Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21
  1. #1
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-20-2012
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Age
    63
    Posts
    4,085
    Images
    3

    Default Loop hike late October to early November....

    After lots of thought comparing various trails (like the Ozark Highlands Trail and Ouachita trail), I think I've decided to do a BMT/AT loop hike starting next week. I keep hearing great things about the BMT, thought I'd hike at least part of it, doing a nice loop from Neel Gap to Fontana on the BMT, then back along the AT to Neel gap. Looks like about 290 miles or so.

    Is this a reasonable loop in terms of "fun factor" versus something else in the area? I just found and booked a r/t to Atlanta for just over $200.... but this can easily be changed (free to do on SW air).

    Any thoughts appreciated!
    Last edited by colorado_rob; 10-16-2018 at 12:45.

  2. #2
    GSMNP 900 Miler
    Join Date
    02-25-2007
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Age
    52
    Posts
    4,160
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    After lots of thought comparing various trails (like the Ozark Highlands Trail and Ouachita trail), I think I've decided to do a BMT/AT loop hike starting next week...
    I just found and booked a r/t to Atlanta for just over $200.... but this can easily be changed (free to do on SW air).
    Wow... here you're planning to fly to my neck of the woods... and all the hikes I'd currently like to do are on your side of the country:
    Grand Canyon, Lake Tahoe Rim, JMT, Wonderland, Colorado Trail...


    As for general thoughts... I am going to assume that since you have so many posts in the forum that you've hiked at least part of the AT and are familiar with "The Green Tunnel" (which should have a few other colors come the end of October... likely the reason you're headed this way this time of year).

    I've been hiking GSMNP for decades, so I understand "The Green Tunnel"... hence the reason I think I want to do so some of the trails out west.
    I've been following the youtube blogs of one of the PCT hikers this year... my first views of the PCT (other than the JMT portion I've hiked). The trail is much prettier than I expected based on reading things like Cheryl Strayed's book.
    I've hiked neither the PCT nor the AT... but if I had the time and money to do so in the near future, I think I'd be more interested in the PCT because of the views compared to the green tunnel.
    Last edited by HooKooDooKu; 10-16-2018 at 13:20.

  3. #3
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-20-2012
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Age
    63
    Posts
    4,085
    Images
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Wow... here you're planning to fly to my neck of the woods... and all the hikes I'd currently like to do are on your side of the country:
    Grand Canyon, Lake Tahoe Rim, JMT, Wonderland, Colorado Trail...


    As for general thoughts... I am going to assume that since you have so many posts in the forum that you've hiked at least part of the AT and are familiar with "The Green Tunnel" (which should have a few other colors come the end of October... likely the reason you're headed this way this time of year).

    I've been hiking GSMNP for decades, so I understand "The Green Tunnel"... hence the reason I think I want to do so some of the trails out west.
    I've been following the youtube blogs of one of the PCT hikers this year... my first views of the PCT (other than the JMT portion I've hiked). The trail is much prettier than I expected based on reading things like Cheryl Strayed's book.
    I've hiked neither the PCT nor the AT... but if I had the time and money to do so in the near future, I think I'd be more interested in the PCT because of the views compared to the green tunnel.
    "The grass is always greener", eh? Yep, hiked the AT, not crazy about the green tunnel aspect, though I did the whole thing not in the summer (spring and fall), which helps... Glad you like it out here! I certainly do.... hiked extensively in every single western state (well, except not too much in Idaho, I suppose, just a couple hikes).

    However, this is kinda the "mud season" out here, cold but not snowy enough yet to be enjoyable. So, I wanted a couple weeks in the "real woods", like you have out there, hence the BMT thought. Any thoughts appreciated!

  4. #4
    GSMNP 900 Miler
    Join Date
    02-25-2007
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Age
    52
    Posts
    4,160
    Journal Entries
    1
    Images
    5

    Default

    Well, the good news is that the fall leaves changing color have been delayed a bit.

    Normally, in GSMNP, the leaves start changing color at the higher elevations the first of October. Normally, right about now should over all be the peak time for color in the park with most of the show over by the end of October. But fall came a few weeks late and the show is only just getting started.

    So if you'd like to take in some fall color, you might be timing things just right... however, to get the most out of fall colors, it might be best to start your loop closer to GSMNP. You could even include parts of GSMNP in your hike... perhaps start and end your hike at New Found Gap... start at Fontana and simply head south, or start at Fontana and do a small loop in GSMNP before heading south.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-19-2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,981
    Images
    3

    Default

    i think with a 290 mile trip----you'll hike through pretty much the whole progression of leaf changing......

    and be in some of the best places south of the Park......

    hangover, standing indian, big frog, brasstown......etc etc....

    the BMT, minus weekends, will have less traffic.........

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    17,739

    Default

    Having done a fall OHT EABO thru and fall BMT/AT Fig 8 thru as well as a BMT fall thru and another late summer and fall BMT completion involving LASHes hands down the fun factor and scenic diversity does to the OHT. Nov is a great month to be on the OHT. ARKANSAS has a fall season too. On either trail the fun factor can be increased by throwing in a rafting/paddling diversion. IMHO the OHT is by far a more fun and diverse trail than the BMT. For the OHT I'd strongly consider a paddle on the Mulberry and Buffalo Rivers using outfitters to take you upstream and float back to your OHT hike. The geology(abundant pour offs, cliffs, caves, etc) and waterfalls of the OHT as well as the OHT section along Hurricane Crk are infinitely more interesting than what can be experienced on the BMT. If you come here to WB seeking honest comparisons what do you think you're going to hear from this mainly east coast crowd?

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    17,739

    Default

    Please explain the BMT segment part of this anticipated loop between Neel gap and Fontana? The BMT doesn't do that.

  8. #8
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-20-2012
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Age
    63
    Posts
    4,085
    Images
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Please explain the BMT segment part of this anticipated loop between Neel gap and Fontana? The BMT doesn't do that.
    wow all good info, got me leaning back to oht now.... Lots to ponder.

    The bmt/at loop is just starting at Neel gap, take bmt to Fontana, then at back to Neel gap. I do really enjoy that AT section, figured the bmt section would be nice as well. Strangely, it's cheaper to do the bmt/at thing than driving to the OHT as I have an atlanta buddy for shuttle to Neel gap, and dirt cheap direct round trip to Atlanta.

  9. #9
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-20-2012
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Age
    63
    Posts
    4,085
    Images
    3

    Default

    BTW, heading into Utah desert thru weekend, mostly out of coverage, thanks all for responding, I'll check back asap.

    Thanks again.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    04-22-2015
    Location
    Cumming, GA
    Age
    50
    Posts
    41

    Default Loop hike late October to mid November....

    Dogwood- Starting at Neel's Gap, you would either head south on the AT to near Three Forks and turn north on the BMT heading to points north and eventually GSMNP...or one could start at Neel's, go south just over Blood Mountain and then take the Duncan Ridge Trail west until you hit the BMT and again head north toward GSMNP. No reason you couldn't also just take the AT north from Neel's to GSMNP and the return on the BMT via one of the trail connections. It works.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    17,739

    Default

    Understood Mockernut. But the BMT does not go through Neels Gap. You'll have to take connector trails as you said. If taking on the DRT to close the loop I might get a shuttle from Neels Gap to the top of Brasstown Bald and head down to the AT and do the loop(w/ a stick - a lollipop) that way. CR has expressed his desire to do the 50 state high pts. Don't know if he has Brasstown in the bag yet. Could day hike it too. Come back over Blood to where a ride or car is awaiting at Neels Gap. Blood is nice on a clear brisk night with an extensive view.

    I still say the OHT is more fun for a late fall hike. I'd see myself traveling from GA to AR to do another off season late fall or winter OHT. Can't readily say I'd come from CO to GA for the BMT for a fall hike though. If I had CO winter cabin fever wanting to get out earlier in the spring to a lower elev east coast several wk walk about than the AT might allow or I had a very late fall hiking window I'd choose the Pinhoti and continue on the BMT to the AT in GSMNP and back south on the AT. Throwing in sections of the AT and DRT make the BMT more appealing sounding though.

    BTW the only reasons I've been on the BMT as much as I have is because it was close to home and I wanted a trail I could turn my mind off I already knew, had all the materials for, they were largely last minute hikes, and just walk without the AT crowds. The AT/BMT Fig 8 allowed some of both worlds the BMT and AT. The BMT site offers several loop suggestions. I'd take in GSMNP on any BMT fall loop.

  12. #12
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-20-2012
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Age
    63
    Posts
    4,085
    Images
    3

    Default

    Woops! I forgot to mention that Duncan ridge connector to the BMT, sorry DW. And thanks for all the thoughts, I have a week to ponder.

    And finally thanks for the brasstown bald thought, we have climbed that ( we finished the 50 last year), but never saw much on top, totally socked in, would be nice to reclimb.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-28-2007
    Location
    Georgia and Hawaii
    Posts
    17,739

    Default

    Whatever you do and wherever you go CR I wish you and yours a great fall trip. It's nice to see you're getting out. Congrats on all 50. Bet the FL, RI, and LA high pts were memorable...uh hem hiccups.

    If you have Tim Ernst's OHT guidebook he rightly rates the quality of OHT hiking in each month. Oct and Nov rank high. As an aside I'm eagerly awaiting the connecting of the Ozark Tr in Missouri with the OHT in Arkansas. Nimblewill Nomad did those two and the OT in one shot that he called the a Triple or something to that effect. OHT for a fall hike would be my pick hands down though for fun. Ticks and humidity are at bay. Those Adirondak like stone chairs at many CS's were ideal for sitting around a fall campfire. Lots more geology too. If you do the BMT have some pants or convertibles as some stretches might have overgrown briars if the crews didn't get to them in the later months. The lower elevs of the BMT will color up and hold some leaves late. You get to visit a friend in Atlanta too.

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-08-2008
    Location
    NYC
    Age
    27
    Posts
    192
    Images
    2

    Default

    I hiked this loop last fall. Itís a goodun. If you have an iPhone, u might find my app useful https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/big-...176209283?mt=8

  15. #15
    Leonidas
    Join Date
    04-26-2016
    Location
    Birmingham, Alabama
    Posts
    871

    Default

    I don't remember if you are a Guthooks guy Rob but in case you are, the BMT app is available in case you want/need it.
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail: 254 mi

    @leonidasonthetrail

  16. #16
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-20-2012
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Age
    63
    Posts
    4,085
    Images
    3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JC13 View Post
    I don't remember if you are a Guthooks guy Rob but in case you are, the BMT app is available in case you want/need it.
    Thanks, I am a recent GH convert, if I wind up on the BMT, I'll definitely buy it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    Whatever you do and wherever you go CR I wish you and yours a great fall trip. It's nice to see you're getting out. Congrats on all 50. Bet the FL, RI, and LA high pts were memorable...uh hem hiccups.

    If you have Tim Ernst's OHT guidebook he rightly rates the quality of OHT hiking in each month. Oct and Nov rank high. As an aside I'm eagerly awaiting the connecting of the Ozark Tr in Missouri with the OHT in Arkansas. Nimblewill Nomad did those two and the OT in one shot that he called the a Triple or something to that effect. OHT for a fall hike would be my pick hands down though for fun. Ticks and humidity are at bay. Those Adirondak like stone chairs at many CS's were ideal for sitting around a fall campfire. Lots more geology too. If you do the BMT have some pants or convertibles as some stretches might have overgrown briars if the crews didn't get to them in the later months. The lower elevs of the BMT will color up and hold some leaves late. You get to visit a friend in Atlanta too.
    Thanks yet again DW, you've about got me talked into the OHT, but I'm still pondering, and reading the OHT vs. OT thread with interest. And actually, those state highpoints that are only little bumps can have their charms, believe it or not. And no one has actually pinpointed the FL highpoint yet... big topic in HP circles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Linesman View Post
    I hiked this loop last fall. Itís a goodun. If you have an iPhone, u might find my app useful https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/big-...176209283?mt=8
    Great feedback, thanks!

  17. #17

    Default

    I hope you've looked closely at the resupply options on the BMT, which aren't very good. Other then that, should be a nice time to do this hike.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  18. #18

    Default

    Another thing to consider about the BMT is that compared to the AT, typically doesnt travel as high. Meaning you might not get the views you may be looking for for leaf peeping. You also will only see fraction of human traffic on the BMT compared to the AT which can be quite nice if solitude is something you're seeking.

  19. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-08-2008
    Location
    NYC
    Age
    27
    Posts
    192
    Images
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    I hope you've looked closely at the resupply options on the BMT, which aren't very good. Other then that, should be a nice time to do this hike.
    Search Iron Bridge Store, Tapoca lodge, Flip Flop burgers. Thereís also a gas station near the trail, nor far from the one shelter. But thereís no Waffle House.

  20. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-08-2008
    Location
    NYC
    Age
    27
    Posts
    192
    Images
    2

    Default

    Google maps told me there was a Waffle House near the trail ;(

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •