hiking

Did this hike over 3 days, very relaxed. Easy two day hike if you don't have to drive too far before and after.

Temperatures were nice over Labor Day weekend. Threatened to rain but ended up to be just gorgeous.

Climbs aren't too long and strenuous. Good conversation and moderate pack weight and you hardly notice the difficulty. There is one section that is a little treacherous. After Albert Mountain Firetower (going clockwise) there are some pretty steep rocky steps you have to take which mud makes particularly harder.

A little crowded on the AT section over Labor Day, but that's to be expected. You might want to do your part and help pack out garbage you find along the trail. No mosquitoes, but a fair amount of buzzing flies when the wind died down. There's also a few interactions with National Forest Road that disturb the isolation somewhat.

Water sources were frequent and clean.

The Kimsey Creek section was my favorite part. Less crowded, lots of streams, waterfalls, and foot bridges made for lots of photo opportunities.

If you're doing this in two days, Carter Gap Shelter would be your best bet for a stop. Our relaxed 3 day hike had us stop at Betty Creek Gap and Standing Indian Shelter.

Make sure you take the side trail up to Standing Indian Mountain. It's not along the main trail and you could end up missing it.

hiking
17 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

backpacking
28 days ago

Our group used the trail to get up to Deep Gap Campground for some camping and exploring.

The trail is moderately maintained. Several areas where you need to fight through brush and fallen trees. Some trail deterioration is evident which is not an issue if you're carrying light. If you are carrying for primitive camping or backpacking, be sure to use poles to assist with your balance.One of the several bridges needs serious repair.

I can see this being a perfect day-hike trail in the fall when the humidity and heat has dropped to acceptable levels.

I think this is the Kimsey (NOT Kinsey) Creek Trail that departs from the area near Standing Indian Campground. It is an absolutely fabulous trail that primarily follows the creek so that there is the wonderful sound of rushing water for most of the hike. Not much elevation change but challenges come from the several tree blowdowns that must be navigated, the many rocks and roots on the trail, and the many times the water must be crossed. The trail is marked all the way to Deep Gap, a one-way distance of 4.1 miles.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike. A lot of uphill. Made it a 2.5 day loop. Not too many views of the surrounding mountains, but you will be engulfed in the trails. Loved it.

We really enjoyed this loop. We did a fairly easy 2 miles in, a couple of 9 mile days and a couple of miles out. It is a short 2 miles to the AT. It is a beautiful hike along Long Branch Creek (going clockwise). There is a shelter within the first mile on the AT. The roughly 18 miles on the AT was wonderful. The views are of the forest and wildflowers. There are only a few places that you can see the surrounding mountains. The fire tower on Albert Mountain is spectacular. nWater was plentiful. The 4 miles down Kimsey Creek is wet, but spectacular. There was not a lot of traffic. It rained two afternoons.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a great trial for anyone with smaller kids. Out 4 1/2 yr old loved the trial and much of it he was able to do on his own. There were a few spots where we had to hold his hand due to the path being alongside a high cliff. The water fall is spectacular and the water is VERY cold. We really enjoyed it

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

backpacking
3 months ago

Loved this loop! Completed it in about 3 days and it was at a leisurely pace! Beautiful views!!!

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail. Solid hike. Butt and knee burner. But most of the Appalachian trail is. Beautiful after a rain

hiking
4 months ago

Most pristine stream I've been able to find without bushwhacking for a few hours. Worth the trip.

We went counter-clockwise. Kimsey trail starts climbing right away from the camp ground. But settles down and is absolutely beautiful with many sources of water.

The AT northbound was great, standing indian shelter was extremely popular but plenty of campsites near by. Finding water along trail was easy. Highly recommend betty creek trail. Nice place to camp and get off the beaten trail for a night. The ascent up albert is rough. But I'm not sure I would want to attempt it in the opposite direction. Found out later that you can cheat, by using the road. Fire tower at the top gives you an unbelievable view and made the climb worth it.

Next 7 miles to finish was pretty much down hill, to glassmine gap and then long branch trail to the camp ground. Folks at the campground were nice and really helpful. This is a trail that i would highly recommend, esp for those who don't have the time to thru-hike.