrick Knob to Rocky Top with Mike - personal triumph in backpacking
Alum Cave/Trillium Gap with Wendell and the Tennessee group - snow globe!  
Solo Hike with bear tracks - the day that solo hiking became fun  

Toughest Days  
Jenkins Ridge Trail to Hazel Creek & no boat shuttle - with Judy  
Forney Creek endurance test - with Jim
First Dayhike - with Danny & CMC members  
Trip to Gregory Bald via Twentymile - with Don & Judy  
Hiking while sick - with Jim  

Favorite Trails  
Alum Cave Trail - how can you not love it? Just ignore all the people..
Old Settlers Trail - most history per square foot in the Park  
Noland Divide Trail - Lonesome Pine Overlook is a must-see  
Meigs Creek Trail - a short hike for stream crossing at its best  
Sugarland Mountain Trail - ridge walking with views of Mt LeConte and Clingmans Dome  

Please-Don't-Make-Me-Go-Back-There-Again Trails
McKee Branch Trail - deep trenches, what's under all those leaves?  
Cold Spring Gap - longest creek walk ever
Cooper Road Trail - any of it (it's a road, people)  
Bote Mountain Trail - ditto

3 comments: said...

Congrats on joining the 900 milers. I'm going to begin my attempt in a month, and will hopefully finish by next year.

Was there a place that you found a list of all of the trails?

smoky scout said...

I used a combination of three sources.

First, Day Hiker's Guide To All the Trails in the Smoky Mountains by Elizabeth Etnier gives an excellent blueprint of hiking routes to cover every trail in the park in day hikes.

Second, Hiking Trails of the Smokies, the "brown book", is an essential guide for trail descriptions to plan hikes.

Third, the Park's $1 trail map is essential. I must have gone through 24 copies as I would fold it for each hike and carry it in my pocket.

Smokies Hiker said...

Cold Spring just hurts the body and mind EXCEPT the lowest part of the trail with the green canopy and moss covered rocks in spring and summer is fantastic.

After 5 cycles up and down on that trail my soul prefers going down and enjoying the beauty unfold.

Hy knees and the bottoms of my feet prefer up, by I have to break past the mental thing that's its all uphill to the AT and then torture until Clingmans Dome parking area.

Cooper, a few nice spots but especially when its hot, go find another trail!