Total miles hiked: 4.0
29 June 2016
I've reached the point in my quest when I have done nearly all of the trails on the Tennessee side of the park (where I live), so new trails are going to have to be added on the North Carolina side, which means more driving and better planning. OR, somedays, like this day, we will take a nice drive over the mountains just to do a little 2 mile section of trail... It was a beautiful summer day spent with good friends exploring a little more of our big back yard.
The Kephart Prong trailhead is on Newfound Gap Road, about 8.8 miles south of Newfound Gap or 5.0 miles north of Smokemont Campground. The trail is only 2 miles long, and gains about 800 feet in elevation as it follows the Kephart Prong (stream) along an old jeep road turned trail.
|Our hiking crew at the trailhead|
|Pipsissewa, aka Spotted Wintergreen|
|Scarlet Bee Balm|
|Side trail off of the Kephart Prong with stone walls flanking the path.|
|River stone sign board|
|River stone water fountain|
|"Foot Log" - sign pointing to the bridge crossing|
Ultimately, 2 miles from the trailhead, you reach the end of the Kephart Prong trail where it reaches a junction with both the Sweat Heifer and Grassy Branch trails, and the Kephart backcountry shelter.
|Trail junction with Sweat Heifer and Grassy Branch trails.|
|Kephart backcountry shelter|
Hope you all are having a great summer on the trails.
Til next time, happy hiking!