Loop Backpacking on the Appalachian Trail

This Loop is ideal for a short Scouting High Adventure.

Glassmine Gap 201203

In March of 2012 I took my two high school aged boys to backpack on the Appalachian Trail. We typically would arrange for a livery service to pick us up at our intended trail completion and drive us to the starting location. This can sometimes get rather costly ($75-$200).

This loop trail we found on the trail in North Carolina near Franklin, NC allowed us a spring break hike without having to resort to a livery service.

  • Time on Trail: easy 4 days.
  • Trail Difficulty: Med
  • Elevation: 3,500 to 5,200
  • Distance: Aproximately 25 miles
  • Trail Marking: Well Marked
  • Water: Abundant (bring filter or treatment)
  • Environment: Mountain forest

Hiking on our school spring break this trail was somewhat crowded as we were in an area with a lot of people attempting to through hike the AT. Since this section is south of the Smokey Mountains many through hikers had not yet dropped out.

Our Daily Trail Hike Plan (shown on map)

  1. Drive to Standing Indian Campground and Park. Camp for the night.
  2. Hike South West on the blue blazed Kimsey Creek Trail to the white blazed Appalachian Trail. Turn compass south and follow AT to the Standing Indian Shelter and camp for the night.
  3. Hike map south on the white blazed Appalachian Trail (AT northbound) to Carter Gap Shelter and camp for the night.
  4. Hike north-north-east on Appalachian Trail to Big Spring Gap and camp for the night.
  5. Hike north on Appalachian Trail to Glassmine Gap. Turn West on Long Branch Trail (blue blazed trail) and hike to Standing Indian Campground. Get in car, find shower!

AT-NC loop

#Adventure #Scouting #HighAdventure

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