Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Abrams Creek - Smoky Mountains

Day One: 7.3
Cooper Road 0.9
Little Bottoms 2.3
Abrams Falls to falls 1.7
Abrams Falls 1.7
Little Bottoms to #17 0.7

Day Two: 9.7
Little Bottoms 0.7
Hatcher Mountain 2.6
Cooper Road 2.2
Gold Mine 1.6
Cooper Road 2.6
Total Miles: 17

Lora and I headed out to Abrams Creek campground in the Smoky National Park.  We found out that they have taken the signs down since they closed the campground as we drove by at a high rate of speed.  We stopped and asked some Rangers(?) where the road was and they said the sign was down, but they could not describe where it was.  So, we found it on the way back. There is a sign coming from the South.

There was one other car at the trailhead as we headed out.  We took the Cooper Road trail to Little Bottoms.  We passed by our campsite #17 as we headed on to Abrams Falls.  We did get to see the tornado damage in this area from a couple of years ago.  We passed a couple that was out backpacking near the Hannah Mountain trail.  We went on to the falls and as always there were lots of people at the falls.

After visiting a while we headed back to our campsite.  When we got back to the Hannah Mt. trail we stopped for a snack and the couple was still there.  They were attempting to cross the Abrams Creek.  The water was not up very far, but the lady had already had a panic attack trying to cross.  The guy now had a rope going across the creek and they were attempting one more time.  He had already took both packs across.  Lora gave the girl a pep talk and we watched as she made it across.  We thought we were going to have to help her across.  We cheered her on and then untied this end of the rope after she made it.

We got to camp and got everything set up.  We enjoyed a quite evening sitting by the fire.

The next morning we got up and headed back to Hatcher Mountain.  We saw some horse riders at the Cooper Road crossing.  They had come from Gold Mine and asked why when we told them we were going to hike Gold Mine.  Because it was there?  We are stupid like that, I told them.  They got a laugh.

We met a Ranger on the Cooper Road trial who was heading out to check the archaeological site.  We then headed up Gold Mine.  About halfway up the trail we noticed a side trail being built.  We took it a couple hundred yards and then came back.  When we got up to the top we found the other end of the new trail.  There is a old barn up top as well.

We hiked back down and then took Cooper Road on out.  There were a lot of cars in the parking area when we got back and a guy that was going to do a day hike too.


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