Hiking group plans February hike on Appy Trail to Watauga Dam

Published 9:32 am Friday, January 27, 2023

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The East Tennessee Hiking and Outdoor group will host a group hike to the Appalachian Trail from the Shook Branch Recreation Area to Watauga Dam on Feb. 25. The group will meet at 10 a.m. at the pull-off by the Cherokee National Forest sign right by the Shook Branch Rec Area.
The hike is an out and back hike and the total distance is a little over six miles with around 1,000 feet of elevation gain. It is a moderate hike with four slightly challenging inclines. The first incline is an 8-10 percent grade of around 200 feet of gain, and the second is an 11-14 percent grade of about 160 feet. Those inclines will be repeated on the way back as well. This is a “no drop” hike (we will go at the pace of the slowest hiker), and there will be plenty of breaks throughout the hike.
Participants are urged to pack appropriate attire, as it could be extremely cold for this hike. There is a chance of encountering snow and ice depending on the weather. In addition, bring snacks and water. It is anticipated the hike will take four to five hours total.
Pets are allowed on the hike, but must be kept on leashes. Children who are experienced hikers are welcome to join, but note that the hike is over six miles and not easy in some places, so keep that in mind when bringing children.
The hike will be led by Jared Jarvis of Hike Solo Outdoors.

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