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Appalachian Trail In NC
to Buck Gap
Shuckstack Fire Tower
Appalachian Trail GPS Tracks
Get the complete GPS Tracks for the AT in Great Smoky Mountains National Park for ONLY $1.97! This .gpx file includes waypoints for all trail shelters along this 72 mile stretch of trail and many AT parking areas. Use the BUY NOW button below and we'll send you the file via e-mail! Happy Hiking!
NOTE: Some trail relocation may have occurred, which may not be reflected with our GPS Tracks. The tracks are very close to the current trail.
For north bound thru hikers, this section is the gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. For day hikers, this is just one of a handful of trailheads for the AT in the park. The other trailheads are at Clingmans Dome Parking Area, a couple of small parking areas off Clingmans Dome Road, Newfound Gap and at Davenport Gap.
This 7.7 mile section of the Appalachian Trail features Fontana Dam, Fontana Lake and the views from the Shuckstack Fire Tower. The trail enters Great Smoky Mountains National Park soon after crossing Fontana Dam. There is a good size parking area located at the Fontana Dam Visitor Center. The GPS coordinates are N35 27.113 W83 48.086 for those who have a GPS devise in their vehicle.
Backcountry permits must be obtained before entering the park, if you're planning on hiking through the park. Even if your planning to stay just one night in the park, you must get a permit. Anyone caught without a permit will be issued a $125 ticket! North bound thru hikers can obtain a permit from a self registration facility located near the pay phone at the Fontana Dam Visitor Center. If you are hiking south bound, your only chance to get a permit is at the USFS offices in Hot Springs, NC.
Crossing Fontana Dam and entering Great Smoky Mountains National Park
This section begins as the AT crosses Fontana Dam. You are entering Great Smoky Mountains National Park as the trail follows the service road. At 0.9 miles the trail leaves the service road and enters the forest. There is parking for about eight cars here. The GPS coordinates are N35 27.635 W83 48.662 for those who have a GPS devise in your vehicle.
Warning for those who are thru hiking, the next road crossing is over forty miles away at Newfound Gap. The elevation where the AT leaves the service road is 1879 feet. The trail climbs steadily toward Shuckstack, reaching the fire tower at 4.3 miles at an elevation of 3912 feet. The trail continues to climb, but not as steadily as before as you make your way to Doe Knob and Buck Gap.
At 4.6 miles the trail reaches Sassafras Gap and the junction of the Benton MacKaye Trail. The AT reaches Buck Gap at 7.7 miles and the junction of the Gregory Bald Trail, which marks an end of this first section of the AT in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
We offer the full GPS tracks of the 72 mile section of the Appalachian Trail in Great Smoky Mountain National Park for only $1.97 via a .gpx file. This file also includes waypoints for the shelters located along the trail as well as parking areas. A great tool to keep you on the trail or to make your own maps!
We recommend purchasing any of the following books for those looking for more information on hiking the Appalachian Trail in Great Smoky Mountain National Park:
Appalachian Trail Guide to Tennessee-North Carolina: 13th Edition
Exploring the Appalachian Trail: Georgia North Carolina Tennessee
Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Best Easy Day Hikes Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Hiking Trails of the Smokies
Trails Illustrated Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Trails Illustrated Great Smoky Mountains National Park Explorer
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