What we're about

----You must have a clear, current, close up, face forward, head and shoulders *only* photo of you, for your profile photo, and list it as your main photo to join---- Only one person in the photo please ...You! - so we can recognize you at events!

Our group organizes and participates in hikes and outdoor activities covering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and East Tennessee Parks, National Forests, and other venues as suggested by members. This group is based out of the Maryville and Knoxville TN area, some members from as far away as Florida. We have hikes and adventures planned for almost every Saturday and Sunday every month and anyone interested in joining us is more than welcome to join. We are an open venue with suggestions for hikes from light to strenuous hikes from all members of the group. As the weather gets warmer, we do organize some evening moonlight walks or hikes as an alternative to the day hikes. We have two or three 'Hike and Camp' weekend events every year in one of the Park campgrounds. And if you enjoy back country camping, we do that also, but the spaces on those usually fill up fast due to back country permit availability. Hiking, rock climbing, skiing, biking, river rafting and a cookout thrown in every now and then! This is a great way to exercise, appreciate nature and meet some new people. We are lot of fun, so join up!!!

Please go to the 'About' menu option on the GSHAG home page to learn more before you join our group, or click the following link on a desktop or laptop.

https://www.meetup.com/Great-Smokies-Hiking-Adventure-Group/

----You must have a clear, current, close up, face forward, head and shoulders *only* photo on your profile page and list it as your main photo to join---- Only one person in the photo...You!

Upcoming events (5)

Deep Creek (Finally!) - 3 Options - 5 / 20 / 21 Miles Easy / Strenuous

Deep Creek Trail Trailhead

*** PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE POSTING BEFORE SIGNING UP ***

COVID-19 INFORMATION
We are still practicing social distancing and limiting group sizes, consistent with current CDC/NC/TN recommendations. We are *requesting* that all hikers bring a bandanna, scarf, buff or mask for the shuttles.

QUALIFICATIONS
For Options 2 and 3, you should be comfortable hiking a[masked] mph pace with[masked] feet of elevation change over 12-15 miles. If you have not hiked with me before, please send me a Meetup Message with your typical and longest hikes.

*** Note: O2 & O3 stream crossings will likely require DEEP wading. ***

DETAILS
All hikers will meet at their ending trailheads at 8:30 (see Google Maps links below) and then shuttle over to their starting TH's. Parking may be limited, so hikers within the same Option may want to meet at Newfound Gap and shuttle over together.

We'll also need volunteers to take the shuttle drivers back to their cars at the end. Drivers may request that masks be worn for the 20 minute shuttle. Please be considerate.

*** Folks who are willing to help shuttle hikers/drivers will get preference for moving off the Wait List. ***

OPTION 1
Thomas Divide - Kanati Fork +400' / -2200'- 4.5+ Miles - Easy (Purple line)

Hikers will meet at the Kanati Fork TH at 8:30 and then shuttle 7 minutes up to Thomas Divide. Hikers will head S, and climb 400' for 1.8 miles to the junction with with Kanati Fork, and then NE, dropping 2200' at 700 fpm over 3+ miles. Hikers should be off trail by 1100.

Meeting Location => https://goo.gl/maps/VNmUq2A2jiSFdnYg8

OPTION 2
Deep Creek - Newton Bald +2500'/-2800 - 20+ Miles - Strenuous (Red line)

Hikers will meet at the Newton Bald TH at 8:30 and then shuttle 20 minutes up to Deep Cr. Hikers will head S 4.7 miles to the first of 2 stream crossings ** requiring a wade **, with the 2nd at 5.1 miles, before reaching Martins gap at mile 8, 2300' lower. We'll climb 2600' up to Newton Bald over 7 miles, before dropping 2800' over 5 miles to the cars. We should be off trail around 5:00.

Meeting Location => https://goo.gl/maps/jPQDpxnNuDnf4orc9

OPTION 3
Deep Creek - Mingus Creek +2650'/-3000 - 21+ Miles - Strenuous (Blue dots)

Hikers will meet at the Mingus Creek TH at 8:30 and then shuttle 20 minutes up to Deep Cr (note that parking is limited there). Hikers will follow the O2 route (including the wade) until we reach Newton Bald. We'll then drop 3000' over 6 miles on Mingus to the cars. We should be off trail around 5:00.

Meeting Location => https://goo.gl/maps/bLV9sNBDnTkAExjU6

IMPORTANT INFO
Bring a day bag, with at least one liter of water, plenty of snacks, and an extra insulation layer, gloves and a hat. We'll go rain or shine (and it IS the Smokies), so rain gear is also advised.

Bring WATER SHOES for Options 2 & 3!

We always suggest carrying the 14 essentials when going onto the woods. You can download a pdf file here that discusses these essentials. https://db.tt/6TXGHbeTsg

LATECOMERS AND NO-SHOWS
It's important for everyone to be early, or at least on time. We would hate to leave a hiker behind because they are running late. (It happens)

If your plans change and you can't come on the hike, please remember to change your RSVP at least an hour before the event begins, so you don't wind up on my "No-Fly" list.

*** Failure to do so qualifies as a "No-Show" with me and you may not be allowed to join future hikes or backpacking trips. ***

NAVIGATION AIDS
Deep Creek Hikes Map => https://tinyurl.com/y6neyurv

Kanati Fork Profile=> https://tinyurl.com/y4h5dd97

Newton Bald Profile => https://tinyurl.com/y4bz5zwc

Mingus Creek Profile => https://tinyurl.com/y3mwd4qw

Deep Creek Hikes GPS (.gpx) download => https://tinyurl.com/yyv76lhh

Trail Slope Key ==> https://db.tt/Z9fgt6Ghbx

Event Leader
Lane DeCost - AT section hiker / Search and Rescue team volunteer

Cataloochee Hikes - 2 Options -- 8 / 17 miles -- +/- 1100’ Moderate / Difficult

*** PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE POSTING BEFORE SIGNING UP ***

COVID-19 INFORMATION
We are still practicing social distancing and limiting group sizes, consistent with current CDC/NC/TN recommendations. We are *requesting* that all hikers bring a bandanna or mask in case we are in a position where they might be necessary.

QUALIFICATIONS
You should be comfortable hiking a[masked] mph pace with[masked] feet of elevation change for 5-10 miles.

OVERVEW
We offer two options, Moderate and Difficult, to grab several of the main trails in the Cataloochee area of the Park. Neither have a particularly difficult climbing profile, so it's a good chance to expand your hiking menu.

*** Please select only one Option at RSVP to hold your spot. ***

DETAILS
We will meet at Caldwell Fork TH (near the Cataloochee Campground) at 9:00 am (see Google Maps link below or click on the nearby Google Map), do a quick gear check, and then split into multiple sub-groups (faster and slower) for each Option, each with their own leaders.

OPTION 1
Boogerman-Caldwell Fork Loop +/- 1100' - 7.5 miles - Moderate (Red dots)

Hikers will head South on the Caldwell Fork trail to the junction with Boogerman, climbing 1100' over 3+ miles, at an easy 300+ feet-per-mile slope, before looping back around to CF. The challenge will be the dozen or so creek crossings along CF, most of which may need to be waded, with calf-high water under normal conditions (higher after rains).

*** You will definitely want to bring Crocs or non-waterproof shoes to hike this section. There are too many crossings, too close together, to change in and out of boots. We should be off trail by 2 to 2:30 pm. ***

*** While the slope is modest, the 3 miles of continuous climb pushes this to a Moderate rating for newer hikers. ***

OPTION 2
Boogerman-Caldwell-Big Fork Loop +/- 1400' - 17+ miles - Difficult (Pink arrows)

*** Note the info about all the stream crossings above. ***

We’ll follow the Option 1 route until we hit Caldwell Fork. Then we'll turn left (SW) for 3.5 miles to the junction with Rough Fork, climbing 1000', before descending (NE) 3 miles to the Cataloochee Entrance Road. After a short road walk, we'll climb 900' on Big Fork over 1.8 miles, before turning back NE along Caldwell Fork, dropping 1000' along the way, with an easy, but water-logged 3 miles to the parking lot, for a 17+ mile day. We should be off trail by 4:30-5:00.

CAMPING OPTION
For those coming from TN that might want to stay for the Sunday hikes, consider making reservations NOW at the Cataloochee Campground.

WHAT TO BRING
WATER SHOES! It's gonna be sloppy and wet on the Caldwell exit.

Bring a day bag, with at least one liter of water, snacks, and an extra insulation layer.

We always suggest carrying the 14 essentials when going onto the woods. You can download a pdf file here that discusses these essentials. https://db.tt/6TXGHbeTsg

We'll hike rain or shine (and it IS the Smokies), so rain gear is also advised.

LATECOMERS AND NO-SHOWS
It's important for everyone to be early, or at least on time. We would hate to leave a hiker behind because they are running late. (It happens)

If your plans change and you can't come on the hike, please remember to change your RSVP at least an hour before the event begins, so you don't wind up on my "No-Fly" list.

*** Failure to do so qualifies as a "No-Show" with me and you may not be allowed to join future hikes or backpacking trips. ***

NAVIGATION AIDS
Location of the Meeting Place => https://tinyurl.com/4mpmxwdx

Option 1
Boogerman Loop Map => https://tinyurl.com/knueetfc
Boogerman Loop Profile => https://tinyurl.com/16j100x6

Option 2
Caldwell Big Fork Loop Map => https://tinyurl.com/3x3npucj
Calwell-Big Fork Loop Profile => https://tinyurl.com/5jh3wyeh

Boogerman/Caldwell Fork GPS (.gpx) file => https://tinyurl.com/13aj0m96

Trail Slope Key ==> https://db.tt/Z9fgt6Ghbx

Event Leader
Lane DeCost - 900 miler, AT Section hiker, SAR Volunteer

Spring in Porters Creek Trail

Porters Creek Trail Trailhead

The hikes that I organize are focused on people that need or want to be careful for whatever reason, no questions asked. The goal is to find a balance between risks and social benefits. As long as there is Covid around there will be risks, we will be doing basic steps to mitigate them.

Note that the event is in a National Park where federal regulations and rules apply. If you are not willing to take precautions don't join this event.

We will be going to my favorite place in the park in the Spring. This event might be moved depending on the road conditions.

COVID-19 REQUIREMENTS AND PRECAUTIONS:

1) Due to Covid-19, as long as TN is ranked Orange by the Harvard coalition, the number of people in my day hike events will be limited to 10. While it would be legal to hike with a group much larger than 10, it is much wiser and safer to partition events into many small ones.

See https://globalepidemics.org/key-metrics-for-covid-suppression/?fbclid=IwAR1KmMOz4o23Qp882xcR71CknnkUaebFkwhdsEqdnELfs8-0TnlRckwgPKU

Explanation: The risk of community spread grows as the square of the number of people involved (N ways to get in times N ways to get out). As a result for example gathering of 100 people is 10 times more dangerous than 10 gatherings of 10 people together.

2) Do not show up with Covid-19 symptoms the morning of the hike.

3) You *must* include a face mask within your essential items list. You *must* also have a handkerchief, bandana or neck gaiter in your pocket.

4) You must agree to be aware and to respect social distances from your fellow hikers.

5) You must agree to alert all your fellow hikers in the unlucky event you become symptomatic within 14 days after the hike.

TRAINING REQUIREMENTS
You should have hiked 4-6 miles recently in other to attempt this ~8 mile hike. Having written that, this is not a training hike. The GSMNP is not a gym. The GSMNP is among the most biodiverse places left in the world. It is also among the most beautiful. Plan to take pictures and enjoy.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Bring enough food and water. Showers are very common. Avoid clothing made of natural fivers like cotton.
We will be crossing Porters creek in a log bridge. If you are scared of highs, this might not be for you,

MEETING PLACE AND HIKING PLAN
We will meet at Porters Creek Trailhead of [masked],[masked])

DISCLAIMERS:
All participants must understand that each one must have the minimum experience required and that each one is solely responsible of her/his own safety. Host are not guides: just another hiker.

No-shows, that keep us waiting in vain on the trail head, may find themselves excluded from mine and other events from this group.

Fellow hikers with a record of commitment to every event they sign for, real troopers with a positive attitude, have a short cut off the waiting list.

If you have never hiked in the group or with me you may expect lots of questions.

Cataloochee Hikes - 2 Options -- 9 / 11 miles - Moderate / Difficult

Cataloochee Divide Trail

*** PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE POSTING BEFORE SIGNING UP ***

COVID-19 INFORMATION
We are still practicing social distancing and limiting group sizes, consistent with current CDC/NC/TN recommendations. We are *requesting* that all hikers bring a bandanna or mask for carpooling or shuttles.

QUALIFICATIONS
You should be comfortable hiking a[masked] mph pace with[masked] feet of elevation change for 8-10 miles.

OVERVEW
We offer two options, Moderate and Difficult, to grab one of the easiest, and one of the roughest trails in the Cataloochee area of the Park, while taking in the vistas at the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center (AHSLC) (and possibly the SWAG). Neither Option has a particularly difficult climbing profile, so it's a good chance to expand your hiking menu.

*** Please select only one Option at RSVP to hold your spot. ***

DETAILS
We will meet at the Cataloochee Divide TH at 9:00 am (see Google Maps link below or click on the nearby Google Map), do a quick gear check and then split into multiple sub-groups (faster and slower) for each Option, each with their own leaders. Parking is limited at the TH, so note parking locations for each Option below, and consider car pooling over from Knox .

OPTION 1
Cataloochee Divide-AHSLC O/B +/- 1000' -- 9 miles - Moderate (Red dots)

Hikers will head Southwest on the Cataloochee Divide trail to the junction with the AHSLC, climbing 1000' over 4+ miles, at a moderate 370+ feet-per-mile slope. After taking in the views, hikers will backtrack to the cars. We should be off trail by 2 to 2:30 pm

*** Hikers for Option 1 should park at the CD TH, or just South of it at one of several pullouts 1/4 mile before the crest. ***

OPTION 2
Cataloochee Divide-Big Fork Ridge +1000/-2200' - 11+ miles - Difficult (Blue arrows)

We’ll follow the Option 1 route until we hit the AHSLC junction. After a quick visit, we'll continue another 1/4 mile to the McGee Branch junction. Then we'll turn right (NW) for 2.2 miles, dropping 1700' at a knee-rattling 800 fpm slope over some pretty sketchy trail. We'll finish out with a 600' roller, over 3+ miles on the Big Fork Ridge trail to the Cataloochee Entrance Rd, for 11 miles on the day, and shuttle back to the top. We should be off trail by 4:30-5:00.

*** Hikers that did not camp Saturday night should park just South of the Cat Divide TH at one of several pullouts 1/4 mile before the crest, and walk up to the TH. ***

CAMPING OPTION
For those coming from TN that might want to camp Saturday night, consider making reservations NOW at the Cataloochee Campground.

WHAT TO BRING
Bring a day bag, with at least one liter of water, snacks, an extra insulation layer, gloves and a hat. You may want to bring a headlamp.

We always suggest carrying the 14 essentials when going onto the woods. You can download a pdf file here that discusses these essentials. https://db.tt/6TXGHbeTsg

We'll hike rain or shine (and it IS the Smokies), so rain gear is also advised.

LATECOMERS AND NO-SHOWS
It's important for everyone to be early, or at least on time. We would hate to leave a hiker behind because they are running late. (It happens)

If your plans change and you can't come on the hike, please remember to change your RSVP at least an hour before the event begins, so you don't wind up on my "No-Fly" list.

*** Failure to do so qualifies as a "No-Show" with me and you may not be allowed to join future hikes or backpacking trips. ***

NAVIGATION AIDS
Location of the Meeting Place => https://tinyurl.com/d8rsvnra

Option 1
Cataloochee Divide-PKC Map => https://tinyurl.com/23rwupvk
Cataloochee Divide-PKC Profile => https://tinyurl.com/en97waks

Option 2
Cataloochee Div-Big Fork Rdg Map => https://tinyurl.com/3xhrnmh7
Cataloochee Div-Big Fork Rdg Profile => https://tinyurl.com/4h9ehkxr

Cataloochee Divide GPS (.gpx) file => https://tinyurl.com/whada5en

Trail Slope Key ==> https://db.tt/Z9fgt6Ghbx

Event Leader
Lane DeCost - 900 miler, AT Section hiker, SAR Volunteer

Photos (63,261)