Parking on the TN/NC Appalachian Trail

Section 9 - Iron Mountain Gap (TN 107 - NC 226) to Nolichucky River Displayed from North to South

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  Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing Club chair @ Damascus, VA to Spivey Gap, NC

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Hiker Rated
Parking Safety
Directions Comments Number of Vehicles Map   &  
Iron Mountain Gap
  Poor            Great

4 miles north of Buladean, NC on NC 226. 10 miles east of Unicoi, TN on TN 107. Dirt parking lot. 2/1/06 15
The markers on the attached map indicate the trail crossing. If you rotate the map to the north, the northbound trail can be sort of seen. The trail sidehills up the slope on the right side of the road., initially following an old road. The southbound trail is not readily seen from this vantage point. Rotate to the southwestt to see the nearest parking pull-off. 12/05/09 1
at @
From the town of Roan Mountain, follow directions to Hughes Gap (Map 0.0). Continue on Hughes Gap Raod into North Carolina. In about 4.5 miles, a T intersection is reached in the community of Buladean. Go right (northwest on NC 236 for 4.0 miles to the gap on the state line. There is a parking pull-off on the left-hand side of the road. I believe there are some more a bit further away on the North Carolina side. Coming from the North Carolina side, the northbound trail to Section 8 goes right, while thesouthbound to Section 9 goes left. 10/28/09 4-5 in nearest pull=off.
dlcul @
Trail to USFS 230
  Poor            Great

USFS 230 .75 mile side trail to the AT. 2/1/06
The map might be slightly off but this is very close. The marker indicates the USFS 230 end of the side trail. 01/29/08 1
at @
Update: I recently (May 2010) hiked this section passed the trail junction with this side trail. The side trail seems to have had little if any maintenance in recent years. I question its feasibility as an access route. 06/20/10
dlcul @
Close approach to USFS 230
  Poor            Great

See directions to Deep Gap (mm 8.0). Approximately 3.3 miles from Indian Grave Gap or 8.3 miles, the trail comes very close to USFS 230. There are actually two access points a few hundred feet apart. These are on the south side of the road (e.g. right if coming from Indian Grave Gap). The one further east (closer to N 107) is across the road from a nice campsite. In both cases the white blazes of the trail are readily apparent. There are several small parking pull offs in the area each good for 1-2 cars. The green arrow on the attached map indicates the approximate location of this access point. The northbound AT goes left pulls away from the road and starts to climb Unaka Mt. The southbound trail goes right towards Deep Gap. 06/20/10 Several in the various small pull-offs 1
dlcul @
Deep Gap
  Poor            Great

Parking on USFS 230. 2/1/06
Distances are from the attached Google map.
Option 1. See directions to Beauty Spot (Mile 8.5). From Indian Grave Gap, follow USFS 230 (Beauty Spot Gap Road) for 2.3 miles. At the intersection where USFS 220A goes straight ahead to Beauty Spot, bear left on what is now Unaka Mountain Road and go about a half a mile to Deep Gap. The road from Indian Grave Gap is gravel, easily passable for passenger cars.
Option 2. From TN 107 2.5 miles north of Iron Mountain Gap, take USFS 230 west for 6.8 miles. Then go left on Unaka Mountain Road (still USFS 230) another 2.0 miles to Deep Gap. The first mile of the road from TN 107 is paved, then it is gravel, rough in places, but passable ( at least in May 2010) for passenger cars. The green arrow on the map indicates the approximate position of the parking.
Look for large pasture on the right if coming from Indian Grave Gap or on the left if coming from Iron Mountain Gap (TN 107). There is a parking pull-off that can hold 2-3 cars. The trail is about a hundred feet to the south in the field. The northbound trail goes left, the southbound right. 12/06/09 Not known 1
dlcul @
Beauty Spot Gap
  Poor            Great

See directions to Beauty Spot (Mile 9.5) At the intersection with USFS 230A, bear left to stay on USFS 230. In about a quarter mile look for a fence on the right with an opening. The trail can be seen just on the other side of the fence. The marker on the attached map indicates the approximate location of this access. I didn't see any good place to park near this point, so it should be considered a drop-off point only. The northbound trail to Deep Gap goes left, the southbound trail to Beauty Spot goes right. 06/20/10 Very limited if any 1
dlcul @
Beauty Spot
  Poor            Great

From TN 395 take TN320 (AKA USFS 230) from Indian Grave Gap 2.3 miles. Take 230A to the right to Beauty Spot parking.

It is a short walk from the parking to the AT at Beauty Spot. There are 360 degree views from this spot. The marker on the attached map indicates he parking area. (10-22-2009) 10-15 1
at @
USFS 230
  Poor            Great

See directions to Beauty Spot (Mile 8.5). This crossing is on USFS 230 (Beauty Spot Gap Road) 0.7 miles from Indian Grave Gap. Distance from the attached map. The marker on the map indicates the crossing. This position may only be approximate. Coordinates were taken from: Coming from Indian Grave Gap, the northbound trail is on the right (south) and the southbound trail is on the left (north). 12/05/09 1
dlcul @
Indian Grave Gap
  Poor            Great

From the intersection with TN 107 in Erwin, follow TN 395 southeast for 6.6 miles to the state line in Indian Grave Gap. There is a parking area on the right with additional spots to park in the vicinity. According to some sources TN 395 is called 10th street in Erwin and Rock Creek Road outside the town. I only saw street signs for Rock Creek Road. In the gap, the northbound trail goes left (if coming from Erwin) towards Beauty Spot. The southbound trail goes right. 2/1/06 5 1
Rotate the street view on the attached map to the north to see the parking area and the northbound trail. Rotate to the southeast to see the southbound trail. It starts down the dirt road seen in the view, but almost immediately goes to the right as a footpath. 10 1
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Rafting Outfitters/ Nolichucky Campground
  Poor            Great

1.4 mile unpaved commercial access road at Chestoa, TN 2/1/06
See instructions to the east side of the Chestoa Pike bridge over the Nolichucky River (20.1). Just before crossing the bridge, go south (left) on Jones Branch Road. Follow this about 1.1-1.2 miles to Nolichucky Campground. I am not sure if one must stay there to park or if there is a fee to park. There is a 50 yard side trail from the campground to the AT, but I do not have an exact position for it. The marker on the attached map is for the general area of the campground. 1
dlcul @
Chestoa Recreation area
  Poor            Great

See directions to the east end of Chestoa Bridge and the intersection with Jones Branch Road. Follow the latter about 200 yards to the USFS Chestoa Recreation Area. While there is ample parking there, I don't know about overnight parking. 06/20/10 Ample at least for day hiking 1
dlcul @
Nolichucky River - E. end Chestoa bridge
  Poor            Great

1.8 miles southwest of Erwin on TN 36. There is a restaurant gas station/grocery with limited supplies along the road but not very close to it. 2/1/06 10
There is another parking area available about 200 yards away at the Forest Service Chestoa Recreation Area. 2/1/06
From Erwin, TN take Route 107 (Main St) west, turn left on Love St at the No Outlet sign, turn right onto Ohio St. take left fork onto Chestoa Pike when Ohio (also called Asheville Hwy or Jackson Love Hwy) bears to the right. Parking is on the left of the road right before the bridge. Rotate the street view on the attached map to the southeast to see the parking at the intersection with Jones Bridge Road. 10/16/09 4-6 1
at @
Nolichucky River - W. end Chestoa Bridge
  Poor            Great

From I-26 take Exit 40 for Jackson Love Highway. This is near Erwin, TN. Go east on Jackson Love Highway. Take the first right onto Temple Hill Road. Go 0.8 miles and take the first left onto River Road. The intersection with River Hill Road is 0.5 miles further. Here the southbound trail to Section 10 goes straight ahead on Unaka Springs Road. The northbound trail to Section 9 goes left over the bridge. 06/20/10 1
dlcul @
Roadside parking may be possible along Unaka Springs Road. See map. Other than that parking seems to be limited on this side of the bridge. Parking may be available at Uncle Johnny's for a fee. This is the hostel and outfitter located at the intersection. GPS 36.10511, -82.44745. The marker on the attached map is at the west end of the Chestoa Bridge over the Nolichucky River. This is the official southern end of Section 9 and the northern end of Section 10. On the street view the northwest view shows the trail route. Northbound to Section 9 goes over the bridge using a pedestrian walkway. Southbound to Section 10 initially goes south on Unaka Springs Road then goes right into the woods. The view to the north shows Uncle Johnnys hostel which is famous among thru-hikers. 06/20/10 1
dlcul @

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Page last updated: 9/19/2016 3:21:47 PM