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mattblick
04-10-2012, 12:21 PM
Good morning,

I just called the backcountry office and found out 21 and 24 are filled up for this weekend. I'll be pouring over Fred's maps (and perhaps those inferior National Geographic ones as well) tonight, but thought I would enlist advice in case I am not considering trails I should be.

I'm going to be hiking in with my 63 year-old Father-In-Law Friday afternoon and out on Sunday. He is in good shape, but I am still hearing complaints about going over Baumgardner Mtn. to get him to site 58 in 2010.

I'm looking for a site ideally 5 or fewer miles from the trailhead. I have had bad experience at sites that allow horses in the past, but have been visited by bears that don't allow them recently, so maybe I should not rule them out anymore?

Any advice will be highly appreciated!
-Matt-

Rog 1
04-10-2012, 12:37 PM
Have you thought about BC 18 over by Tremont....not a long hike and a very pretty campsite....small water but there are fish to be had over there.

mattblick
04-10-2012, 01:32 PM
Have you thought about BC 18 over by Tremont....not a long hike and a very pretty campsite....small water but there are fish to be had over there.

18 is a great site, thanks for the suggestion! I did 18 twice last year but haven't hit it yet this year, its on my short list.

Thanks again,
-Matt-

David Knapp
04-10-2012, 02:39 PM
What about #60 over on Deep Creek? It is before you go over the ridge. #50 is not too far up the trail above Smokemont either...

Drugcop4
04-10-2012, 02:41 PM
Deep Creek is not bad if you don't go forever. If I remember right about 3-5 miles up near a trail crossing there was good campsites, and great stream access.

Small trail with big rocks that go up and down alot.

mattblick
04-10-2012, 04:05 PM
Thanks for the suggestions David and Drugcop!

Here is my question on both of those (50, 60):
I have avoided sites that allow horses in the park for at least the last 15 years. On one of my first trips in the park that wasn't on Elkmont, I stayed at a site that allowed horses. There were huge piles of horse dung where the horses had been tied up closer to the fire rings than they should have. To top that off previous users hadn't bothered picking up their trash even though they had horses to carry it. I carried out at least 5 pounds of garbage.

I may be unfairly prejudiced against horse sites, and perhaps have avoided them for too long.

When I walked past 60 last October the site was occupied by a nice group of anglers and I believe a guide/outfitter. There was a huge amount of gear that resembled what one would have in a campground instead of the "backcountry". The group was quite friendly and they talked about the fishing that day and the bear that sat 30 yards away watching them while they cooked and consumed their bacon. Is this the norm for 60? I fear since 21 and 24 are booked that 60 will be as well but I can try calling..

I have also always avoided Hazel because I believe the buggies might lead to the same situation.

I don't want to sound snobbish or elitist in my avoidance of this type of camping, in fact any time another person/group is at the same backcountry site as me I extend an offer to share my fire, whiskey, and cigars. At the same time I hike up carrying the necessities and eat freeze dried food to get away from the conveniences of a campground.

Should I give sites that allow horses another chance?

Thanks again and keep the suggestions coming! I might be able to talk tnflyfisher (http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/member.php?u=7212) into hiking in and joining us Saturday evening. All this camping talk is certainly swaying him. :biggrin:

-Matt-

tnflyfisher
04-10-2012, 04:15 PM
I might be able to talk tnflyfisher (http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/member.php?u=7212) into hiking us Saturday evening. All this camping talk is certainly swaying him. :biggrin:


It definitely doesn't take much.... :biggrin:
Fishing, mountains, maker's, cigars... yep, where do I sign?!?


Tight Lines,

mattblick
04-10-2012, 07:53 PM
It definitely doesn't take much.... :biggrin:
Fishing, mountains, maker's, cigars... yep, where do I sign?!?


Tight Lines,

A request for Maker's? :biggrin: Have you had the new Maker's 46?

I was initially leaning towards bringing a new Whisky that my local store was limiting customers to 1 bottle; its called Tap 357 (http://www.shakestir.com/community/id/256/new-booze-tap-357-canadian-maple-rye-whisky) and is a Canadian Maple Rye Whiskey. But I have an unopened bottle of Maker's 46 in the cupboard as well..;)

-Matt-

Drugcop4
04-10-2012, 09:03 PM
The horse camp at Deep Creek (Cannot remember the number) was not bad when we were there in the Spring on 2011. There were some horse piles but not bad enough to make complaint. The trail did not appear to be used that heavily by horses as the pickets in camp were old and in disrepair. We passed several other sites along this trail that were very fishable and were good camp sites. I think we took some photos of the other sites if you want me to find them I can send them to you via email. Let me know if you want more info and I will pull out the map and the photos.

hauntedbywaters
04-10-2012, 09:05 PM
matt,

If you head to #60 this weekend you're likely to see me there. I've been camping and fishing DC backcountry for 10+ years, and I can say that I've never seen a bear at that first campsite. I cannot, however, say the same thing about hogs. Last time I was there they had torn the place up pretty good. That with the addition of a lot of trash left behind by others made the site look not so pretty.

Here's my take on DC. I've been fishing it since I was about 12 and it seems to me to have taken a decline in terms of fishing quality. I've noticed a lot of bigger fish missing that used to be there, as well as a lot of others fishing the creek. I'm not just talking about the first few miles, but also the deep backcountry (think campsite 53). This is more evident on weekends of course...

If you're trying to fish the NC side I would remind you #60 is maybe a 2.5 mile hike, that isn't so bad and you avoid Bumgardner Ridge. Only exception is a short but moderately steep hill before the first campsite. However, if you start fishing at that site you will have to either fish hard for 6+ hours or turn and walk the creek back, because the trail pulls away from the creek for a long while after #60 (I have seen bears back in here). An option is to camp there, walk down a mile or so, and fish back to #60.

If you don't mind horses, Noland Creek is another option, and makes for a pretty easy hike in/out.

I will also agree with David and suggest campsite #50 at Smokemont to fish Bradley Creek (the campsite, I believe, is on Chasteen Cr). It can't be more than 2.5 miles, and its a pretty easy hike if I remember.

g022271
04-10-2012, 11:36 PM
What about #37 (Lower walnut Bottoms) on Big Creek. It's an easy enough five mi. hike in and out Good campsites, and although I've never fished there (camped there numerous times in pre-ff days) , I've read and been told that there's pretty good fishing there and not much pressure on them either. I may be wrong, but just a thought.

tnflyfisher
04-11-2012, 11:56 AM
I have an unopened bottle of Maker's 46 in the cupboard as well..;)

Oooo.... I think that might have just put me over the edge. ;)

Tight Lines,

benintenn
04-12-2012, 09:13 AM
#39, #40, or #41 maybe.

I've never stayed at 39 or 40 but I've been told they are nice sites that are on or close to some nice water. I've stayed at 41 a few years ago and I enjoyed it. Caldwell Fork goes right past the site. It is a horse camp but I went it looked as if it had been a long time since any horse campers had stayed there. The area around the horse rails was all overgrown. The Big Populars are a must see if you stay up there.

mattblick
04-12-2012, 10:34 AM
I want to thank everyone who made suggestions again! I have some new sites to check out this year for sure.

My first Backcountry trip in the park was in 1993. I've made a lot of trips to the park in the last 19 years and have only used 8 sites I can remember, and that one horse camp (which I've forgotten the number). It is about time I start checking out new ones.

I'm heavily leaning towards trying Noland Creek this trip. I've camped and fished Deep Creek, Forney, and Eagle - but never Noland. Everything I read says it is lightly used and beautiful with small but eager fish. I'm a poor enough angler that quantity over quality streams have big appeal.. :biggrin: (tnflyfisher bested me 4:1 in March near Elkmont)

I'm going to start driving down tonight and hope to make at least Corbin if not Knoxville. Depending on what time I can get the old man out of bed tomorrow morning will dictate if we stop at the short hike to 65 or venture on further to 64 (and give a horse site another try).

-Matt-

tnflyfisher
04-12-2012, 11:29 AM
I'm heavily leaning towards trying Forney Creek this trip. I've camped and fished Deep Creek, Noland, and Eagle - but never Forney. Everything I read says it is lightly used and beautiful with small but eager fish.

Depending on what time I can get the old man out of bed tomorrow morning will dictate if we stop at the short hike to 65 or venture on further to 64 (and give a horse site another try).


Matt,

Campsites #65 and #64 are on Noland Creek... is that what you meant?
There really isn't any easy access to Forney Creek. I have camped at #68 and even getting down there takes a little while.

Or is this some diversionary tactic to keep me off the stream... :biggrin:
Just trying to figure out where you are heading.

Tight Lines,

hauntedbywaters
04-12-2012, 12:55 PM
tnflyfisher is right, those campsite numbers are located on Noland Creek. By your description, it does seem like you're talking about Noland, but you said you've fished it before???

mattblick
04-12-2012, 01:42 PM
Bah, yeah Noland is what I meant, don't know why I typed Forney; I transposed the two. Actually I do know why: posted before coffee.

Edited the post to what it shold have been. Thanks guys.

I put the Tap 357 in my platy bladder, as it didn't sound like you were coming Kevin. You are thinking about coming again now? Perhaps I can pick up another bladder on the way. :biggrin: