|CNY Hiking HOME PAGE||Appalachian Trail||Appalachian Trail in Georgia||Great Smoky Mountains NP|
|AT - Bly Gap to Fontana Dam||AT - Great Smoky Mtns NP||AT - Davenport Gap to US 19E||AT in Tennessee|
This 311 mile section of the Appalachian Trail features many scenic vistas and a spectacular walk along a ridgeline in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Long climbs in and out of gaps will test your hiking legs in this popular section of the AT. The trail enters the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from the south at Fontana Dam.
For this website, we've split up the AT in North Carolina in three sections:
1. Bly Gap to Fontana Dam - This 88 mile section covers the AT from the GA/NC state line to Fontana Dam and the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
2. Great Smoky Mountains National Park - This 72 mile section fully covers the AT inside the National Park from Fontana Dam to Davenport Gap.
3. Davenport Gap to US 19E - This 151 mile section covers the AT along the NC/Tennessee border.
At Bly Gap the AT leaves Georgia and enters North Carolina. Here the trail enters the Nantahala National Forest. Nantahala is Cherokee for 'land of the noonday sun'. The largest of North Carolina's four National Forests, the Nantahala encompasses 531,148 acres with elevations ranging from 5,800 feet at Lone Bald in Jackson County to 1,200 feet in Cherokee County along Hiwassee River.
The highest point along the entire length of the AT is located in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in front of the observation deck for Clingmans Dome. The elevation along the trail is 6625 feet, however the summit (located at the observation deck) is 6643 feet. A short side trail leads to the observation deck. Don't be surprised if you don't hit snow in the Great Smoky's during your thru hike either in the spring or even in the fall. Dogs are not permitted along the trail in the park.
The AT leaves the National Park at Davenport Gap and the trail begins a succession of traveling over open balds with spectacular views including the wildly popular Max Patch. A popular stop for thru hikers is Hot Springs, NC. Hopefully you planned your trip to coincide with the blooming of the rhododendron on Roan Mountain. Peak blooming time is usually in mid June.
There are many memorable places along this long stretch of the Appalachian Trail including Standing Indian Mountain, Albert Mountain, Wayah Bald, Copper Ridge Bald, Rocky Bald, Wesser Bald, Jump-up Lookout, Swim Bald, Cheoah Bald and Fontana Dam. Thru hikers will find a visitor center with restrooms and showers located at Fontana Dam.
Memorable places along the trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park include Shuckstack Fire Tower, Doe Knob, Devils Tater Patch, Rocky Top, Silers Bald, Mount Buckley, Clingmans Dome, Mount Love, Newfound Gap, Charlies Bunion, The Sawteeth, Bradley's View, Mount Sequoyah, Mount Chapman, Mount Guyot, Cosby Knob, and Mount Cammerer Fire Tower.
After leaving the national park, north bound thru hikers will travel by memorable places including Pigeon River, Snowbird Mountain, Max Patch, Bluff Mountain, Lovers Leap Rock, Camp Creek Bald, Blackstack Cliffs, Big Firescald Knob, Big Butt, Shelton Graves, Frozen Knob, Big Flat, High Rock, Big Bald, Little Bald, High Rocks, Nolichucky River, Beauty Spot, Unaka Mountain, Little Bald Knob, Little Rock Knob, Roan High Bluff, Jane Bald, Grassy Ridge, Little Hump Mountain, and Hump Mountain.
You truly have a lot to look forward to as you explore the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina.
Use the links above to explore different sections of the AT in North Carolina.
We recommend purchasing any of the following books for those looking for more information on hiking the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina:
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
|CNY Hiking HOME PAGE||Appalachian Trail||Great Smoky Mountains National Park|