Appalachian Trail Journals

If you enjoy reading Appalachian Trail Journals, I humbly submit mine for your perusal.   I still hold onto the dream of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, but until enough time opens up for me, I plan on section-hiking the trail in big chunks.  

This installment covers a month-long, 300-mile southbound hike from just south of Damascus, Virginia to Wesser, North Carolina.  Much of the trail through this section straddles the North Carolina-Tennessee border and includes Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

One Day at a Time:

  1. Low Gap, TN US Rte 421 to Double Springs Shelter
  2. Double Springs Shelter to Vandeventer Shelter
  3. Vandeventer Shelter to Laurel Fork Shelter
  4. Laurel Fork Shelter to Moreland Gap Shelter
  5. Moreland Gap Shelter to Mountaineer Shelter
  6. Mountaineer Shelter to Mountain Harbour Hostel
  7. Mountain Harbour Hostel
  8. Mountain Harbour Hostel to Overmountain Shelter
  9. Overmountian Shelter to Greasy Creek Friendly Hostel
  10. Greasy Creek Friendly Hostel to Beauty Spot Gap
  11. Beauty Spot Gap to Uncle Johnny’s Nolichucky Hostel, Erwin, TN
  12. Uncle Johnny’s Nolichucky Hostel, Erwin, TN to near No Business Knob Shelter
  13. Near No Business Knob Shelter to Bald Mountain Shelter
  14. Bald Mountain Shelter to Hogback Ridge Shelter
  15. Hogback Ridge Shelter to Flint Mountain Shelter
  16. Flint Mountain Shelter to Hemlock Hollow Hostel
  17. Hemlock Hollow Hostel to Duckett House, Hot Springs, NC
  18. Duckett House, Hot Spings, NC to Walnut Mountain Shelter
  19. Walnut Mountain Shelter to Groundhog Creek Shelter
  20. Groundhog Creek Shelter to Standing Bear Hostel
  21. Standing Bear Hostel to Tri-Corner Knob Shelter
  22. Tri-Corner Knob Shelter to Icewater Spring Shelter
  23. Icewater Spring Shelter to Double Spring Gap Shelter
  24. Double Spring Gap Shelter to Spence Field Shelter
  25. Spence Field Shelter to Fontana Dam Shelter
  26. Fontana Dam to Cable Gap Shelter
  27. Cable Gap Shelter to Locust Cove Gap
  28. Locust Cove Gap to Nantahala Outdoor Center, Wesser, NC

Thank you for reading my Appalachian Trail journals. I've hiked several hundred more miles of the A.T. since this account was posted. As you might guess, I ate well!

Below are some Appalachian Trail resources that I use to plan hikes.

Appalachian Trail Resources

The A.T. Guide

The A.T. Guide, by David Miller, is the planning guide I use to plan my hikes. There are Northbound and Southbound editions, available bound or unbound, so you can carry just the pages you need. The A.T. Guide has mileages, landmarks and elevation profiles for the entire trail, details about shelter locations, water sources, and services along the way, and maps of about fifty trail towns. David is also the author of AWOL on the Appalachian Trail, which is an account of his AT Thru-hike.

Appalachian Trail Conservancy

I order my trail maps from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. They also offer the A.T. Data Book and other publications about hiking the Appalachian Trail.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is a volunteer-based organization dedicated to the preservation and management of the natural, scenic, historic, and cultural resources associated with the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in order to provide primitive outdoor-recreation and educational opportunities for Trail visitors.

White Blaze is a lively hiking forum where Appalachian Trail enthusiasts can ask questions and share their knowledge and experiences.

Jolly Green Giant Blogspot

Jolly Green puts out a thoughtful blog on light & ultralight backpacking. In addition to his own gear reviews and backpacking insights, his homepage links to a long list of his favorite backpacking blogs and websites if you want to go cyber exploring from there.

Philip Werner does a great job of testing and reviewing backpacking gear. If you're trying to figure out what features to look for in any piece of gear and want some advice on how to use the gear, you will find the information there. - Appalachian Trail Journals

One way to gain perspective on long-distance hiking is to read the Appalachian Trail journals of others. has hundreds of journals including other long trails such as the Pacific Crest Trail.

Recipes for Adventure

If you want to enjoy meals like I described in my Appalachian Trail journal, invest in a copy of my book, Recipes for Adventure, available as a PDF download or in Print.

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