Thursday, November 1, 2012

GSMA Hike of the Month: Kephart Prong Trail

Join the Great Smoky Mountain Association for guided hike along the Kephart Prong Trail on Saturday, November 17th.

The Kephart Prong Trail on the North Carolina side of the park (9 miles from Newfound Gap or 5 miles from the Smokemont Campground) is an easy four-mile round trip hike. The area was heavily logged in the 1920s to 1930s, so most of the trees are only 80 to 90 years old. The hike will gain 830' along a varied walking surface, from old gravel road bed to old blacktop to dirt trail. You will discover the remains of a CCC Camp, a fish hatchery, and a narrow gauge railway.

The trail will make several crossings of the prong as you make our way to the turn around point; a backcountry shelter that was the site of a logging camp and recently renovated by Friends of the Smokies.

An alternate hike, should the road (route 441) be closed due to inclement weather will be the Old Sugarlands Trail, located across 441 from Park Headquarters building. This trail is also rated easy and will be about the same mileage. There is a CCC Camp there as well.

If interested, meet at Sugarlands Visitor Center at 8:30 am where participants will carpool to the trailhead. Please bring water, lunch and warm clothes as it may be cool in the woods. For more information on the event, please call 865-436-7318, Ext. 222 or 254.

For more details on hiking the Kephart Prong Trail, please click here.


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