Scaling the Balds
Maps: ATC Map 2, Moreland Gap to Sams Gap
Route: From Carvers Gap to Yellow Mountain Gap, to Dolls Flats, to US 19E
Recommended direction: S to N
Distance: 13.4 miles
Elevation +/-: 5512 to 5807 to 2880 feet
Day hike: Optional
Overnight backpacking hike: Yes
Duration: 8 to 9 hrs.
Early exit option: None
Natural history feature: High grassy balds
Social history feature: Overmountain Trail from East Tennessee to Battle of Kings Mountain
Start: From US 19E in Roan Mountain, TN, follow TN 143 for 12.8 miles through Roan Mountain State Park. Carvers Gap and the AT are at the state line. Gravel parking area on R has two sections, an information sign, and primitive toilets.
End: From the junction of US 19E and TN 143, go E for 3.9 miles From Elk Park, go 2.5 miles W on US 19E. A small pullout at a break in the guardrail has room for 2 or 3 cars, but vandalism is a continuing problem here. Safer parking (and sometimes a shuttle) available for a fee from nearby businesses.
Camping: Stan Murray Shelter; Overmountain Shelter; Apple House Shelter; several campsites
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication