A Lil Taste of Home - Mt Cammerer, TN
by Stretch » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:37 am
Date walked: 11/03/2012
Time taken: 5.3
Distance: 8 km
Ascent: 753m4 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Mt Cammerer sits along the Appalachian Trail which borders North Carolina and Tennessee. I have hiked up to the "AT" at several points in the park, but this would be a new section for me. There is a fine lookout tower placed on a rocky outcrop at the summit and it offers fantastic 360 degree views. The tower was built in the late-1930s and restored in the 80s. It was used as a fire tower until the 60s and observers also kept an eye out for possible moonshining activity in the area. On a clear day one can see all the way to the hills around the Kentucky/Virginia/Tennessee border to the north and well across into North Carolina to the east, southeast, and due south. To the west you get a fine view of Camel Hump Mountain on the Tennessee side of the AT.
The walk begins at the Cosby Campground just inside the Smoky Mountain National Park - this is about an hour from my house which is to the north. It is possible to make a 16 mile loop out of this walk, but having not hiked much I chose to do an up and down route of just over 10 miles. I set off along the Low Gap trail around 8:30 and enjoyed a nice steady ascent through a section of thick forest which follows a stream. After 2.9 miles I reached the Appalachian Trail. My legs were feeling it a bit after the first hour and a half, so I took a quick break. I had only passed 2 walkers who were descending at this point - I wouldn't see another person until halfway back to the parking area. From the junction at the AT it is a fairly easy (more level) 2.1 miles to a short section of trail that takes you to the lookout tower. I guess one of the biggest differences between walking in Scotland and walking in the Smokys is the lack of views at higher elevations. With trees covering the entire area you only get fleeting views of the surrounding mountains until you come to what we call 'balds' along the top of the various ridges and along the AT. Despite the lack of views through the trees, the views from these clearings are usually spectacular.
After about 2 1/2 hours of steady walking I reached the tower. I probably spent nearly an hour just walking around taking in the 360 degree views. Some days it can be pretty hazy in the Smokys, but for the most part, it was a crystal clear day. I must have repeated the statement, 'there's no place like home', about 20 times. I was dealing with a lot of anxiety during my last year in St Andrews and thankfully that has cleared up since I've moved back. But for about an hour, I didn't even think about my PhD or any other problems I have. It's certainly always good to head outdoors and recharge the soul when things are looking bleak!
Hopefully I'll be able to head up some more local trails in the Smokys and post a few reports this spring. A lot of folks around this area try to walk all 800 miles of trails that lie within the park's borders. There is a bit of munro-bagging mentality in this lol. Don't think I'm not keeping record of which trails I've done!
Hope everyone back in the UK is doing well - I miss the hillwalking!
by HighlandSC » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:10 am
by ChrisW » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:14 am
by kandy green » Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:51 am
- kandy green
- Posts: 1
- Joined: Mar 13, 2012
by garyhortop » Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:09 pm
by malky_c » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:50 pm
I really like your last photo in particular. Something about all those different shades of blue.
by gammy leg walker » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:45 pm
PS................not much chance of getting lost,with all the sign posts.
by jonny616 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:27 am
That,s a big camel gap at 2.4K
You're weather was better than ours on the 11th
by Stretch » Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:16 am
Jonny, there are not dangerous bogs to submerge yourself in around here!
by Phil the Hill » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:32 pm
by Alan S » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:55 pm
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