Charlies Bunion & The Jump Off via The Appalachian Trail – 10/17/14
In the middle of this month, Elizabeth and I were feeling particularly adventurous and decided we wanted to take a trip to ‘The Bunion‘. If you are not familiar with Charlies Bunion, it’s best described as a rock outcropping that can be found just off of the AT. It is famously named after a local hiker that supposedly had a bunion on his foot that rivaled the surrounding rocks…. don’t you just love that? HA!
The Friday that we went we were blessed with an absolute gorgeous day that the pictures you’ll find below don’t even do it justice … Of course this time of year the tree color is at its peak (So lots of traffic and lots of people…more on that later) but the visibility was such that made it a great day to be on the trail….
Once you start on the trail at the Newfound Gap parking lot you’ll quickly find yourself walking on what I think others have perfectly described, “… like you’re walking on the spine of the Appalachian Mountains” How true it is as this is a stunning sight… with great views to both your left and right.
Further up the trail you’ll find the beginning of the Boulevard Trail to Mount LeConte to your left. Continuing up the trail you’ll pass the Icewater Spring Shelter and a short distance from the shelter you’ll run right into Charlies Bunion.
We were lucky that we got started on the trail fairly early and were maybe the fourth or fifth person at the Bunion. We snapped a few pictures and found a place at the tip-top to sit and eat our pack lunches. As we finished up our lunch… we quickly found out just how popular this place was as more and more day hikers began to appear off of the trail.
Packing up and heading back we pass more and more hikers… I mention to Elizabeth that I’m glad we got to the Bunion when we did as I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much with having to share with all of the others (I don’t do crowds).
When we got back to the Boulevard trail junction we decided to take a quick side trip to ‘The Jump Off‘ and what a pleasant surprise this little trail was. If you get the chance.. This is a must hike as it was probably the highlight of the whole trip for us. An incredible view and a quiet place to take it all in….Hard to beat in my book. All in all it was another great day to be in the mountains.