View Full Version : Forney Creek Question

11-30-2011, 04:19 PM
Looking for a little information

Researching Forney Creek. Can someone tell me how many creek crossings hiking along the trail you could expect from Clingmans Dome to the end at Lakeview Drive. Looking at the early spring timeframe.

Thanks for any help

11-30-2011, 05:05 PM
According to the GSMNP backcountry map there are 7.

From my trip last may from clingmans down to 70, there was one right at 70 (the campsite is across the stream from the trail) and this one was a log bridge. (and you only would cross if you were going to get on the jonas creek trail or go to that campsite) Then there are two right before you get to 69 (wet crossings - about 1 mile between each other?), one not to far past 69 ( also a wet crossing with lots of rough water which i remember was the trickiest one and the hardest to see where the trail picks up on the other side when coming down hill) then another wet crossing before the trail leaves the stream pretty much until you get to 68 which is also one where you will get wet. Then the last one was right at the forney creek cascades above 68 which you barely get you feet wet for unless there is high water (which would probably make most of the others impassable)

The crossings of little steeltrap and steeltrap are not much more than a trickle, if I remember correctly.

Jim Casada
12-04-2011, 10:18 PM
Mac--NDuncan sums it up quite neatly, although I would add one thought. Some of these fords can be quite problematic during the spring when Forney is in full flow, and after an extended period of rain they can be downright dangerous. But then that's true for many other streams. One wonders a bit why some have been changed and others haven't. For example, during my boyhood and young manhood there were upwards of a dozen fords on Deep Creek (two below the Bumgardner Bend and, I believe, thirteen above). Today the trail stays on the right side of the stream all the way from the lower trailhead until it leaves the Right Fork headed for Hwy. 441. Eagle Creek, on the other hand, has about fifteen crossings.
Jim Casada
www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com (http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com)

12-05-2011, 10:58 AM

Thanks for all the information on the creek crossings. For an early spring trip i will have to consider this in my planning. I am sure the answer will have to do with something about getting my brother to help. :redface:

Jim Casada,

I am always happy to see your response to the forum questions. You seem to always provide a unque insight into a situation.

To further my research i have one final question on Forney.

Over the weekend i took a look at the chapter on Forney in Mr. Casada new book. I think Jim mentions taking the "White Oak Branch Trail" at 1.8 Miles to the (Lakeshore Trail/Benton Mackaye Trail) onto the Parking area at the "Road to Nowhere".

The only other option i can see reviewing my maps is the Bear Creek Trail. This trail looks to be around 2.5 miles to the (Lakeshore trail/Benton Mackaye Trail). The reason i even bring this up is all related to trail altitude change and difficulty. In the past the shorter trail is not necessary the best route. So can anyone comfirm the White Oak Branch trial is the best option.

Not questioning anything in the book Jim, just trying to do thorough research for a new trail to me. :smile:

Thanks again for everyones help

Jim Casada
12-05-2011, 05:41 PM
NDuncan--Without checking any trail maps or anything else, I should note that one problem with my book is that I often refer to places, campsites, trails, and the like by names I've used all my life. They aren't always in keeping with Park terminology and that's something I should have thought about. For example, I couldn't tell you the number of a single backcountry campsite, but I can sure name a bunch of them by how they are known locally.
That being said, my recommendation, if you plan to hike into Forney and if fishing is a key part of the program, is to choose the CCC site. If memory serves it's a site where horse are allowed, a definite minus, but there's a separate non-horse section (or used to be). Don't get me off on horses other than suffice it to say I don't have much good to say about them.
The CCC site puts you in the middle of good water. On the other hand, if you go in by boat, Lower Forney is a piece of cake in terms of walking.

As for trails, all the confusion comes at the outset when you leave the parking area at the end of the Road to Nowhere. In essence, you want to keep to the right in going to the CCC camp. Left turns will put you on the Goldmine Branch Trail or the Tunnel Bypass Trail.

Hope this helps, and it is confusing.

Jim Casada

12-06-2011, 11:23 AM
When I went last May, we didn't make it all the way down to the CCC site (#71) but stayed at Jonas Creek (#70) and Huggins Creek (#69). There is just way to much really inviting water in that watershed and so little time!

I think Jonas creek is also a horse site, but wasn't too foul smelling when we were there, although there were some places in the campsite that completely smelled awful. I really liked the Huggins creek site, we took the area above the trail and a way from it, closest to Huggins creek, as opposed to the site next to Forney creek where the trail basically runs right through it.

I really want to do a return trip, and come in from the bottom and work up and see what lower Forney has to offer.

joe a
12-06-2011, 12:49 PM
My son and I hiked down from Clingman's to Huggins and spent the night and then hiked back up the following day. The hike from Huggins back up to Clingman's is tough gaining substantial elevation over tight rocky terrain. I think it is around six miles and gains about 3000ft. I was whipped after that hike (I did 47 to 44 up through the gorge on Raven's a month later with less difficulty just to give you an idea of my fitness level) . The site between Huggins and Clingman's was closed due to bear activity and we saw three bears including one cub during our two day trip. I felt that there were many more in the area. It was a little eery. If you are planning on going South to North and that site is still closed be prepared for a beautiful, but tough day.

Jim Casada
12-06-2011, 04:49 PM
NDuncan--I think you'll find lower Forney even more appealing from the standpoint of what it has to offer the fisherman. In my view, it's just the right size, just far enough away from the masses, and far less crowded that most streams. If I had to name a favorite creek in the Park in terms of fishing potential, Forney would be it (much as I like several others).
Jim Casada