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Author Topic: Cumberland Gap Trip?  (Read 3572 times)

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laurel-hardinguy

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Cumberland Gap Trip?
« on: October 21, 2016, 08:38:14 PM »

Very long time since I've been on the boards, hope my question can get seen.   

We are planning on hiking from Ewing Trail to White Rocks/Sand Cave and then take Ridge Trail to Hensley settlement and down Chadwell gap trail.  We plan on using two cars, one at each trailhead, so no backtracking.   By my estimate that's close to 11-12 miles.  How strenuous is Ridge going from Sand Cave towards Hensley?  I know that the climb up Ewing will be a workout, but I have never done Ridge trail on that side of the park. 
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ShifuCareaga

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Re: Cumberland Gap Trip?
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2016, 07:31:53 PM »

Very long time since I've been on the boards, hope my question can get seen.   

We are planning on hiking from Ewing Trail to White Rocks/Sand Cave and then take Ridge Trail to Hensley settlement and down Chadwell gap trail.  We plan on using two cars, one at each trailhead, so no backtracking.   By my estimate that's close to 11-12 miles.  How strenuous is Ridge going from Sand Cave towards Hensley?  I know that the climb up Ewing will be a workout, but I have never done Ridge trail on that side of the park.

it's uncanny this topic has come up, this was the trip - or similar - I was going to take today, but got a late start. So I am anxious to hear an answer....
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Captain Blue

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Re: Cumberland Gap Trip?
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2016, 08:12:14 PM »

I've hiked the Ridge Trail from White Rocks to Chadwell Gap several times. To me it is not a strenuous section. There are a few small climbs but nothing major. The worst part is the fist size rocks on the trail that get covered with leaves in the fall so you can't see them and end up stepping on them. Plan your water carefully. The ridge can be dry.
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thedayhascome

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Re: Cumberland Gap Trip?
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2016, 09:52:03 PM »

I did this exact hike several weeks ago, it isn't strenuous at all along the ridge. The hike up from Ewing TH is a different story, but not too bad taking your time. It's all of the large rocks that cover the trail surface for about 75% of that hike from Sand Cave to Hensley that are a pain.

Sand Cave to Hensley Settlement is about 4.5 miles along the ridge with roughly +896' -902' elevation change.

You can see the trail profile from my CalTopo: https://caltopo.com/m/D5FT
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laurel-hardinguy

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Re: Cumberland Gap Trip?
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2016, 11:58:15 PM »

Great trip, and thanks for the input from you guys.  Ewing was not at all bad, the last pull to White Rocks was steep, but nothing horrid.  Ridge from Sand Cave to Hensley is fairly easy going. A couple of steep sections dropping down into Hensley, but nothing insane. 

Chadwell Gap was another story. I landed on my fourth point of contact twice, thanks to acorns and decent sized rocks covered by leaves.   Fairly treacherous footing until one drops below the cliffs.  We did 14-15 miles, and had great fall weather (10/23).  Leaves were vivid in spots, but somewhat a disappointment, but expected-given the warm and dry fall we've had. 

Great place to hike. I always come away with a newfound appreciation of Cumberland Gap. The Gap and Big South Fork are always great alternatives to the crowded trails of the Smokies, such as Alum Cave and the Chimneys.
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thedayhascome

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Re: Cumberland Gap Trip?
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2016, 08:39:20 AM »

Glad to hear a successful trip report. I'm actually surprised that you didn't see more fall color, but it has been a warm Autumn. We scrambled around the White Rocks area for quite some time. I believe your photo at White Rocks OV was taken facing eastward. Which if so, we continued bushwhacking East right along the ridge for about another quarter mile, give or take, and found a really nice hidden place to camp back there right on the ridgeline.
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Cliftyman

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Re: Cumberland Gap Trip?
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2018, 11:30:53 AM »

Resurrecting this thread....

We are planning on doing this trip late this Sept.  Planning on hiking up Ewing Fri, exploring White Rocks/Sand Cave, camping... then hiking to Hennsley the next day Sat, chill, then hiking out and back to BG on Sun

I've hiked up to White Rocks and back out in one day... not a big deal, pretty steep.  Does the above sound like a plan?

I guess if we had two cars we could go up Chadwell and come back down Ewing but that is not a possibility.

Its my understanding there is a new trailhead on the North side of the mountain?  Anyone know anything about that?
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ShifuCareaga

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Re: Cumberland Gap Trip?
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2018, 02:43:00 PM »

Resurrecting this thread....

We are planning on doing this trip late this Sept.  Planning on hiking up Ewing Fri, exploring White Rocks/Sand Cave, camping... then hiking to Hennsley the next day Sat, chill, then hiking out and back to BG on Sun

I've hiked up to White Rocks and back out in one day... not a big deal, pretty steep.  Does the above sound like a plan?

I guess if we had two cars we could go up Chadwell and come back down Ewing but that is not a possibility.

Its my understanding there is a new trailhead on the North side of the mountain?  Anyone know anything about that?

I happen to either be heading that way this weekend, or Cahokia. Debating with wife.
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onemansadventure

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Re: Cumberland Gap Trip?
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2018, 09:24:23 AM »

Resurrecting this thread....

We are planning on doing this trip late this Sept.  Planning on hiking up Ewing Fri, exploring White Rocks/Sand Cave, camping... then hiking to Hennsley the next day Sat, chill, then hiking out and back to BG on Sun

I've hiked up to White Rocks and back out in one day... not a big deal, pretty steep.  Does the above sound like a plan?

I guess if we had two cars we could go up Chadwell and come back down Ewing but that is not a possibility.

Its my understanding there is a new trailhead on the North side of the mountain?  Anyone know anything about that?

That will be a nice relaxing trip.  Not too many miles but a ton of sites to see.  I have not heard of a new trail but the last time I was there was in the fall.
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Cliftyman

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Re: Cumberland Gap Trip?
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2018, 09:47:31 AM »

Well supposedly the new trailhead is on the North side of Cumberland mountain... there used to be a private parking area and the NPS finally bought some land and made an official trailhead?

I coulda sworn I saw it on a satellite map or something (I'm always pouring over topos and satelite maps...) and then I found an article about a boy scout troop or some service organization working on it....

Of course if you look at official maps and official websites none of it has been updated... heck maybe I'll try to call the park office or something.... maybe they'll know.
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onemansadventure

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Re: Cumberland Gap Trip?
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2018, 01:04:18 PM »

Well supposedly the new trailhead is on the North side of Cumberland mountain... there used to be a private parking area and the NPS finally bought some land and made an official trailhead?

I coulda sworn I saw it on a satellite map or something (I'm always pouring over topos and satelite maps...) and then I found an article about a boy scout troop or some service organization working on it....

Of course if you look at official maps and official websites none of it has been updated... heck maybe I'll try to call the park office or something.... maybe they'll know.
The official map notes a trailhead on private property on the north side of the mountain.  Brownie's Creek Trail out of Cubage, Kentucky.

https://www.nps.gov/cuga/planyourvisit/upload/hiking%20and%20camping.pdf
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