Anthony Creek Trail, Bote Mountain Trail, Russell Field Trail, Crib Gap Trail

April 9, 2023

A week in the Smokys! A whole week away from work, computers, and emails. On Sunday, I went to Tennessee and began the last stretch of hiking all the trails of the Smoky’s. In total, there are 800 miles in the park, but the name “Smoky 900” comes from the facts that the minimum mileage to hike all the trails is 900 miles (because of backtracking, starting and stopping and such). I imagine, although I do not know for sure, that I will have done roughly 1,000-1,100 miles to finish the challenge. Cause, why not make things harder and take the scenic routes?

I hiked a wonderful, lollipop route from Cades Cove. Anthony Creek rises 1,778 ft. from the picnic area for 3.6 miles where it intersects Bote Mountain. I had hiked most of Bote in February, but not the 1.7 miles from Anthony to the Appalachian Trail (AT). According to Russ Manning’s book, 100 Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, “Bote Mountain was named because of a misunderstanding when, in the 1830s, Cherokee workers were asked which route a new road would follow. They pointed towards Bote Mountain and said ‘vote’, which was interpreted by the white workers, who thought they were naming the mountain, as ‘bote’. Hence, the mountain was named ‘Bote Mountain’.* Whether this is true or not is unclear, but this is about the only explanation I could find for the genesis of the name.

From Bote, the loop goes along a wondrous stretch of the AT from Spence Field to Russell Field, before descending Russell Field Trail. The small, but nice, creek-side campsite #10 is located halfway along Russell. From where I began it was a simple hike along the Crib Gap Trail for 1.6 miles.

Total mileage is 14.6 miles.

 Russ Manning (1999). 100 Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Russ Manning – Google Books100 Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Mountaineers Books. ISBN9780898866360.

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