Twentymile Trail

January 15, 2023

Twentymile Ranger Station is tucked away, well out of cell phone range near Fontana Dam and Lake Cheoah. The Benton Mackaye Trail did run through this area, before a reroute that now sends hikers over Yellow Creek Mountains. If it is solitude you seek, this is the place. 

I started at the ranger station with roughly an inch of snow on the ground. A recent storm had moved out of the area two days before, and the snow was just beginning to melt. Twentymile starts out on a smooth, wide forest service style road walk. After .6 miles the trail splits between Wolf Ridge and Twentymile. My hike continued beside Twentymile Creek, with some limited views of Twentymile Cascade due to fallen trees and underbrush.

There’s a great little intersection between Twentymile Loop Trail, Long Hungry Ridge and Twentymile, and soon Twentymile turns from a road walk to a single trek trail. The snow began to become deeper and deeper. The last 2 miles are somewhat strenuous. There were upwards to 10 inches of snow at Sassafras Gap, the junction with the Appalachian Trail. 

I was really surprised to see very fresh adult bear tracks on such a frigid day. I have always heard that no matter the weather, if it is sunny, bears are out and about, but it is true. The tracks wound up the mountain, cut along the trail for 100 feet before trekking further up the ridge. 

Total mileage is 10.2 miles.

2 thoughts on “Twentymile Trail

  1. I’m heading to Asheville in about 3 weeks. I want to test out my microspikes, but no idea if there’s enough snow/ice to really need it. Any thoughts on hikes around 3-5 miles that could be useful for that?

    Liked by 1 person

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