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Re: [AT-L] Re: Fall Hike In The GSMNP (Change in Direction)

Wayne Brown wrote:
>         Well, those who said it was hard to get the shelter location you
> wanted on an October weekend were right.  As you may recall.  My son and I
> have been planing a hike in the GSMNP for the weekend of October 19.  We
> wanted to hike up to Mt. Lecont and them down to Gatlinburg.  I started
> calling at 8am on September 18.  Got an automated reply system.  Called
> again at 8:02am.  Line Busy!  I then started redialing and receiving a busy
> until 8:55am.  Once I got to talk to a real live human, I was told that Mt.
> Lecont shelter filled up at 8:05 that morning.
>         With that bit of bad news, the search was on to find another trail to
> hike.  The park service rep was very helpful.  I explained that my son and
> I were looking for a half-day hike to a shelter or campsite, with a full
> day hike on Saturday back to Gatlinburg.  He looked over his map and
> checked the reservatons, and found he could fit us into Mt. Collins.
>         Now we have a new hiking route.  We plan to start about noon at
> Newfound Gap.  We will hike up the AT for 4.3 miles, to the Sugarland
> Mountain Trail.  From there we will hike 1/2 mile to the Mt. Collins
> shelter.  After a good nights sleep, we will depart early on the morning of
> Saturday, October 19.  We will hike down Sugarland Mountain Trail for 8.5
> miles, to Huskey Gap Trail.  From there we will hike 2 miles to 441, then
> hike a few more miles into Gatlinburg.
>         The book that many on this list recomended, "Hiking Trails of the
> Smokies" has been a great deal of help in planing our trip.  Based on the
> book, it looks like we have a 1000 foot rise over 4.3 miles of trail on
> Friday afternoon, followed by a 200 foot drop over 1/2 mile to the shelter.
> We plan to start at noon and arive at the shelter by 6:30pm.  On Saturday,
> we will drop 2200 feet over 8.5 miles to Huskey Gap.  From there we will
> drop another 1600 feet over two miles to 441.  Looks like an all Down-Hill
> day.
>         Given our new plans, I want to get the input of those on this list
> who have hiked these trails.
> 1)      Does anyone on this list have experence with these trails?  What can
>         we expect (should we look out for) on this hike?
> 2)      What about the Mt. Collins shelter?  What should we expect?
> 3)      Once we get to 441, it looks like there is a dirt road which runs
>         near 441 to the Old Sugarlands Trail.  Is this a good way to get to
>         Gatlinburg?
> Thanks to all,
> Wayne Brown (and Ryan)
> WayneBrown@gnn.comTUES. 1 OCT '96
	Your trip sounds good to me and the trail guide info you have 
sounds right to me.  When you come out to Hwy 441 from Husky Gap %Trail 
you will be about 1 1/2 or 2 miles from Sugarlands Visitor Center on 
441 - good displays, books etc. There are telephones here that you can 
use if you want or need to make a contact.

I've traveled parts of the two trails you mention. They are good trails 
and you should be in for some great fall colors.  It will probably be 
pretty cold at the Mt Collins shelter (pretty high elevation here).  I
will be in same shelter Oct 11th - I'll miss you by a week as my trip 
will be soutn on the A.T. and out at Fontana Dam on the 15th.
I spend a good bit of time backpacking/hiking in the Smokys - I live
in Maggie Valley, N.C. and have my wife drop me at Newfound Gap when I 
hike North or South on the A.T.

Y'all have a good trip.  Happy Trails, Oscar "Tumbleweed"