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  1. #1
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    Default 1st Time at Trail Days!!!

    Last year was my first time at Trail Days and I had a fantastic time. I was able to experience a lot that Trail Days had to offer last year but am looking for some scenic places to go this year. This is my girlfriend's first time going and she is new to hiking. I know we will definitely ride the Virginia Creeper Trail and go to Grayson Highlands one day. I'm looking for additional options (great vistas, waterfalls, something unique). I have considered Mount Rogers, Laurel Fork Falls, Lake Watauga, and Roan High Knob. Let me know if you have any additional ideas as far as places to day hike, things to do, places to eat, etc.


    Thanks again for your help!

    -B

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    There's a little Burrito place off the main drag that I can't remember the name of, right around the corner from The Place. The service was a train wreck last year because it was brand new and they had their Grand Opening during Trail Days (spell dumb for me). Anyway the food was great and hopefully they've got their act together otherwise the're probably not open any more!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    There's a little Burrito place off the main drag that I can't remember the name of, right around the corner from The Place. The service was a train wreck last year because it was brand new and they had their Grand Opening during Trail Days (spell dumb for me). Anyway the food was great and hopefully they've got their act together otherwise the're probably not open any more!
    Hey Joe's....

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  5. #5
    Registered User Damn Yankee's Avatar
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    "You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace;the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands."
    Isaiah 55:12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    Hey Lone Wolf we did go to the ramp festival and last night we had wo's BBq sauce that we purchased there. Indigo did finish the her thru with the external frame pack, the dog went home. PS you shuttled us back to Greyson Sunday after trail days, we went right by the festival.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the feedback. I will definitely have to visit McAfee Knob. Unfortunately due to schedule issues I doubt I'll be able to see the ramp festival this year. I'll make sure to keep an eye out for the burrito place.

    Let's keep the ideas and suggestions going! Thanks.

    - B

  8. #8

    Default A few more

    Elk Falls, aka Elk River Falls, is accessible by conventional automobile from the town of Elk Park, NC, along US 19E a couple of miles south of the AT-19E crossing. Just follow the signs. I haven't done it, but it would appear to be pretty simple to hike to Jones Falls from Elk Falls. Elk Falls is a walk-up and look around. Cliff jumpers often frequent the place, but jumping is pretty knarly for most modern tastes.

    At Elk Park, NC, you're not far from Carvers Gap, NC/TN (astride the state line and where the AT crosses). A nobo day hike there takes you across the balds towards the Overmountain Shelter and a sobo takes you to Roan High Knob, the last +6,000' elevation on the AT before reaching NH, I believe. The balds offer 360 degree views of TN, NC, and VA.

    Within a half mile of Linville Gap, NC, right on NC 105 north towards Boone, is the Profile Trail trailhead. The Profile Trail provides access to the highest of the peaks of Grandfather Mountain, that being Calloway Peak at 5,947'. Catch that on a clear day and enjoy 360 degree views of NC, VA, and TN.

    If you like paddling, have a look-see at running the Nolichucky River. Put-in at Poplar, NC and take-out at the AT crossing just outside of Erwin, TN. I've paddled the Chucky with the NOC and with High Mountain Adventures. To do it again, I'd book the outfitter whose outpost is right there upstream of the main take-out, simply because that gets you into dry clothes and to your vehicle without a miserable, cold bus ride after a day on (and in) the water.

    Hot Springs, NC, another fine trail town and is reasonably accessible from Damascus. Hot Springs features paddling, hiking, MTB trails, and soaks (a bit spendy, but nice for a couple).

    I'd say Carver's Gap and Elk Park are a bit over an hour from Damascus via TN 91 south of Shady Valley and US 19E from Elizabethton. Linville Gap is more like 1.5 hours and is reached by any of several slow and twisty drives. Hot Springs is a good 2 hours from Damascus. Hopefully some of the Erwin/Damascus/Hot Springs locals can confirm or correct these guesses at travel time.

    AO

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    Default

    Thanks for all the information! I'm getting excited. Are any of you planning on being at Trail Days?

  10. #10
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    ride the Creeper trail
    http://www.adventuredamascus.com/

  11. #11
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    The Creeper Trail will definitely be one of our activities. Also after being told of McAfee Knob that will be a priority for sure. I'm hoping that since we are spending the majority of a week there I'm hoping we can swing towards Erwin, Hot Springs, etc and explore those areas.

  12. #12
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    There's a 2 mile hike into Gentry Creek Fall's just a few miles south of Damascus off Hwy 91. If you're a little adventurous and decent at topo navigation, you can turn that into an 8 mile loop by taking some old trails beyond the falls up onto the Roger's Ridge Trail and return to the parking area.

  13. #13

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    I'm looking to get to Trail Days via Train from NYC. Does anyone know what trains might stop close to Damascus VA. I searched around and come up empty with logistics. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
    Jason.

  14. #14
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    I would recommend looking south of Damascus as the whole Trail Days crowd will be in and of the Creeper/Mt Rogers/Graysons area. Maybe even away from the trail.

    Damascus area
    Gentry Falls Trail near Laurel Bloomery/Damascus
    Cross Mtn Osborne farm tract/Grindstaff's grave

    Hampton/Roan area
    Roan Balds/High Knob, Grassy Ridge, Humps.
    Elk River Falls/Twisting Falls on Elk River
    Laurel Fork Trail @ Dennis Cove Campground

    Erwin area
    Red Fork Falls
    Unaka Overlook/Stamping Ground on USFS 230
    Shinebone Trail (near Indian Grave Gap)
    Rock Creek Falls Trail
    Joe Lewis Fields/Lost Cove Trail on Flattop Mtn (just passed Spivey Gap)
    Lower Higgins Falls
    Rocky Fork backcountry

    South of Erwin area
    The old Clarks Creek Rec area. (Sills Branch Falls, Clark Creek trail)
    Horse Creek Rec Area. Follow the old road to the backcountry lot near Big Butt/Jerry Cabin
    Margarette Falls
    Open fields and cliffs at Viking Mtn/Camp Creek Bald.

    Bays Mtn Nature Park in Kingsport. Very easy hiking/biking trails.

    Eats
    Pals Drive Thru
    The greasy spoon cafe near the Unicoi Forest Service office.
    Firehouse BBQ in Johnson City
    Ridgewood BBQ in Bluff City/Elizabethton area
    ''Tennessee Viking'
    Mountains to Sea Trail Maintainer
    Former TEHCC (AT) Maintainer
    Falls Lake Trail: 2011

  15. #15
    Registered User Southerner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LionDog View Post
    I'm looking to get to Trail Days via Train from NYC. Does anyone know what trains might stop close to Damascus VA. I searched around and come up empty with logistics. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
    Jason.
    Train service is non-existent in southwest Virginia / eastern Tennessee (unless you happen to be a chunk of coal, in which case you would have no trouble catching a train ride). That's kind of ironic considering the area's rail heritage.

    Be that as it may, if you really wanted to take AMTRAK to Trail Days, probably your best option would be to take AMTRAK to Lynchburg, the Smart Bus from Lynchburg to Roanoke, then Greyhound to Bristol, Tn. From Bristol, Tn., you could pay for a shuttle or taxi to Damascus, or get a ride to Abingdon and hike into Damascus on the Virginia Creeper Trail, ironically an old rail bed. As you can see, it would be a taxing logistical challenge, but do-able. And, realistically, if you make appeals for a ride on here or on one of the Facebook groups, you could probably find someone who would take you from Roanoke to Damascus with no sweat.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by bwillits View Post
    Last year was my first time at Trail Days and I had a fantastic time. I was able to experience a lot that Trail Days had to offer last year but am looking for some scenic places to go this year. This is my girlfriend's first time going and she is new to hiking. I know we will definitely ride the Virginia Creeper Trail and go to Grayson Highlands one day. I'm looking for additional options (great vistas, waterfalls, something unique). I have considered Mount Rogers, Laurel Fork Falls, Lake Watauga, and Roan High Knob. Let me know if you have any additional ideas as far as places to day hike, things to do, places to eat, etc.


    Thanks again for your help!

    -B
    You could hike the Iron Mountain Trail from Troutdale back to Damascus.....

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