So, I am currently planning / preparing for a trip my son and I will be going on with a group from a few different backpacking forums as well as meet up groups. We are heading into the Talladega National Forest, and more specifically the Cheaha State Park.
We are doing a loop hike. My son and I will park at the Turnipseed parking area Friday afternoon, and then hike up the Chinabee Silent Trail towards the Pinhoti Trail. We will be meeting with some of the group at a campsite near this junction. We will follow the Pinhoti Trail towards Adams Gap and then we will head up the Skyway Loop Trail. We will follow this trail back to the Chinabee Silent Trail, which will then take us back to our truck around Monday.
I will be able to take quite a few new items out with me on this trip. These items include: OES 8 x 10 sil tarp with the MLD LiteLine and LineLocks, Exped Synmat 7, GoLite RS 1+ 40 * quilt, Jag Bag silk liner, GSI Kettle, Original White Box Stove set-up, and possibly my Chaco’s. So, this will be a very exciting trip for me, and I am looking forward to testing out some of my new gear.
I am also planning a trip for when I return from this trip with my son. I am thinking anywhere from 3 – 5 days. Right now I am looking at the John Muir Recreational Trail (#152) which follows the Hiwassee River in the Cherokee National Forest. This is roughly a 20 mile trail. It is not a loop so I am thinking about doing a there-and-back. If I do this I will take at least 4 days to do so since my son will be with me, and will probably be pushed to a 5 day hike to keep it safe.
One thing that is bothering me about this trail, is the amount of snakes (not the friendly kind either) that are reported on this trail. Since the trail essentially follows the river, snakes are abundant. I am not looking to getting myself, and especially my son bit by a snake. Also, the bugs are mighty around this area, so between the snakes and the bug, we may find another trail in this area. I have ordered the National Geographic # 781 Trails Illustrated map which covers this entire area, so once it comes in I will have a look-see and go from there.
I have one other trip planned for the middle / end of June. I have reserved the Mt. LeConte Shelter as well as the Icewater Springs Shelter which will allow for an easy 3-day hike up in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We will begin our hike early on a Friday morning after completing the registration process at the Sugarland’s Visitor Center at the Alum Cave Trail Head. We will hike up to the Mt. LeConte shelter for the first night. The next day we will follow the mountain ridges across the Boulevard Trail until we hit the Appalachian Trail. We will hike the short distance to the Icewater Springs Shelter for the night. While we are here we will hike the short distance to visit Charlies Bunion. The last day we will hike the short distance down the AT until we hit Newfound Gap.
This trip will again be with my son, as well as my good friend and his son which are both new to hiking. There are a few others that are planning on going as well, which are experienced hikers. This trip is for the kids though. (Ok, and me too.) We will let them lead and let them set the pace. This is a beautiful hike, and I am glad to be able to be doing it again.
(Me and some friends did almost this exact hike this past January. The pictures and trip report can be seen here.)
So, these are the trips I have planned over the next month. I am very excited about them, and just figured I would share on here what some of my immediate plans are. So, once I get back I will be sure to post a TR with pics.