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  1. #1

    Default Where does the BMT go north of HWY 129?

    I have seen conflicting info about the path of the BMT north of US Hwy 129/Tapoco. Does it stay south of the Little Tennessee River, as in this map: http://bighike.net/m?lat=35.432639&lon=-83.869388 or does it cross the Little Tennessee River and road walk to the Twentymile Trailhead on Route 28?

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    they did a relocation of the trail a couple of years ago....

    it now crosses 129 down near the lodge and take yellowhammer over to the fontana area....


    here's sgt rocks update to his book on it...

    http://bmtguide.com/errata.pdf

  3. #3

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    Thanks, I see there are relos I hadn't thought about.

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    I just finished that section last weekend. It was a little confusing when the trail cuts through the lodge because there aren't any blazes (that I saw), so when I went into the main office to buy a drink I asked some of the people working there which way the BMT goes...and they had never heard of it. It literally runs right down the middle of the resort and out the main entrance, so there must not be a lot of hikers going through there.
    -tagg

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    and they had never heard of it. It literally runs right down the middle of the resort and out the main entrance, so there must not be a lot of hikers going through there.



    yeah.....

    except for maybe 20 or so thruhikers a year (not really sure how many thrus there are in a year though)----this section wouldnt necessarily be traveled by a dayhiker or a weekend warrior backpacker......


    and i would bet some thru hikers are still doing the old route as it has its benefits....

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    except for maybe 20 or so thruhikers a year (not really sure how many thrus there are in a year though)----this section wouldnt necessarily be traveled by a dayhiker or a weekend warrior backpacker
    I should take this chance to give a shout out to the lodge while on the subject, because despite the fact that they had a lot of guests checking in and we looked like typical hiker trash, they invited me and the two guys I was hiking with to use their restroom and even to fill up our water bottles from the large glass container of ice water in their lobby instead of using the tap. Super nice people.
    -tagg

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    I should take this chance to give a shout out to the lodge while on the subject, because despite the fact that they had a lot of guests checking in and we looked like typical hiker trash, they invited me and the two guys I was hiking with to use their restroom and even to fill up our water bottles from the large glass container of ice water in their lobby instead of using the tap. Super nice people.



    this is good to hear....

    the last owners were, and not from first hand experience but what ive heard from others, not very friendly and not very friendly towards hikers, backpackers and the sort.....

    which, is kinda weird, considering that they were in an area of alot outdoor activities.......

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    also----the current owners have allowed the belding trail (which i think the reroute goes uses to get over to yellowhammer) to be reopened to people that are not their guests....

    the last owners did not allow non guests to use this trail......

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    also, south of US129, that Big Hike map is showing the old route going down Fodderstack Ridge. the re-route crosses Bob Bald heading down Haoe Ridge to the Hangover and down Hangover Lead. It re-joins the old route at YellowHammer Gap. this avoids the Slickrock Creek crossing which can be a doozy.

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    It re-joins the old route at YellowHammer Gap.



    at yellowhammer gap----the new route takes a right down towards the lodge.....

    as opposed to the old route of going out towards the lake joining up with slickrock creek trail......

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by tagg View Post
    I just finished that section last weekend. It was a little confusing when the trail cuts through the lodge because there aren't any blazes (that I saw), so when I went into the main office to buy a drink I asked some of the people working there which way the BMT goes...and they had never heard of it. It literally runs right down the middle of the resort and out the main entrance, so there must not be a lot of hikers going through there.
    This area confused me as well on my thru earlier this year. Headed northbound, the trail takes you between two metal buildings and drops you off on the main private road that runs through the Topoco property. There is a small BMT marker facing the other way (southbound) soon after passing the metal buildings (if I remember correctly), and that's all I saw until I hit 129 on the other side of the Topoco property. There is another trail, part of the Tapoco trail system, that crosses a footbridge after the metal buildings. Initially, I thought the BMT may follow this, but I asked a couple of workers I saw and they pointed me toward 129, though they didn't really know what I was talking about. The trail from Topoco to Fontana was more difficult than I expected, and climbs steeply up from 129. Nice hike, though.

  12. #12

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    I backpacked this new Tapoco reroute back in April 2015 with former AT thruhiker Amy Willow---I think we did it just after the new trail from Yellowhammer Gap down to the lodge was cleared. Btw, there are a couple level campsites down this new trail before reaching the forest road leading down to the lodge.

    TRIP 164 195-XL.jpg
    Here's Amy hanging out by Tapoco Lodge before shoving off for the new Yellow Creek Mt reroute into Fontana.

    TRIP 164 198-XL.jpg
    Amy leaving the the lodge gates on Hiway 129.

    TRIP 164 226-XL.jpg
    Amy crossing the Cheoah River bridge right before getting on the Yellow Creek Mt trailhead.

    I've backpacked YCMT many times, both before it was the BMT and after. It's a tough roller coaster slog. I don't ever recommend doing it except in the winter as the motorcycle noise pollution all around it is terrible!!

    Regarding hiker trash hanging around Tapoco Lodge, I wrote my impressions and a parody written by a backpacker for backpackers---wrote this in my trail journal during our trip---

    REFLECTIONS ON THE TAPOCO COMPOUND
    Amy has a perfect day to get into Fontana and get a room at the lodge. And it's comical to think Tapoco Lodge will get any real BMT hiker business when it's swarmed with motorcyclists and car tourists hungry to see what's left of Graham county but to see it in style and only---repeat only---when rolling. It's a bustling ant farm with white frocked chefs and rolled pallets and unloaded trucks and busy bees going to and fro on specially painted green ATVs doing god knows what. The filthy BMT backpacker will pass thru the gauntlet of the Tapoco compound and hike past the restaurant windows as patrons drop their forks in disgust, a grand nature motor loop adventure ruined by freddie the freeloader in stained coolmax.

    ATVs will be alerted and security will hang back because they all had a group meeting last month about these bums and the hiker trash coming thru the property. Like hobos pressed up to the restaurant glass of a fine Park Ave eatery, we will look into the lodge dining hall and salivate like dogs before finding a patch of green grass to dump our packs and take off mustard gaseous boots and socks. The mercedes patrons will recoil in horror to see Uncle Fungus and Turd Finger and Food Bolus all sitting together grinning like idiot monkeys and pulling out our folding money to actually go into the lodge and buy something. Aghast! The dog huns have taken the city! Gray Poupon is splashed on BMW car keys and we gotta get out!!! Troy has fallen!!!


    Meanwhile Uncle Dotard will strip to his speedos and do a thorough bath with bronners in nearby Cheoah River. I'm sure some backpacking newb idiots will come thru at night and set up camp on the first mowed level green patch they find. All this comes later as the Tapoco trail from Yellowhammer Gap becomes more established for BMT hikers. What BMT hikers you ask? And you are right, there are no BMT hikers. 5 a year at most, maybe 10. The run thru Tapoco will pinch their foreheads shut and YCMT will wrap their colons around their necks like scarves. It's a one-two punch but it must be done to get into the Smokies. Amy is probably going around in tight circles below the powerlines and has been doing so for the last 12 hours like Sambo making butter.

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    The reroute is so much safer. If you haven't ever seen it I'd still walk the short distance to the dam to see where The Fugitive scene was shot of Dr Richard Kimble(Harrison Ford) peter panning off the dam from U.S. Marshall Samuel Gerard(Tommy Lee Jones). Interestingly, the film was supposed to be all located in the Chicago Ill area but the shooting in NC was warmer during the films shooting timeframe.

    If you walk over the dam just after it going towards Fontana on the left down a graveled road are some campsites and river access fisherman use.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    The reroute is so much safer. If you haven't ever seen it I'd still walk the short distance to the dam to see where The Fugitive scene was shot of Dr Richard Kimble(Harrison Ford) peter panning off the dam from U.S. Marshall Samuel Gerard(Tommy Lee Jones). Interestingly, the film was supposed to be all located in the Chicago Ill area but the shooting in NC was warmer during the films shooting timeframe.

    If you walk over the dam just after it going towards Fontana on the left down a graveled road are some campsites and river access fisherman use.
    What's your impression of the Yellow Creek Mountain trail? Have you ever backpacked the thing?

    It used to be the original Appalachian Trail before the dam at Fontana was built. You can still see some of the ancient AT trail steps and tree blazes.

    Then the boy scouts got a hold of it back in 1971 and reopened it from the hiway 129 jct all the way to Walker Gap where it jcts the AT way above Fontana and just north of Cable Gap Shelter on the AT.

    I backpacked the hellish YCMT back in 2003 on a couple different trips and it was a true hell slog with no maintenance and terrible briars. Then the boys rerouted the BMT and it's been abundantly improved. Here's some pics---

    Trip 156 159-XL.jpg
    Here's the mentioned FUGITIVE dam above Calderwood Lake in Tapoco.

    Trip 156 165-XL.jpg
    The new footbridge to the YCMT's trailhead---off of hiway 129(Meadow Branch rd) and close to Tapoco Lodge.

    Trip 156 260-XL.jpg
    Here's the old boy scout sign I found at the trailhead and pieced together.

    Trip 156 164-XL.jpg
    Tapoco Lodge as seen from the YCMT trailhead.

    Trip 156 166-L.jpg
    The old boy scout steps from 1971.

    tj4861_102506_062108_191071.jpg
    YCMT reaches Green Gap where this old trailsign used to be next to Lookout Rock---now removed. Pic taken in 2003.

    Trip 156 247-XL.jpg
    A good pic of Lookout Rock on YCMT in Green Gap and on the BMT just before the trail leaves Yellow Creek Mt and descends to Fontana.

    Trip 156 234-XL.jpg
    What's really cool and what every backpacker needs to know is if you stay on the old YCMT past Green Gap and continue straight for about 2 miles you reach the actual AT here in Walker Gap and just north from Cable Gap shelter. The BMT instead leaves the ridge and drops to Fontana---but just two miles straight ahead and they could link up to the AT in Walker Gap and avoid Fontana and the tough climb south of Fontana to Walker Gap.

    Trip 156 333-XL.jpg
    Sgt Rock's attempt at making sense of YCMT---and a map I used for water sources etc.

    Btw, the overall length of the YCMT from Walker Gap to Hiway 129 is 9 miles.

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    Yes I've done the YCMT. I did it like 2007 when it was overgrown. Later, when doing BMT thrus I wondered why it wasn't the BMT route. I was tempted to take that route during those thrus. Sgt Rock helped offer some explanations as to the "why's." Parts of the road walk on the old route were along perilously narrow winding limited sight distance roads with steep drop offs or steep shoulders with always someone roaring along not wanting to yet give up on the "Dragon" experience. Going over Foddertsack was a ridiculous elev PUD to get part of the old route off the roads. It was better than doing all the road walk but still...uh it was PUD like.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Going over Foddertsack was a ridiculous elev PUD to get part of the old route off the roads. It was better than doing all the road walk but still...uh it was PUD like.
    The original BMT/Fodderstack route was never an attempt to get the BMT off any roads, in fact the Fodderstack section from Beech Gap north to Farr Gap was always on this trail from the beginning and never a part of any changed roadwalk.

    But maybe the 1970s BMT conception hike thru the Citico was on a road and not Fodderstack Ridge?

    Anyway, can't make sense of your sentence.

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