From Indian Grave Gap to the Nolichucky River


A hike is not always about the view – or the flowers or the trees.

Yesterday I went on the regularly scheduled Carolina Mountain Club hike from the Nolichucky River to Indian Grave Gap on the Appalachian Trail in Cherokee National Forest. It was billed as a mostly downhill 8.3 mile hike with a 2,300 ft. descent but four of us decided to climb uphill. I needed the exercise and my knee was still hurting from the downhill hike last week.

ATIndianGrave-CurlyMapleGapShelterThe area is frankly not a section that an A.T. completer will remember when she’s finished.

As soon as we left the parking lot at the River, we needed to cross a railroad track. At that exact moment, a long, long train came along.

We crossed a couple of streams on good bridges and had lunch at Curly Maple Gap Shelter, a new shelter so new you could still smell the wood. Later we came upon the outline of the foundations of the old shelter.

ATIndianGrave-MeanderingsnailWe met several long-distance hikers, including a group from Georgia ATC – and Meandering Snail. Snail, or should I call him Meandering, started at Amicalola Falls on March 1. By his own admission, it took him six days to get to Springer Mountain. This is not a typo – yes, 6 days for 8 miles. He has seven months, he says to get to where ever he gets.

His equipment was bulky and wrapped in heavy plastic but he seemed happy and content by this experience, so good for him. Let him meander.

ATIndianGrave-uphillersThe four uphillers spent most of the time catching up with each other.

What trip had you taken and what trip were you going to take?

I had come back from an aborted trip and Janet was about to embark on her own adventure, which I hope would  be more successful than mine.

Yes, there was a view – see above – but the people and the shelters, old and new, were the highlights.



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