Unicoi County Highpoint Trip Report
Big Bald (5,516 ft)
Date: May 4, 2005
Author: Roy Schweiker
As the hike is 6 miles each way from Sams Gap, I first tried some other approaches.
The road to Street Gap from the NC side is posted and a local
resident told me it would require real 4wd anyway but that the TN side was better.
A TN resident said it still needed 4wd. The TN approach to Low Gap is
posted and, if Trail 31 to the AT from Big Bald Creek still exists, they did a
good job of hiding the trailhead.
I-26 is now complete and US-23 is signed to follow that route but there is no
official access to the Appalachian Trail. Access is from the old US-23 which is
not signed and there is no exit from I-26 at the crest. On the TN side you must
go down to Flag Pond from the last exit to pick up this unsigned road.
There are a few paved parking spaces at the crest and more on the grassy road shoulder.