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REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page.

BMT Sect 18a - 18c: Big Fat Gap to Beech Gap

The Basics:
Event Type:Hike
Event Location: Cherohala Skyway, Robbinsville, NC
Date(s) & Time:Sun, Apr 19 2020  9:00 am >> Sun, Apr 19 2020 4:00 pm
Registration Opens: Thu, Apr 2 2020 8:30 pm
Registration Cut Off: Thu, Apr 16 2020 8:00 pm
Event Duration:7 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D5: Difficult (Exploratory)
Distance:10 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Ann Howard
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Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:4
Minimum Group Size:4
Number Registered So Far: 4 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No

Note: This is an "EXPLORATORY" trip. This means that there are parts of this trip, or perhaps the whole trip, that is new to your Trip Leader(s). However, they are confident that this will not be an issue.
This note is here so that you can make an informed decision. When a Trip Leader isn't personally familiar with a trip, there is an increased chance of things not going as planned and you need to be prepared. The Trip Leader may have additional details in the itinerary.


This is a keyswap hike.

Please read the entire message.  Both hikes (Saturday and Sunday) will have waitlists.  This is how you will get on the events.  Once the event opens, priority will be given from the waitlist as follows:  1. your signup date/time, 2. willingness to complete a key swap - allow your vehicle (one with ground clearance) to be driven to the trailhead, 3. your previous hiking history with AOC which indicates your ability to complete the hike.

How to signup:  So, you've read everything!  When you signup (and are on the waitlist) - you MUST send an email to both trip leaders 1.  indicating your willingness to allow your vehicle for a keyswap - and what kind of vehicle it is.  Within 5 days, we will fill the events.  

How a key swap works:  Each event will take up to a total of 12 people - 6 hikers on each end of the trail.  At the carpool your trip leaders will designate which vehicle you ride in and you put your change of gear (if any - at least footwear) in the vehicle you are hiking to.   From the carpool point (in Robbinsville), the group will split into a total of four vehicles with 2 headed to each end of the hike, we will then hike to the midpoint, have lunch, do high fives, swap keys, and continue on - picking up the vehicles and rejoining at the carpool at the conclusion of the hike.  

About the hike:  This is one of two hikes in the area that weekend on the BMT. Outstanding views--on this hike from Bob Bald and The Hangover.  We will hike on the BMT from Beech Gap over Bob Bald and The Hangover to Big Fat Gap.  We will keep a moderate pace and enjoy the views.  In one direction this is a D5 hike and in the other direction it is a D4 hike - trip leaders will make group assignments.  As we all in order to complete a keyswap we may have to be on the 'easier' or 'harder' hike, please don't take offense - we'll probably just draw names from a hat.  BUT, if this worries you, then don't sign up for this event.  No amount of bribery will help you.  This event includes a side trail to Hangover.  Elevation gain is 2500 feet.

We will be running 2 separate BMT hikes in the area, one each on Saturday and Sunday. If you end up being registered on both, rather than driving up and back 3 hours each way you may want to consider joining the trip leaders and obtain accommodations in the area.  The events are posted early - because accommodations in the area are limited.

Sunday dinner in Robbinsville, NC (optional).


Carpool:  Meet at the Ingles Market, 2 Sweetwater Road, Robbinsville NC 28771 for 8 AM departure.  

Trailhead 1:  From Robbinsville, NC to Unicoi Crest Overlook on the Cherohala Skyway:  Drive west on TN 143 W, Cherohala Skyway, for about 27 miles (44 minutes)  The Unicoi Crest Overlook parking is on the right  If you use Google maps, you can search for Beech Gap, TN; Beech Gap is about 0.3 miles West of the Unicoi Crest Overlook parking.   This is approximately an hour drive.

Trailhead 2:  Head northwest on 129, after 14 miles turn left on the national forest road (62) and drive for 9 miles.  This is approximately a 40 minute drive. Google maps indicates Big Fat Gap - but don't take chances, look at the odometer for distance.   

The picture is a view from Bob Bald.

Required Items to Bring:



Hiking boots

Rain gear

Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

Hiking poles



How to Get There:
Event Directions:




* We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.

Registration for this event opens at 4/2/2020 8:30:00 PM