Photo Essay: An Autumn Group Hike to Mt. Cammerer Fire TowerFirst posted in November, 1999
Over the past couple of years, I've had the extreme pleasure of doing presentations and guided hikes for the Great Smoky Mountains Natural History Association. As part of that tradition, I led a group of seasoned hikers to the Mt. Cammerer fire tower this past October.
Taking breaks along the way
We began in Cosby Campground, and, after collecting all the folks that had showed up (unfortunately more in the neighborhood of 17 individuals, rather than the 25 or so I had expected), we left the Lower Mt. Cammerer trailhead. The group was comprised of experienced hikers, and we maintained a good pace. Rest stops were taken along the way at the Sutton Ridge Overlook, backcountry campsite 35, the Phillips cemetery, and finally at the junction with the infamous Appalachian Trail (see above photo).
Packing up to go home
We had reached the tower via a long, slow climb up the Lower Mt. Cammerer Trail, but made our descent back to the campground via the Low Gap Trail, which was a steeper, but considerably shorter route back. We found ourselves back in the campground after only five miles. Our overall leisurely pace placed us back at our cars just before dusk. I want to thank those that signed up for the hike... I had a great time, and our trek will be one of the lasting memories I have of the Smokies as I make my move to Alaska. I hope to return and lead another hike for NHA in the future, and I hope to see some of you then! Here's one last look from the tower...
One last look from the tower