AT: Hughes Gap to Carvers Gap is a 4.2 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Roan Mountain, Tennessee that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.
This section of the Appalachian trail goes all the way up to Roan Mountain High knob and past the Cloudland Hotel site. This is a rock section through forested areas with huge boulders. It's a steep ascent up to Roan Mountain High Knob but there is an AT shelter for those who take the side trail. At one point you will pass an old chimney standing right in the trail but with no other sign of the rest of the dwelling.
Came back on Easter to knock out the 1.6 miles between Carver's Gap and Roan Mountain High Knob. I also went to Roan Mountain High Bluff and attached the track to the Cloudland Trail. Someone left Easter eggs and Peeps along the woodland trail before it turned to rocky switch backs. Don't forget to take a pick of the survey marker for the high point. Its in a huge rock formation to the right (west) of the AT shelter only a 100 paces or so. even though everything is still brown there was plenty of green from the fir trees, moss, and rhododendrons.
I hiked this section of the AT and it was a hard workout. I made it from Hughes Gap to the Roan Mountain High Knob but ran out of juice so I turned back to my car after only 5 miles (10 since it was an out an back). It was only another 1.5 miles to Carver's Gap but the climb was very strenuous. Bring plenty of protein and electrolytes for this section, one of the highest in Tennessee as your legs will get a workout. There was plenty to see and I was surprised at a bit of history near the top of the mountain. Take the side trail to Cloudland Hotel. I included pictures of the monument.