I'm getting the impression that the S-H trail is not widely used. Everyone seems to go on up to Charles Bunion and then do some variation from there, as ya'll both pointed out. I hate going on a crowded trail, but I am planning this for a Tues-Wed or Wed-Thurs hike. So maybe that will help.
I'm just going to have to mull it over some more. The thing I liked about S-H is its a through hike, not a in and back out (for whatever reason). Its a hard 5.5 mile hike the first day, but the Kephart trail the second day appears to be a nice, easy 2 mile walk. That will do the boy good.
I still have a few weeks to decide before I need to call in and make my shelter reservations.
Another thing I like about the S-H trail verse Charles Bunion is I believe there are some creek crossings, water falls, and maybe some swimming holes? probably at least a few places to get your feet wet. I think at 7 the boy will enjoy that more than the mountain views. But, if the trail is to much then you've lost what you've gained.
As ya'll have pointed out, I read some excellent reviews about the Charles Bunion hike, even after dealing with the crowds.
I maybe thinking to much. Yea, the views are great, but its really about getting out on some trails with the boy.