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Re: [at-l] Loops in the Smokies!

> >  I was
> > wondering if anyone knows of any good loop trips that are about 75 miles
> > roundtrip (portions of the AT preferable) in the smokies. Any information would
> > be greatly appreciated!

As noted earlier, there are *lots* of potential loops in the Smokies. 
I'd encourage you (and you might be well rewarded in the experience) not
to spend most of your time on the AT, because it is very heavily used in
the park, and the Spring break period is one of the heaviest.  There are
many campsites off the AT that do not require reservations, because they
are relatively lightly used.  You should still call the backcountry
reservation office, 615/436-1231, 8 am to 6 pm, 7 days/week, to book
your itenerary.  Reservations on restricted sites, which last time I
checked, included all the shelters on the AT plus a few heavily-used
sites elsewhere, can be made 30 days in advance of your first day out. 
If you call now, I expect the reservations people could also tell you
how to get a map so you can plan your trip.

The wildest part of the AT is probably the area on the N. Carolina side,
between the main crest (where the AT runs) and Fontana Lake.  If you
decide to go in this area, be prepared for long climbs & unbridged
stream crossings (with the possibility of high water).  The western
portion of the park is also less used, but less rugged.

As you can probably tell, this is one of my favorite places.  By all
means, no matter what route you choose, go and enjoy it!

-the Priest
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