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Iron Mtn. & AT Loop Anybody Done this?
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Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Iron Mtn. & AT Loop Anybody done this? on 05/16/2012 21:29:16 MDT Print View

I am interested in taking my younger brother on a longer hike and was thinking about making a loop out of the Iron Mountain Trail and the AT.

I've only been able to find limited info online. Has anyone here done the loop? Is it worth doing? Or is there a good reason everyone seems to ignore it?

Edit - I forgot to add this. There are actually two possilbe loops. The AT/Iron Mtn. Trail north of Damascus which I'm guessing is about 60 miles and includes Grayson Highlands. The second is the AT/Iron Mtn. Trail south of Damasscus ending at Hwy. 91. I'd be interested in hearing about either, how scenic are they, and any special info. Thanks

Edited by Cameron on 05/16/2012 21:35:55 MDT.

Patrick S
(xpatrickxad) - F

Locale: Upper East TN
Re: Iron Mtn. & AT Loop Anybody done this? on 05/26/2012 11:39:45 MDT Print View

The Southern loop has been on my list for sometime and I'm hoping to get it done this summer. The Southern Iron Mtn Trail isn't that well maintained from what I've read. I've also heard that section is a bit dry with water sources further off trail and quite a few more ups & downs than the AT section that replaced it. I remember liking the AT between 91 and Damascus and telling myself to do it again.

I believe most of the northern IMT is a horse trail and maintained by a riding club.

Be sure to report back when you guys do the trip!

Alex H
(abhitt) - MLife

Locale: southern appalachians or desert SW
Re: Iron Mtn. & AT Loop Anybody done this? on 05/26/2012 16:05:21 MDT Print View

It is a good loop. The most scenic is of course the Grayson Highlands/White top section but the Iron Mtn. is not too bad but it is on a horse trail with some muddy sections. It was the old AT so there are still shelters along it too. Plenty of options to make is longer or shorter depending on where you want to start. We started from Grayson Highlands so didn't go all the way to Damascus.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Did It! on 05/27/2012 12:09:24 MDT Print View

Thanks Alex and Patrick. I just got back from doing it yesterday. It was an awesome trip. The Iron Mountain Trail was actually pretty good.
I'll post a trip report at some point but right now I need to get ready for a funeral so it might be a while.

Dustin Melton
(djmelton) - F
Review on 08/24/2012 13:14:56 MDT Print View

Luke,
Did you do the southern loop or the northern loop from Damascus? My brother and I are planning to do the southern loop in the spring and would love to hear your thoughts on that trail if that's the one you did.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Review on 08/26/2012 15:22:50 MDT Print View

We did the northern loop so I can't say much about the southern loop. I liked the northern loop a lot because Whitetop Mtn. and the Grayson Highlands were both very scenic. The southern end might have less people but I'm not sure the views are as good.

Jamie Shortt
(jshortt) - MLife

Locale: North Carolina
Re: Iron Mtn. & AT Loop Anybody done this? on 08/26/2012 15:42:51 MDT Print View

Luke, Here is a trip report I did AT/iron mountain loop. I'm guessing this is what is called the northern loop since I did not go all the way to Damascus. Its a really nice loop I enjoyed it.

mount_rogers_trip_report

Jamie

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Jamie on 08/26/2012 22:58:10 MDT Print View

Jamie that is a nice trip report. We did basically the same loop that you did but we started from the Grindstone campground and did the hike in the opposite direction.

The full report is here.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=65142