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Campsite 40

LENGTH: 1 Mile    SKILL: Novice

PROS: Creek, wildlife, old growth and dense understory            CONS: None

WATER: Lots       NOTES: Bear activity has been observed at this campsite.


Cataloochee | Campsite 39 | Campsite 40

Photos | Cataloochee Information

cat4t.jpg (5367 bytes)This short hike begins at the very end of Cataloochee Road. As you park your vehicle the you will notice Rough Fork Creek across from the parking area. The Rough Fork Trail follows this rushing creek all of the way to campsite 40, crossing it on footlogs four times.


Woody HouseAbout a half of a mile down the trail the Woody House comes into view. This house is open for all to explore and is frequented by many visitor because of it's proximity to the trail head. A small spring house near the Woody Place is a great illustration of the settlers life without electricity. The trees that surround this house are young. Until this land was acquired by the park service, this was farm pasture. Now it is has been reclaimed by the forest.

Charging Turkey !While hiking here this Spring, we had the privilege of encountering a female wild turkey with her chicks. As we approached the turkey, she became upset at our intrusion. Without warning she charged us with her plumage in full display. She must have decided that once was not enough and charged a second time. After seeing that we didn't run away in fear, she ran into the underbrush away from her chicks. It appeared that she was trying to lead us away from her brood.

cat5t.jpg (7323 bytes)This trail is an old road, so it is well suited for first time back-packers. All four crossings of Rough Fork Creek are over very stable foot bridges. The grade is a very easy climb to 40. Lining the trail on both sides is the very dense "Dog Hobble". The purple-ish leaves of this plant are hard to miss. It earned this unusual name because its' dense growth used to hinder the hunting dogs of the mountain folk.

Directly after the last (fourth) creek crossing the wooden marker for campsite 40 is on the right. Notice the scratch marks on the post. This is how male bears mark their territory. Luckily the park service has installed devices at this campsite to hang your packs safely away from hungry bears.

Enter the campsite through a tunnel of dense rhododendron. This campsite is under a canopy of old growth hemlocks. There are only a few sites here but that only adds to its' charm. Whereas campsite 39 is located in an open area under hemlocks, campsite 40 is situated in a dense thicket of rhododendron under mature hemlocks.  There are only a few spots here so 39 makes a great alternative if 40 is full.

Cataloochee | Campsite 39 | Campsite 40

Photos | Cataloochee Information

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