2008-11-28 35 -83
Hash is located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, on top of a heavily-wooded, narrow spur ridge, less than a kilometer from Rt 441.
Conveniently, the trailhead parking area at the the Husky Gap Trail provided a nearby place to park. Inconveniently, Black Friday traffic was extremely heavy in Gatlinburg, so I didn't reach the parking area until 5:00 pm.
I was able to follow the Husky Gap Trail for the first half of the hike, before following a spur ridge out the the hash point. However, due to a map scale mistake, I set off along the wrong spur, necessitating some additional route-finding through the woods. This detour led past some old stone walls which must have been constructed while the Park land was still in private ownership, prior to the 1930s.
Panting my way up the correct ridge, I reached the hash (in a thicket of rhododendron and hemlock) at dusk. All of the hemlocks were infested with the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, a destructive, non-native pest. Photography at the hash was only partially successful, due to the rapidly vanishing light.
I took a different route back to the car, in the dark, passing a natural rock shelter and some ancient chestnut stumps. The chestnuts in the Appalachians were decimated early last century by another non-native species, the Chestnut blight fungus.