BMT: Segment 17c-17d (Whigg Meadow to Beech Gap)
ElevationAscent: 605' 184 m
Descent: -1,079' -329 m
High: 5,030' 1,533 m
Low: 4,314' 1,315 m
GradeAvg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 22% (13°)
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“The Benton MacKaye Trail section from Whigg Meadow to Beech Gap.”— Richard Harris
Trail Description: Leave Whigg Meadow (mile 159.4, WP 62) off the north end of the bald, passing below the crest of Haw Knob (5470 foot elevation, highest point in the area) and descending to Mud Gap at mile 161.0 (WP 71). There is a parking lot here for 5 or 6 cars along the edge of the Skyway. Turn left behind the parking lot interpretive sign. The trail soon passes the grave of a soldier killed during the Civil War by the Kirkland Bushwackers. These “bushwackers” were a local family group who took it upon themselves to kill deserters. The trail then ascends to a man made meadow in a quarry used for construction of the Skyway at mile 161.5. After following the high ridge for about a mile, the trail descends to Stratton Gap and crosses FR 217 at mile 162.5 (WP 72). Shortly after crossing this gravel road, the trail again ascends to the ridge top, then back down to the Unicoi Crest Overlook on the Skyway at mile 163.7 (WP 70). The trail crosses the Skyway, then touches it again at Beech Gap at mile 164.0 right at the state line (WP 69).
Campsites: The best site for camping is at Whigg Meadow (WP 62), but an adequate campsite is also available at the quarry site at mile 161.5 (WP 74). Other LNT sites can also be found elsewhere along the trail.
Water Sources: Water is available at Whigg Meadow as well as at Mud Gap just over the Skyway from the parking lot (WP 73, B).
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Features, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes
Land Manager: USFS - Nantahala National Forest Office