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Long Hungry Ridge Trail - Gregory Bald - page 2

Hiking Notes

Grassy fields on Gregory Bald

The Twentymile Trailhead kiosks are located just below the Ranger Station. The lower parking area is located near the kiosks. The upper parking is located beyond the Ranger Station and shed.

We were not sure where the official trailhead was located. The location probably does not matter to anyone other than for gathering data.

There is a picnic table at the upper parking area.

The emergency phone on the front porch of the Ranger Station would not connect to the Backcountry Office. We did not try using the emergency number.

I filtered water from one of the side feeder streams located near the Ranger Station on our return.

None of the trails were marked with trail blazes. Directional signs and mileage signs were located at all junctions and/or non-obvious changes in direction.

The first 0.50 mile of the trail is a great warm up hike.

The trail to Proctor Field Gap is an old road. All of the creek crossings were on bridges.

As we passed Twentymile Creek Cascades it was late, we did not have time for the short side trip.

Twentymile Creek

Campsite 93 - Twentymile Creek Campsite is located adjacent to the trail. The hike from Twentymile Trailhead is on the wide old road and the creek crossings are on good bridges.

Proctor Field Gap is a major trail junction. We gained the Long Hungry Ridge Trail at the gap.

As with all junctions, read the signs, and check the map. At junctions and other waypoints, I always stop and consult the map. I just want to make sure that I am where I thought I was and that I am still headed toward my destination. At times the names on the signs, do not match the names of the destination. I might still be on the right trail, but the name is to another waypoint.

Since leaving the trailhead, the trail had been wide; possibly an old road. Shortly after leaving Proctor Field Gap, however, this wide trail was blocked by downed trees and new growth. Although it appears to be a side trail to bypass the downed trees, the trail continues but is considerably different than the wide, easy trail before. The trail narrows at this point and goes to the left down a short but steep bank - this is the trail.

Proctor Branch was the first of five stream crossings we made. The stream was high enough that we had to carefully choose a crossing. We used stepping stones to keep our shoes dry.

Backpackers drying their feet and putting on their socks and shoes.

With all stream crossings, use trekking sticks or a walking stick to aid in crossing. Unbuckle your pack. If you fall into the water, be ready to ditch the pack. Scout for the easiest crossing. Look for areas at which other hikers have crossed. If there is a chance that you will get your feet wet in crossing, it is probably a good idea to go ahead and wade the creek. Beware of any water above your knees.

Water crossings are dangerous, treat them with respect. The best option might be to just turn around.

On the other side of Proctor Branch the trail rejoins the old dirt road.

The creek crossing the trail just below the Upper Flats camping area was difficult, but we crossed it in the dark. We should have taken out our headlamps.

A short climb above the creek, the trail turns left. The signpost for Campsite 92 - Upper Flats is near the turn.

Upper Flats is a large camping area. The lower camping area is near the signpost and turn. An additional camping area is uphill a short distance further.

Sitting at Upper Flats campsite

Leaving Upper Flats, we crossed Greer Creek on small trees that spanned the water. With trekking poles, it was not extremely difficult.

The next crossing, Twentymile Creek was deeper than the others. We unsuccessfully searched for a means to make a dry crossing and then finally took off our shoes and waded. It rained hard overnight and into the morning, which I am sure added to the water flow. For a few steps in the center of the creek, the water was above our knees and the current got our attention.

Our last crossing was Rye Branch, we crossed on downed trees.

Above Rye Branch the road we had basically followed from the trailhead, narrowed to a foot path.

Rye Patch is a great spot to take a break. I had an AT&T signal on the ridge top.

At Rich Gap on the Gregory Bald Trail, an H2O was carved into a sign. The arrow pointed to the south of the ridge. We did not go to the source of water, Moore Spring, but a trail shelter used to be at the spring.

Another interesting note, the Appalachian Trail used to cross Gregory Bald before it was rerouted over Fontana Dam.

From Rich Gap the Gregory Bald Trail (once again road like) climbs very steeply. It is the steepest section of the route. The Moore Spring side trail would bypass the climb, but I didn't actually walk to it.

The final climb to Gregory Bald was not overly difficult. There are side social trails that lead to openings (views) along the climb, but the views from the top are the best.

Near the summit is an informational sign on balds.

The summit benchmark is placed in a triangular rock!

The benchmark on Gregory Bald

To return to Twentymile Trailhead either reverse your route or descend to Sheep Pen Gap and down Wolf Ridge to form a loop.

The route may also be hiked by setting up a camp for one or two nights at Upper Flats and day hiking to Gregory Bald.

For Mountain Data and Route Guide
go to Page 1

Long Hungry Ridge - Gregory Bald - Trail Mileage

0.00 Twentymile Trailhead

0.55 Junction with Wolf Ridge Trail (1st bridge)

1.80 Campsite #93, Twentymile Creek site

3.10 Proctor Field Gap - Junction with Long Hungry Ridge Trail and Twentymile Loop Trail

4.25 Campsite #92 - Upper Flats

4.90 Crossing Rye Branch

6.75 Rye Patch (on Long Hungry Ridge)

7.70 Junction with Gregory Bald Trail

7.75 Rich Gap - Junction with Gregory Ridge Trail

8.50 Gregory Bald summit

Mileage is one way.

Map Link

The link opens in a new window.

Gregory Bald Map - pdf

Gregory Bald Geo Map - geo-pdf


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