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XC Champion
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Where would I find the most remote/scary/muddy/badass hiking in WNC? I'm thinking somewhere around the Wilson's Creek/Linville Gorge area. I've done quite a bit of hiking in the Gorge and there are some gems. I need a day hike or 2 and also a few overnighters.

Anyone got any other suggestions? Feel free to PM if you want. I want to get in shape for a crazy New Zealand hike that I'm going to get around to doing one of these days. :thumbsup:

Sorry for the OT post...I'm not a member of any hiking forums so I figured I'd ask y'all kind folks.
 

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drunken pirate
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Starting from Sunburst campground go up Green Mtn. trail through the Middle Prong then take the Mtns. to Sea to Ivestor Gap and then go down Fork Mtn. for a pleasant 20 mile loop.

Buckeye and Haywood Gap trails in the Middle Prong make for a nice loop that could test your navigational skills.

In the Blacks the Black Mtn. Crest trail is a classic out and back or point to point. Start from Bowlens Creek. A good loop in the blacks is up the Buncombe Horse Range and down Colbert Ridge starting from Carolina Hemlocks.
 

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XC Champion
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
driftwood said:
Starting from Sunburst campground go up Green Mtn. trail through the Middle Prong then take the Mtns. to Sea to Ivestor Gap and then go down Fork Mtn. for a pleasant 20 mile loop.

Buckeye and Haywood Gap trails in the Middle Prong make for a nice loop that could test your navigational skills.

In the Blacks the Black Mtn. Crest trail is a classic out and back or point to point. Start from Bowlens Creek. A good loop in the blacks is up the Buncombe Horse Range and down Colbert Ridge starting from Carolina Hemlocks.
This is definitely what I want to hear! Thanks for that.

I've been riding Coleman many times, so the mystery isn't there as much as it used to be. But there are some lesser known trails out there that I haven't checked out so that could be a very real possibility.

I'll also check out Joyce Kilmer - been meaning to get out there for years.

Thanks y'all! :thumbsup:
 

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Third Degree Hater-Fu
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May I suggest hiking the section of the AT from the N.O.C. to Fontana Village. Or the hike from the A.T. that starts by going across Fontana Dam, turning right and hiking along the northern shore of Fontana Lake up Eagle Creek to Hazel Creek and camping out/fishing on Hazel Creek. You can even pay a boat $50.00 to pick you up at the mouth of Hazel Creek on a set day/time to ride back across the lake.
 

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I love Pisgah
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driftwood said:
Starting from Sunburst campground go up Green Mtn. trail through the Middle Prong then take the Mtns. to Sea to Ivestor Gap and then go down Fork Mtn. for a pleasant 20 mile loop.

Buckeye and Haywood Gap trails in the Middle Prong make for a nice loop that could test your navigational skills.

In the Blacks the Black Mtn. Crest trail is a classic out and back or point to point. Start from Bowlens Creek. A good loop in the blacks is up the Buncombe Horse Range and down Colbert Ridge starting from Carolina Hemlocks.
+1 regarding the sunburst loop. Have done that loop both ways. Tough hike w the alt gain/loss and really recommend it. Take the Art Loeb over black Balsam tho, then bushwack down to Ivester Gap trail(if your going CCW) by taking a left and down, from the gap that seperates it and Tennant mtn. Theres a trail there.. Camp on the summit of Green mtn if you can swing it(theres water down the side of the mtn on the east side of the gap just south of Green mtn). Theres a piped spring down the north side of that one open grassy gap(looks like Flower Gap)where the RR bed basically deadends on Fork mtn ridgeline about 1 mile from Ivester Gap trail. Fwiw, its easier if you go up the watershed in M. Prong instead of Green Mtn trail. Plus theres water al along the way.

Also a good hike from Davidson River..up the Art Loeb...to the Mtn to Sea trail...over to the Black Mtn trail..back down to Davidson. Took me 4 days.

Also a good hike up daniel Ridge to Farlow...up to the Art loeb..up to the Mtn to Sea trail...then back down(forget the name) an obscure Trail that comes down from the BRP just east of Graveyard fields and comes out at the top of Cove Creek...then hike back down to the FS rd and up it to Daniel Ridge TH again. Did that in 1 night...

Great loops avail in Kilmer and Slickrock wilderness areas(I live 15 minutes from it). Do not go home without checking out the Hangover.
 

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I love Pisgah
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I'll be camping on the summit of Black Balsam or Tennant this weekend. Love winter packing.
 

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Southern Fried mUni
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Backpacking in Wilson is hard to beat. Lost Cove & Harpers Creek area both kick ass. Lot of good hiking over in the Linville Gorge too but stay away from the populated side. Come in Rock Jock on the South side.
 

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Grandfather Mountain is fairly rugged. Lot's of scrabbling over rocks. It's now a NC State Park, so you no longer have to pay user fees.

Mount Mitchell to Deep Gap is a nice hike. If you want to add some elevation, start at Black Mountain campground or the Celo trailhead.
 

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XC Champion
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've been out to Panthertown Valley a few times and that seems like a place to practice my navigational skills. Anyone have some suggestions for that area?
 

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drunken pirate
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Panthertown is a relatively small area with a lot of trails. It might be better suited for just wandering around rather than practicing navigational skills. But my recommendation would be to start outside of Panthertown in Pisgah where Dismal Creek hits hwy 281. Hike up the creek, find all five waterfalls in the area, and continue past Dismal Falls on up to the top of Shelton Pisgah Mtn. From there head west and check out Devils Elbow before heading down towards Panthertown Creek. You'll have to do some research and check it out on the map for it to make sense.

The biggest navigational challenges I have encountered are in the Middle Prong and Shining Rock Wildernesses. There is a very tricky spot on Buckeye Gap and Fork Mtn. could have you pulling out your map a few times :D
 

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XC Champion
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
driftwood said:
Panthertown is a relatively small area with a lot of trails. It might be better suited for just wandering around rather than practicing navigational skills. But my recommendation would be to start outside of Panthertown in Pisgah where Dismal Creek hits hwy 281. Hike up the creek, find all five waterfalls in the area, and continue past Dismal Falls on up to the top of Shelton Pisgah Mtn. From there head west and check out Devils Elbow before heading down towards Panthertown Creek. You'll have to do some research and check it out on the map for it to make sense.

The biggest navigational challenges I have encountered are in the Middle Prong and Shining Rock Wildernesses. There is a very tricky spot on Buckeye Gap and Fork Mtn. could have you pulling out your map a few times :D
Nice! Thanks for all your help. I've actually been to Devil's Elbow before but it was by complete accident. We were looking for something else and just stumbled upon it. I can't wait to check out some of your other suggestions. Hopefully it will be raining and muddy as heck when I get out there. :thumbsup:
 

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I love Pisgah
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Yesterday and Fri. Hiked out in the rain today. Good times!










 

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Southern Fried mUni
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I'm jealous....I want to get back out in the woods. My big problem is that I use a hammock and once it gets below freezing you just can't stay warm so winter tends to be the off-season. Nice pics!
 

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XC Champion
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Duckman said:
Yesterday and Fri. Hiked out in the rain today. Good times!

Awesome! I'm excited to get out there. This pic looks really familiar...does this double as a mountain biking trail?
 

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I love Pisgah
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driftwood said:
It looks like Flat Laurel Creek to me.
It is. Thats the fastest way in when the BRP is closed. We got there lateish, and we had a guy coming in after dark, so we had to pull up on an off trail ridgeline(1 ridge over to the east of where the real trail goes up and over to the parking lot at the end of FS816) so he could find us(hes a weak hiker, and figured he'd die climbing Balsam late at night:().

Then we headed over to Graveyard fields since the BRP was closed and theres no one around there then. I'm not a fan of that area regardless of the BRP being closed or not tho. I'd rather be up higher. But we figured with the front coming in, we'd go lower. Too much impact for my taste in that area as well. Altho, its fun when its really cold(like 2ish weeks ago) to mess around on the ice at those falls with crampons and ice axes.

I'd rather hike the BRP east from 215..hike up the Devils Courthouse trail..but take a left on the outlaw trail(connector) over to the Mtn to Sea trail...turn right and up and around to Silvermine Bald, and throw down there for the first night. I lost the vote tho.

I won't hike around there if its not winter...or maybe mid week. Too many people. Middleprong it better then.
 
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