For more information, visit the Benton MacKaye Trail
Water Sources: Water is available at several spots in the Long Creek valley (A). After leaving Long Creek, the next reliable water source is at Bryson Gap (WP 25, A). A short signed side trail leads to a pool of water down the east side of the gap next to one of the dispersed campsites.
Points of Interest along this Section: Long Creek Falls
is 0.9 miles up the trail from Three Forks and is well worth the visit. The falls is on a side trail at the junction of the BMT and the AT. Also at the Long Creek Falls Trail
junction, the Duncan Ridge Trail
starts and follows the BMT for 16.8 miles until it leaves the BMT on Rhodes Mountain (page 20). The “Bald” at mile 8.1 is a grassy field with far-reaching views. Bryson Gap at mile 11.9 is a great place for a large group to camp.
Trail Description: From FS 58 at Three Forks at mile 6.0 (WP 16), head north on the BMT/AT up the valley of Long Creek, which flows along the west side of the trail. At mile 6.6 there is a short side trail down to a 30 foot water fall. At mile 6.9 (WP 21) the AT diverges to the right from the BMT. Also at this intersection is a side trail down to Long Creek Falls
(WP 22), about 50 feet high. At mile 7.1 there is a sharp left turn and two bridge crossings over the Long Creek drainage. The trail heads steeply uphill at mile 7.6 to crest at an unnamed bald at mile 8.1 (WP 23 ,3250’). This is a large open field with outstanding views of the surrounding mountains. From this point, the trail heads downhill to No Name Gap (aka Owens Gap, WP 24, 3020’) at mile 8.6, then climbs steeply uphill, leveling out at about 3200 feet elevation. Wildcat Ridge is located at mile 10.6 and from here the trail goes along the east shoulder of Big John Dick Mountain, then circles around to the northeast side of the mountain before switchbacking down to Bryson Gap at mile 11.9 (WP 25, 2900’). There is a large camping area at Bryson Gap with a water source of each side of the gap.
Campsites: LNT ethics suggest to not camp right next to a creek. Camping is available at Three Forks (see page 15). There are several LNC campsites along the trail to Bryson Gap. The first is right along Long Creek at mile 6.3 (WP 26). There are two nice roomy campsites down the trail to Long Creek Falls
at mile 6.9. The first is just a short distance from the trail intersection and the second (WP 27) is down by the falls 0.1 miles from the BMT/AT intersection. Just past the bridge over Long Creek at mile 7.1 there is a small campsite accessible by a side trail along the edge of a tributary of Long Creek (WP 28). At mile 7.6 just before the trail leaves the creek there is a small campsite.