I got a later start than planned. I had worked a double on Saturday so was kind of tired. But I drug myself out of bed and got going around 9:30 in the morning. This put me starting my hike at around 11:00. I was planning a pretty high mileage day so was kind of worried about starting this late but figured I could change my plans if need be. I could have opted for an in and out instead of a loop. After the previous high mileage day that I hadn’t planned on doing I was a little more prepared for this one. I ended up carrying about 25 pounds. I carried my sleeping bag and tent along with some other essentials.
So I made my way to Cosby Campground and hit the trail. You really have to watch where you going at first because there are a bunch of nature trails and side trails to the creek. I had to go .4 miles on Low Gap Trail before I would get to Lower Mt. Cammerer Trail. This trail is 7.5 miles long before it reaches the Appalachian Trail. I have to say that this is a really awesome trail. It was beautiful with plenty of water along the entire trail and the grade wasn’t too steep. And there was a really pretty waterfall. It wasn’t in the guidebook so it was a nice surprise.
At just over 3 miles there is a designated campsite (#35). It looked like an OK place to camp with plenty of trees for hammocking. I took a short break there and had a snack and then I looked up the hill and saw a dog. It took me a minute to realize that there shouldn’t be any dogs. They are not allowed in the park. It looked like one those sled pulling dogs. I saw a collar on it. Then I briefly saw a small little white dog but it turned and went away. I don’t know where they came from or where they went but I never saw any other human on this trail. They didn’t look hungry and I didn’t feel threatened. But I was ready with my poles just in case.
Surprisingly, before I knew it I had reached the trail junction at the Appalachian Trail. It had only taken me just under 3 hours to hike 7.9 miles. Of course this was the easier part of the trip. Just a nice gradual uphill with some nice flat walking.
Now was the hard part part. Climbing for the next 2.3 miles with an elevation gain of around 1500 feet. Not terribly strenuous but hard enough especially after already hiking for almost 8 miles. I would be headed south on the AT until I reached Low Gap. The next couple of miles of trail aren’t like normal trail. There are a lot of log steps to climb. For some people this is good and some bad. I like the stairs. This part of the AT I did a couple of weeks prior so it was kind of boring. I really tried to push myself to see how fast I could get to the top. It took me 1 hour and 25 minutes to get to the top.
It was about 6:00 when I finally made it to the trail intersection of Low Gap which would take me back to the car. I still had 2.9 miles to go. At least I wouldn’t be walking in the dark. But the trail was a steep downhill. Downhills are sometimes so really hard. I don’t have to stop and catch my breath like on the uphills but they can be quite jarring to the body. It was a beautiful trail even if it was rocky. I was just glad to finally make it to my car.
~~~~~~~~~Click here to see all the pictures of this trip~~~~~~~~~~~~