BMT: Segment 22c-23a (Upper Noland Creek Trail)
ElevationAscent: 1,034' 315 m
Descent: -1,730' -527 m
High: 4,210' 1,283 m
Low: 2,480' 756 m
GradeAvg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 24% (14°)
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“The section of the Benton MacKaye Trail from Campsite #62 to the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.”— Richard Harris
There is no road access to this section.
Trail Description: From Upper Ripshin Campsite #62 at mile 236.5, head upstream over two fords. The first is over a side creek, but the second is over Noland Creek itself, which is dangerous in high water. Soon after the second ford, the trail begins to ascend the ridge side high above the creek but then comes back down to the creek to cross Bald Creek where it enters Noland Creek. The Bald Creek Campsite #61 is here at mile 237.7. Soon after leaving this campsite the trail begins to climb steeply up the side of Noland Divide to Sassafras Gap at mile 238.7. Here the trail intersects the Noland Divide Trail. Straight across this trail is the Pole Road Creek Trail, which steeply descends down the east side of Noland Divide, following a creek drainage. As you descend this steep trail on an old poorly maintained roadbed, you rock hop over the creek several times before finally reaching Deep Creek at mile 242.0. At times, on the Pole Road Creek Trail, you are traveling down the creek bed itself. This trail has not been logged out in several years, so expect to climb under and over several blow downs. Just 0.1 miles upstream on the intersecting Deep Creek Trail is Pole Road Campsite #55.
Campsites: Camping is available at Upper Ripshin Campsite #62 at mile 236.5, Bald Creek Campsite #61 (reservations required) at mile 237.7, and Pole Road Campsite #55 (reservations required) at mile 242.0.
Water Sources: Water is available at the campsites and at a few stream crossings along the way.
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Land Manager: NPS - Great Smoky Mountains National Park