On August 23rd we hiked out Jakes Creek Trail in the Smokies past backcountry campsite #27 to Jakes Gap. It is about 6.5 miles round trip, depending on where you park.
The beginning of the trail is an old gravel railroad bed that runs parallel to and above Jakes Creek. The area was logged in the late 1800s/early 1900s.
A small side trail leads to the Avent Cabin. We were surprised to see a sign here, the last time we visited there was none and the trail was easy to miss. It was wet and muddy as usual getting down to the creek.
The highlight of the day was an amazing variety of fungi. Lots of photos ensue.
The roadbed ends in a circle and a footbridge crosses the creek.
A downed tree, with rocks captured in its roots.
Somebody lost a boot.
More magical mushrooms:
(I spent more time crouched on the ground than walking, I think.)
Fall is on the way.
This is the *omgcute* mushroom of the day! Smaller than a green pea.
After about 2.5 miles and at about 3500ft elevation, we reached campsite #27. A nice spot with a couple bear cables and several decent camp spots. Nobody was there. Pushing on..... passed a lone hiker heading back down the trail.
At 3.3 miles we reached Jakes Gap. The elevation is about 4055ft and the wind had picked up a bit.
Stopping there after our sweaty uphill climb lead to a rapid chilling. We went a little way onto the Blanket Mountain manway but decided to put that off until later in the season. We'd need pants or gaiters on to comfortably pass through the damp underbrush. Saw an astoundingly huge fresh bear poop on the manway, but didn't see any bears all day.
This will be an excellent fall/winter hike, also want to head over to campsite #26 on Dripping Spring Mtn.
On the way back we passed a couple backpackers.
I believe we were out about 4 hours.