What To Do: • Overview of Activities • The Appalachian Trail • Summary of Appalachian Trail Access Points • Shuttle Service • Background Facts • History of the AT • Hiking Tips • Trailfest in Hot Springs • Hostels in Hot Springs • Max Patch • Lemon Gap • Garenflo Gap • Hot Springs • Tanyard Gap • Allen Gap • Devils Fork Gap • Sams Gap
Devil’s Fork Gap on the Appalachian Trail in Madison County, North Carolina
Devils Fork Gap Access Point is right on the North Carolina and Tennessee border in a remote area. From Devils Fork Gap on the Appalachian Trail, Sams Gap is 13.6 miles and Allen Gap is 20.2 miles. There are a few interesting things to see in the portion to Allen Gap–see information below.
Sites on the Trail from Devils Fork Gap to Allen Gap:
- 5.2 miles from Devils Fork Gap are the Shelton Graves. Just north of Big Butt are the gravestones of William and David Shelton. They were uncle and nephew who lived in Madison County, N.C., but enlisted in the Union army during the Civil War. When returning to a family gathering during the war, they were ambushed near here and killed by Confederate troops. This story of divided loyalties is a common one in the remote mountains.
- 8.7 miles from Devils Fork Gap toward Allen Gap is Jerry’s Cabin Shelter. For almost 26 years until his death in 2005, Sam Waddle was the caretaker of this shelter and the section of Trail from Round Knob to Big Butt. This shelter was “the dirtiest shelter on the entire Trail” until Sam’s efforts transformed it into one of the cleanest,” by hauling out an estimated 20 bushels of litter.” He was devoted to the A.T. and serves as an inspiration to all volunteers who share the commitment to maintaining the beauty of the Trail.
- 12.2 miles from Allen Gap toward Devils Fork are the White Rock Cliffs and Blackstack Cliffs which you will see as you approach them
- 14.2 miles from Allen Gap hiking north toward Devils Fork is Viking Mountain or Camp Creek Bald
Driving Directions: GPS location: N35° 57.133’ W082° 33.652’
From Mars Hill: Take I 26 toward Tennessee to Exit 3. At the bottom of the ramp, turn right onto Bear Branch Road and then left onto US Highway 23A. Stay on NC Highway 23A for 3.1 miles where you will pass Sams Gap and go under I-26. Continue north on US Highway 23A for another 7.7 miles (you will cross into Tennessee). Turn left on Tennessee Highway 352 West. Drive 4.3 miles and just after crossing into North Carolina, look for a gravel parking area on the left side of the road at the crest of the mountain.
From Marshall or Hot Springs: Take US Highway 25/70 to the point where it meets with NC Highway 208. Continue through (if you are coming from Marshall) or turn left (if you are coming from Hot Springs) so that you are now on Highway 208. Go another 6 miles. Turn right onto NC 212. Continue for 14 miles to the Tennessee state border for parking access. Look for gravel parking access on the right side of the road just before you cross into Tennessee.
Hiking the Trail:
- To hike north to Sams Gap (13.6 miles), go up the wooden steps taking you over the fence at the end of the parking lot and then up the hill to the right through the field of an old home place.
- To hike south to Allen Gap (20.2 miles), go across the road to the rustic steps built into the hillside.