Kenneth and Helen Warren served the SMHC in many ways from the 1970s through the 1990s. Ken was the Handbook Editor for 13 years, ably assisted by spouse Helen. This hike is a moderate way to ease into off-trail hiking; much of the description below is taken from the 1989 Handbook, published under Ken and Helen’s stewardship.
During the 1930’s the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built a system of mid-elevation trails connecting Elkmont and Cades Cove. These trails cross the spurs and creeks coming off the state line ridge and stay primarily between the 3000 and 4000 ft elevations. Much of this trail system has been abandoned; only portions remain as part of the Park official trail system. We will locate and follow remains of the segment of the middle-elevation trail that passes through Green Camp Gap to connect the Middle Prong Trail with an abandoned railroad grade that follows Thunderhead Prong. This may not be easy in places but there has been occasional maintenance by elves, so it should be possible with reasonable effort. Besides dealing with vegetation such as rhododendron, greenbrier and blackberry, it will be necessary to rock hop or wade across Sams Creek, Shut-In Creek, and Thunderhead Prong before the day is over. Hike: 7.4 miles, although largely off-trail this hike is rated moderate. Contact one of the leaders for meeting time and place.
Leaders: Steve Dickinson and Mike Harrington
To register, contact the leaders directly. You can find contact information in the February 2024 newsletter writeup for this hike.
Smoky Mountains Hiking Club
PO Box 51592
Knoxville, TN 37950-1592