Kid Friendly *Overnight Backpacking Trip* to Angel Falls Overlook

***Please note that although this backpacking meetup was initally scheduled to take place at Virgin Falls, I am changing the location to Angel Falls in Big South Fork.  This change is being made in the best interest of the children and beginner backpackers that will be attending.  I did some scouting last weekend and discovered that Angel Falls trail is a much easier trail than Virgin Falls and the water temperature at Big South Fork is warmer than the Caney Fork.  The goal is for our children and beginner backpackers to enjoy this trip.***

If you enjoy backpacking and have been wanting to bring your child (ages 5 years and up), this is your chance.  We will meet at Home Depot on Saturday at 8 am and carpool to the Leatherwood Ford Trailhead to hike a total of @ 6 miles over the course of 2 days.  (2.8 miles per day) Please note: this is NOT a car camping trip.

We will hike in with our backpacks loaded with our gear (tent, sleeping bag, food, water, etc) ready to spend the night in the woods @ 2 miles away from the parking lot.  We will set up camp next to the Big South Fork River.

After we drop our packs and set up our tents, if everyone is up to it, we will hike an additional .8 mile to Angel Falls Overlook.  (I request that you keep your child away from the edge of the overlook for safety reasons).  After enjoying the view of the river, we will hike .8 mile back to our base camp where we can swim in the shallow section of Big South Fork River. We will have dinner at the backcountry campsite as well as breakfast the next morning. We will hike back out 2 miles to the parking lot on Sunday and most likely stop for lunch on the way home.

Please be flexible before you attend this meetup.  My goal is for anyone that loves backpacking to be able to bring their children along and enjoy their experience.  We will stay together and hike at a leisurely pace.

Please make sure your child is physically prepared for a moderate 6 mile hike.

No pets.

Please offer your driver gas money.

If you need a water filter or stove, I would be glad to share with you.

If you have questions, please email me @ [masked]

http://www.nps.gov/biso/planyourvisit/upload/lwftrails.pdf

Driving directions from Big South Fork's website:

I-40 East to the Jamestown Crossville Exit (301), onto State Highway 62.  Take Highway 62 east for 16 miles to U.S. 127 to Clarkrange, turn left and follow U.S. 127 north 18 miles into Jamestown.  Travelers may take 127 through Jamestown or use the new Hwy 127 by-pass.  Two miles north of Jamestown take Highway 154 north to the intersection of Highway 297.  Follow 297 east approximately 12 miles to the Big South Fork Visitor Center and Campground.  We will obtain a backcountry permit from the Visitor Center upon arrival and head over to Leatherwood Ford Trailhead.

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  • Kerry "Ker B.

    Due to the Government shut down, all national parks (including Big South Fork) are currently closed. To my knowledge, there is no access to the trails we planned to take until the park re-opens. As of now, we will postpone this backpacking trip until next spring. If something changes and the weather holds out through November, I will update this trip.

    October 4, 2013

  • Kerry "Ker B.

    Cancellation due to weather!

    As of Friday morning, The Weather Channel is still predicting thunderstorms and 80% chance of rain for this Saturday. We will not be going backpacking this weekend due to the weather forecast. I do plan to reschedule this trip for everyone that is signed up. Standby for plan B.

    September 20, 2013

    • Carl N.

      Sounds like the right decision Kerry! Sorry the weather isn't cooperating. Maybe if we can reschedule for next month we'll get some fall colors. The best fall hike I ever did was Honey Creek in late October (and that was before I had kids, LOL)! Thanks for all your hard work planning, look forward to going on another weekend.

      1 · September 20, 2013

    • Kerry "Ker B.

      Fall and winter are my favorite times to hike. My son is really looking forward to going and I definitely plan to reschedule so he and everyone else isn't let down. I will know the dates late next week. I have no control over the weather but everything happens for a reason. Maybe it was meant for this trip to happen when everyone can see the leaves in all of their splendor.

      2 · September 20, 2013

  • Rosanna

    Well, I hope we get to go this weekend, but if not, I am so ready for the re-do! Minus the water bladder and a few clothing items, I am at 23 lbs. Not too bad for a 1st timer!

    1 · September 19, 2013

  • Kerry "Ker B.

    Weather alert! - Big South Fork is showing thunderstorms and 70% chance rain for Saturday. I will continue to monitor the weather and will let you know by Friday morning if we will need to reschedule. Rather than cancelling early and wishing later I didn't, I will wait it out as long as possible. If the thunderstorm warning is lifted and the rain expectancy diminishes to scattered showers, I plan to go on this trip as planned. I will however absolutely cancel and reschedule this trip if thunderstorms (lightning) and heavy rain is still expected for Saturday or Sunday when Friday morning arrives. I know everyone (including me and my son) are all really looking forward to this trip. Please ask your kids to do their best "no rain" dance tomorrow so we can play in the woods this weekend.

    September 18, 2013

  • michelle

    Im just as excited to come to BSF. So it works for me. I will still be coming from KNoxville. Is there a backpack fee for BSF? Do they have cables to hang your packs or do we need to bring ropes>? I am familiar with BSF but never backpacked there. What is your ETA at BSF est time? Regards!

    2 · September 16, 2013

    • Kerry "Ker B.

      I will have a rope to hang our food. If you have one please bring it as well.
      I found a primitive campsite with three areas that will fit all of us. They are adjacent to each other and two of them have fire rings already. They are right next to the swim area. I would recommend bringing some water shoes for the kids as the rocks are slippery. I will cover the $15 for permits since I changed the plans last minute.
      BSF reminds me of the Smokies, it is beautiful. I took 2 other trip leaders with me last week and we all agreed this is a much better option for this trip than Virgin Falls.

      1 · September 16, 2013

    • Kerry "Ker B.

      Michelle, I plan to arrive at the trail head no later than 11:30 CST/ 12:30 EST. I can message you when we reach Jamestown to give you a more accurate time once we have given the kids a bathroom break along the way. I would like to eat lunch in the pavilion at the trail head when we arrive so the kids aren't hungry during their hike in. That will also give me a chance to check everyone's pack in case they need help with removing excess weight or adjustments etc.

      September 18, 2013

  • Dustin

    This look like it would be fun. I would drag some kids out of the house if there are some future kid friendly back packs. Planned.

    1 · September 18, 2013

  • Sparrow

    Hi! I'd love to bring my son on this trip but I see the TSVPs are closed. Let me know if we can still join! Thanks!

    1 · September 16, 2013

    • Kerry "Ker B.

      I have opened the RSVP up through this Thursday evening at 7 pm for anyone that would like to join us.

      September 16, 2013

  • Rosanna

    Kerry - Is it too late to add on?

    September 16, 2013

    • Kerry "Ker B.

      I have opened the RSVP up through this Thursday evening at 7 pm for anyone that would like to join us.

      September 16, 2013

  • Jeana

    Never been to an overnight backpacking, but been wanting to!

    September 5, 2013

    • Kerry "Ker B.

      I'm sure either myself or one of the other leaders will post another beginner friendly backpacking trip by next spring so that you and others interested in backpacking can join in the fun.

      1 · September 5, 2013

  • Jeana

    Never been to an overnight backpacking, but been wanting to!

    September 5, 2013

  • Kerry "Ker B.

    I sent an email to everyone going on this trip. Please let me know if you do not receive it. Thank you.

    August 28, 2013

  • jeff j.

    Kerry,

    Are you keeping this at 10, or will you open up to 15 for those waiting?

    1 · August 28, 2013

    • Kerry "Ker B.

      Jeff, thank you for the reminder. I opened this up to 15 so we can include those anxiously waiting to join us. I apologize for not opening this up sooner. I have had a lot going on with my family the past month that took all of my spare time.

      August 28, 2013

  • Jeana

    Never been to an overnight backpacking, but been wanting to!

    1 · July 17, 2013

  • michelle

    Coming from knoxville.

    1 · June 30, 2013

  • Carl N.

    Looking forward to the trip!

    1 · June 28, 2013

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