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BMT: Segment 22c (Lower Noland Creek Trail)

Easy/Intermediate

Trail

6.9 mile 11.1 kilometer point to point
97% Runnable
Easy/Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 1,329' 405 m
Descent: -4' -1 m
High: 3,170' 966 m
Low: 1,841' 561 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 14% (8°)

Dogs

No Dogs
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Trail shared by Richard Harris

The section of the Benton MacKaye Trail from Noland Creek Trail to Campsite #62.

Richard Harris

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Need to Know

For more information, visit the Benton MacKaye Trail Association's website.

Description

Points of Interest along this section: This section covers from the intersection of the Road to Nowhere and the Noland Creek Trail up to Campsite #62.

In 1934 it took ten men from Deep Creek CCC one month drilling through solid rock to construct the Upper Noland Creek Trail.
There are several potentially dangerous creek crossings along Noland Creek Trail. Don't cross a stream unless you are confident you can make the crossing. Wear shoes to protect your feet. If you lose your footing try to float down the stream feet first and protect your head. The streams can run dangerously high after heavy rains or snow melt.

Trail Description: The Noland Creek Trail travels up the creek on an old railroad bed up to Noland Divide, climbing 2500 feet over about 9 miles. Take the connector trail from the parking area down to the trail below the bridge on the Road to Nowhere at mile 229.5. Begin your journey running upstream from below the bridge. Soon past the overhead bridge, the trail travels upstream to Bearpen Branch Campsite #65 at mile 230.8. Just past this site cross a boulder field then cross Indian Creek at mile 231.3. Then pass through a white pine forest and over another bridge across Noland Creek and enter Solola Valley, a once thriving little community. Cross another bridge, and at mile 233.6 you come to Mill Creek Campsite #64. The Springhouse Branch Trail also comes in here from the Forney Ridge Trail upslope to the west. Cross the creek twice more on narrow foot logs then come to Jerry Flats Campsite #63 at mile 235.1. After leaving the campsite, you soon cross Noland Creek twice, once on a foot log, then via a deep ford which can be dangerous at high water. Upper Ripshin Campsite #62 at mile 236.4. Just above the campsite, you must ford Upper Ripshin Creek then Noland Creek itself, so with these fords both above and below, Campsite #62, this might be a good place to camp for the night.

Campsites: Camping is available at several campsites along Noland Creek in this section, including Bearpen Branch Campsite #65 at mile 230.8, Mill Creek Campsite #64 at mile 233.6, Jerry Flats Campstie #63 at mile 235.1, and Upper Ripshin Campsite #63.

Water Sources: Water is available from Noland Creek at all campsites and many other sites along the trail.

Flora & Fauna

SALAMANDERS & GINSENG
Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been called the "Salamander Capital of the World." Climatic and geologic factors have combined to spur the development of 30 salamander species in five families, making this one of the most diverse areas on earth for this order.

The botanist Andrew Michaux traveled through the southern Appalachians in the 1790's and identified American ginseng as a plant that had medicinal value. He taught mountain people how to prepare the root so that it could be sold to the Chinese. Wild harvesting the root of the Ginseng or "Sang" became a way to earn cash money for the residents of the area. Over the generations so much of the wild ginseng has been harvested that it is now protected by law.

The Noland Creek area has lots of salamanders and ginseng.

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Photos

Just past Camp 64, enjoy this great log bridge.
May 31, 2017 near Bryson…, NC
Just past Camp 64, cross the footbridge and take the unmarked trail directly ahead. This was a mid-May photo after the graves were decorated on the first Sunday in May, I assume, and the families had cleaned graves.
May 31, 2017 near Bryson…, NC
This is the footbridge just past camp 64 on Noland Creek Trail.
May 31, 2017 near Bryson…, NC
First real crossing. Just wanted to give an idea of what to prepare for. I'm 5'10" and it was right at knee deep. Keep your crocs on for the maybe the next mile. Several rock hops and one more knee deep ford.
Apr 23, 2018 near Bryson…, NC
Camp 64 is not a great place for hammocks, though you can make due. It's a good tent location.
May 31, 2017 near Bryson…, NC

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