Coordinates 1469

Uploaded January 18, 2017

Recorded January 2017

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-
3,603 f
1,307 f
0
2.5
5.0
10.08 mi

Viewed 97 times, downloaded 7 times

near Hot Springs, North Carolina (United States)

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Stage 26

⇐ Link to the previous stage: 25 - APPALACHIAN TRAIL - TENNESSEE - Section 15.1 - From Walnut Mountain Shelter to Bluff Mountain and Spring Creek, Hot Springs
⇒ Link to the next stage: 27 - APPALACHIAN TRAIL - TENNESSEE - Section 14.1 and 13.3 - From Spring Mountain Shelter to Allen Gap and Little Laurel Shelter

Route along the Appalachian Trail , passing through the states of North Carolina and Tennessee (United States), from south to north, in the area between the Pisgah National Forest (2,075 km2 of protected forest , in western North Carolina) and the Cherokee National Forest (2,653 km2 of forest, in eastern Tennessee).

The stage starts from the town of Hot Springs, North Carolina, on the banks of the French Broad River, and runs on a climb to the summits of Rich Mountain and Spring Mountain, corresponding to section 14.2 of the trail, according to the distribution stage officer in the state of Tennessee, although for much of the journey, the Appalachian Trail follows the border line between the states of Tennessee and North Carolina.

The locality of Hot Springs, located in North Carolina, is one of the obligatory references along the Appalachian Trail, not only because the path goes through the center of the town, but also because, to a large extent, a part of its tourist sector, of hotels and services, which has a well-known reputation as a hot springs spa (what gives the place its name), is focused on the logistics and provisioning of the Appalachian Trail, with support for the thousands of walkers who travel it annually: shops , hostels, restaurants, coffee shops, laundries and shuttle services to different places on the trail, are essential services for all walkers arriving in Hot Springs, a city that is proud to present itself as a "friend" of the Appalachian Trail.

The first kilometer and a half of the route runs at the level of the French Broad River, first along the Bridge Street, and then after crossing the railway and the bridge over the river, along the same shore of this, but soon begins a continuous climb that leads to Lovers Rock Leap (1820 feet) from where you can see a nice view of Hot Springs and the river.

During the rest of the stage, the trail alternates fairly flat stretches with gentle hills that offer little emotion, highlighting the 1,300-foot rise with a slope from the intersection of the AT with US-25/70, in Taryard Gap (2,278 feet) ), to the top of Rich Mountain (3,643 feet), which can be accessed by a short side detour of just 200 meters.

At the top of Rich Mountain there is an old forest monitoring tower, currently used as a privileged viewpoint, which on clear days (this has not been the case, since there was a lot of fog) allows to see a great view of the Great Smoky Mountains, from Mt. Cammerer to Mt. Guyot, and of the Black Mountains, including Mt. Mitchell, highest peak east of the Mississippi River.

From this point, the trail descends quickly for a mile, to Hurricane Gap, to rise again gradually, for three more kilometers, by the slope of Spring Mountain (3,700 feet), in the highest area is located the Spring Mountain Shelter, a small shelter, with a rather poor construction and poor maintenance. We will spend the night there cold, rainy and foggy, with the only company of a large family of small mice, to whom our presence did not seem to intimidate in the least.
Photo

Hot Springs, North Carolina. Centro de la localidad

Hot Springs, North Carolina. Centro de la localidad
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River

Hot Springs, North Carolina. Vista desde el puente sobre el French Broad River

Hot Springs, North Carolina. View from the bridge over the French Broad River
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River

Durante un corto tramo, el AT discurre a las orillas del French Broad River

For a short stretch, the AT runs along the banks of the French Broad River
panorama

Subiendo hacia Lovers Leap Ridge. Vista panorámica.

Subiendo hacia Lovers Leap Ridge. Vista panorámica.
Photo

Sendero

Sendero
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Intersection

Tanyard Gap. Intersección del AT con la ruta 25 y subida hacia la cima de Rich Mountain

Tanyard Gap. Intersection of the AT with route 25 and climb to the top of Rich Mountain
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Intersection

Subida hacia la cima de Rich Mountain e intersección con el Roundtop Ridge Trail

Climb to the top of Rich Mountain and intersection with the Roundtop Ridge Trail
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Intersection

Desvío hacia la torre de observación situada en la cima de Rich Mountain. Sin visibilidad a causa de la niebla.

Deviation towards the observation tower located on the top of Rich Mountain. No visibility because of the fog.
Intersection

Intersección del sendero en Hurrican Gap

Intersección del sendero en Hurrican Gap
Shelter

Spring Mountain Shelter

Spring Mountain Shelter

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