Last night, I tent camped at Elkmont Campground in the Smokys.  I’ve had friends that have stayed there so I thought I’d give it a go.  I really enjoyed it a lot.  With no cell signal or wifi, I was absolutely forced to just enjoy the evening watching the fire and relaxing.  The campground sits right next to my planned hike for the following day so it made sense to tent camp at Elkmont, pack up the next morning and head to the trailhead.

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I won’t bore you with a history lesson.  Google can teach you about the area if you’re interested in learning more about Elkmont.  Part of the reasons for this trail and my upcoming couple of hikes is the history around the area.  There are many old structures at the start and end of this trail that are really cool to see.  I never knew this “Elkmont Ghost Town” existed.

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My first hike for this week is the Cucumber Gap Loop Trail.  The trail is a total of ~5.7 miles and gains around 800 feet in elevation, about 400 of that feet is in 1 mile.  It’s rated moderate mostly because of the distance and the elevation.

The trail starts on Little River trail and runs adjacent to Little River for the first 2.5 miles and is absolutely beautiful.

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At 2.5 miles the trail intersects with the Cucumber Gap Trail for the remaining portion of the trail.  This second half makes a fairly steep climb through the forest.  It’s eerily quite after hiking the first half next to the sounds of the river.  There are a lot of roots on this section and they seemed to like tripping me every other step!

Thanks for reading folks!

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