Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Smoky Mountains – Anthony Creek

After a little debate with myself on the morning of January 15th I decided I could get this quick hike in before it got too late and hastily put together my pack and headed out. Saw this hike on the map several months ago, and had it marked for a nice half a day stroll when the time was right. The cold from the previous weekend had moved out and the temperature was setting right around 65 degrees so I did not need to pack much in the way of additional clothing. I was at the trailhead around noon and made my way up Lead Cove trail.

Start of Lead Cove Trail
Lead Cove is a winding trail that goes steadily up and gets your heart rate going just a bit but is not too overly hard at all. I think winter is the perfect time to hike this trail because without the leaves on the trees you can get the scope of the landscape and some areas you can view the mountains around you. In the summer with leaves you would not get those same sights.

Lead Cove Trail just before the Bote Mountain Junction
When I reached the Bote Mountain Trails it flattened out a bit and the dirt turned to more of sand. This section of the hike also had more rocks underfoot than Lead Cove did and made foot placement a bit hard at times. As far as aesthetics goes this was my least favorite trail I was on today. Just not much to see and if it wasn't for the fact the leaves were off the trees I would not have been able to see the mountain range to the side of me.

Bote Mountain Trail
Anthony Creek was the longest section of trail I was on and it was a very pleasant walk. It was nice to hear water running again in the park after a long dry summer and fall. There were several log bridge crossing and cascading water. I passed backcountry campsite #9 and have to say it looks really inviting. I think this spring it will be one of the first backcountry camping trips I plan this year. The trail itself was pretty rocky and a little hard on the old ankles.

Foot bridge along Anthony Creek
Crib Gap trail is a forest type trail that starts off really wide at the Anthony Creek junction but becomes more narrow as you go. It does cross Laurel Creek Road and it not well marked. The section of the hike north of Laurel Creek Road felt a little “bearish” and was hoping to see one but did not.

Anthony Creek
This is a very nice day hike loop and would recommend doing it in the winter when the leaves are off the trees, allowing for better views and less stagnant humidity.

Anthony Creek Trail & Crib Gap Trail Junctgion

Hike Details

Hiked Section of Park Trail Map
Hike Date:
January 15, 2017

Start Time:
12:00 @ 65 Degrees F.

Finish Time:
16:35 @ 66 Degrees F.

Lead Cove     1.8 Miles
Bote Mountain     1.2 Miles
Anthony Creek     3.5 Miles
Crib Gap      1.6Miles
     Turkeyden Ridge     0.2 Miles

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