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Father/daughter duo enjoy hike

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2012
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Scott Jones and daughter Abby recently enjoyed a backpacking trip on the John Muir Trail, starting at the Hwy. 68 and making their way down to the lower section

Scott Jones and daughter Abby recently enjoyed a backpacking trip on the John Muir Trail, starting at the Hwy. 68 and making their way down to the lower section

Jones said he’s backpacked for many years and has done many miles and days in the north Georgia mountains and in Tennessee as well as some trips in the northwest.  Abby, who just turned 14, and has fallen in love with backpacking in the last 2-3 years.  “She loved this trip,” he said.

Jones said the John Muir trail is a great route and the upper section from the power station to Hwy. 68 is the best part. “The landscape is very different in areas and offers some fantastic views from high above the river and beautiful areas on some side streams,” he said, adding there are a couple of cautions for those considering a hike.  The trail has not been well maintained in the upper sections and there are lots of downed trees and slow going --  It is harder to navigate, has more hills, and will be much slower to progress than the lower section.  Also the bugs this time of year are ruthless and people should take plenty of spray, wipes and candles.  He said Abby probably came out with 100 bites. 

The early part from Hwy. 68 west is pleasant and has nice views of the river.  Jones noted that the Hiwassee is a very different river upstream and looks entirely different than the lower section.  “As you go past Coker Creek and toward the generation station, the most beautiful part of the trail (in our view) was there.  The trail meanders relatively flatly for a mile or two through the most beautiful greenery and clear waterside streams you can imagine.  We stopped several times and took in the landscape.” 

He said the trail also passes through some of the most swampy looking, snake-infested still water I’ve ever seen, “but it was still fascinating and we loved it.” For anyone who has done the lower sections around the parking areas, the upper portion is completely different and much more remote and back-country -- but much preferred for hikers who like the more remote areas.

Jones said he would certainly recommend the trail to others and it made for a nice three-day trip.  They covered about 7 miles on day one, another 8 on day two with an early camp and a dip in the river, then about 3 miles on day three.

 

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