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5.5 miles out on the AT from sams gap south to the clearing which has some views, and return. bring food and water. dogs are welcome. we hike at a fast pace without breaks so be ready for a workout. it's around 2,700 elevation gain. we will meet at earth fare at 9:00 for carpool and leave promptly. it's about a 25 min drive. please notate on discussion if you intend to meet at the parking area and do not want to carpool. just google sams gap on the AT for directions to the trailhead if you don't know it. we should be there round 930
Good footing, shaded, lots of switchbacks with nearly all of the ascent in the first 4 miles. Snack at the half-way mark (Burl Mountain) or post-hike at the trailhead picnic tables. Take Bracken Mountain trail (blue blaze) for 3.9 miles (passing Brushy Creek and Mackey Ridge trails). Right on Pinnacle trail (pink blaze) for 1.3 miles. Left on Brushy Creek trail (red blaze) for 2.2 miles. Left to return 0.7 miles on Bracken Mountain trail. Type: lollypop loop. Max elev: 3500’. Avg moving pace: 2.3 mph. Difficulty (1=effortless, 10=hard): 6. Sorry, no dogs.
Triple-loop hike through the Biltmore Lake trails to the North Boundary road of Bent Creek. Good footing; mostly wide trails; but no panoramic views or waterfalls. Two short bushwhacks; some overgrowth and thorns; poison ivy possible; long pants strongly recommended. From Biltmore Lake, hike part-way up Scott Mountain via Appalachian Morning trail and Red Spinner. Go across and around Scott Mountain to a series of Forest Service roads and unmarked trails, followed by a steep climb to the North Boundary road, which traverses the ridge of Stradley Mountain. Return from Mease Gap via Forest Service roads and unmarked trails to the back of Scott Mountain. Then take two unmarked trails connecting to Rhododendron trail back to the lake. Type: 3 loops. Max elev: 2850’. Avg moving pace: 2.3 mph. Difficulty (1=effortless, 10=hard): 6.5. Sorry, no dogs.