Knocking out the Knobstone

 

The beginning of the new year gave me new resolve to get in hiking shape for the Appalachian Trail. Aaron and I drove down to Great Smoky Mountains National Park late last spring for a short section hike that turned out to be shorter than expected – the Smokies are no joke. I quickly learned that practically in my own backyard, there is a little known but widely celebrated trail nicknamed “the little AT.” Celebrated in the hiking community, that is. The Knobstone, as I’m finding out one section at a time, is also no joke.

Parks like Morgan Monroe State Forest, Clifty Falls, and Turkey Run have these great trail features called switchbacks up and down their higher hills. Not so much the AT or the Knobstone. To get down, you simply go down. Steeply down. Dangerously down. And to go up, you simply go up, like an elevator goes up.

And so here is a glut of pictures from the  two section hikes of the Knobstone Trail I’ve begun from the southernmost trail head, at Deam Lake. For full disclosure, I’ve already hiked the northernmost sections, Delaney Loop and Spurgeon Hollow Loop.

I will complete a thru-hike of the KT later this year, but for now, enjoy some winter trail scenery.

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