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Autumn Backpacking at Cumberland Gap Natl Park: Nov 2,3,4
Hike Plan Fri November 2: Wilderness Road Campground (campground entrance GPS:[masked],[masked]) in Cumberland Gap Natl Historical Park near Middlesboro KY (approx 4 hour drive from Cincinnati). Arrive whenever you can - we are "car camping" tonight to allow folks who have to work a full day Friday to join us - car pooling organized via Meetup postings. Trip leader will be arriving on Thursday evening to secure the backcountry permit from the park ranger office and pay for the Friday night campsites (probably 2 or 3 of the campsites in section E). We will stage a car or 2 at the exit trailhead Friday night. Potable water source and restrooms available near the E campsites. Anyone else who wants to come down on Thursday evening is welcome – we’ll be doing a 7 mile day hike on Friday while we wait for others to arrive. Sat November 3: Break camp by 9am and drive 20 minutes to Ewing VA and hit the Ewing Trail about 10am and backpack about 8.5 miles to Martins Fork campsite (tent camping - no shelters), via Ewing Trail. We will stop at White Rocks Overlook and Sand Cave along the way – lunch at Sand Cave trail head. Treatable water sources at Sand Cave and Martins Fork. No pit toilets available at Martins Fork. Total mileage about 8.5 miles. Sun November 4: Break camp by 9am and backpack about 2 miles to Hensley Settlement for a self-led walking tour of the settlement, then 4 miles back to staged car(s) via Chadwell Gap Trail - expected ETA at cars 2 to 3 pm. Potable water source at Hensley Settlement. Optional 4pm lunch/early dinner at Polancho's Mexican in Middlesboro KY. Total mileage about 6 miles. Cost is approx $3 per person to cover Fri campsite, (will pass the hat around the campfire). Sat night backcountry camp is no charge. Participants on this trip should have all of their own backpacking gear and food (2 breakfasts, 2 lunches/snacks, and 1 dinner). If you are newer to backpacking and have any questions about what you need to bring, you can email me using Meetup, or call me at[masked]. I definitely recommend trekking poles since Chadwell Gap Trail is a steep and rocky descent. Please only RSVP “yes” if you actually plan to attend as space is limited on this trip. * Cost: The cost of gas and permits will be shared. * Difficulty level: Moderate to Strenuous. * Distance: A total of 15 miles over 2 days. * Pace: Moderate * Travel time: About 3.5 hours driving time from Cincinnati * Event rules: Leave No Trace. Pack It In - Pack It Out. * The trip limit and RSVP deadline can change without notice. * By signing up and/or participating in this event, you fully accept our liability waiver: https://www.meetup.com/CincinnatiBackpackers/pages/1036870/Cincinnati_Area_Backpackers_Meetup_Waiver/ CAR POOLING: Please use the Comments area below to arrange who is driving and riding, departure times, etc. Recommend meeting at Florence KY Walmart Supercenter DRIVING DIRECTIONS (from Walmart): Take I-75 South into KY about 154 miles to: Exit 29 for US 25E (Signs: US-25 / Cumberland Gap Pkwy / Corbin / Barbourville). At end of ramp turn left (Corbin Bypass / W Cumberland Gap Pkwy / US-25). Continue to follow US-25 (southeast) for about 45 miles (toward Middlesboro KY - US25 is also called Cumberland Gap Parkway). Stay on US 25E through Middlesboro and you will see the Cumberland Gap Park HQ on the right, keep going and you will enter the US 25E Tunnel under Cumberland Mtn. After exiting the tunnel, take the ramp for US 58 toward Cumberland Gap, TN (DO NOT STAY on US 25E). Stay on US 58 for about 2.5 miles and you will see the entrance on the left to Wilderness Road Campground (brown sign) - turn into the campground. (Do not be confused if you pass the entrance and go for 6 miles to Wilderness Road State Park – this IS NOT the right place – turn around and go back 6 miles). The GPS coordinates for the left hand turn from US 58 into the campground is:[masked], [masked]

Cumberland Gap National Historic Park

Wilderness Road Campground · Middlesboro, KY

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    Three things we got tired of hearing from folks:

    1. “None of my friends are into backpacking! So I have nobody to go with.”

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    3. “I love the outdoors, but I don’t know anybody who can help me get into backpacking!”

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