November 11, 2016
Oh, these vast, calm, measureless mountain days, days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God.
– John Muir
I am beginning to understand the mythical allure of the Smoky’s, with its wildlife, epic views and tough, spindly paths. At the end of a tumultuous week filled with angst and disappointment, I again turned to the woods for solace.
Starting from Cosby Campground, my itinerary was a 16-mile loop: hike up Low Gap Trail, head north on the A.T., hike to Mount Cammerer, hike north on the A.T. and return to Cosby via the Lower Mount Cammerer Trail.
Some hike for the epic mountaintop views of surrounding peaks, but I live for the quiet solitude of the valley floor. Chief among the best trails I have hiked recently is the Lower Mount Cammerer. Starting 2.3 miles south of Mt. Cammerer on the A.T., it meanders quietly around the mountains, closely hugging the ridges as it descends via switchbacks to Cosby Campground for 7.3 miles. The orange canopy of fall hung overhead, occasionally an opening appeared to show a distant mountain. Quietly I picked my way through the woods.
I was in a blissful state of mind when I met Kathy and Larry, a great couple from Indianapolis. We exchanged pleasantries, talked of hiking, the Smoky’s, and the beauty of this trail. Nature always restores my faith in humanity.
Total mileage is 15.96 miles.