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3 Reviews

783 :: South Holston and Watauga Lakes [Cherokee and Pisgah National Forests]

National Geographic

  • Camping
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
$11.99 USD
National Geographic’s Trails Illustrated map of South Holston and Watauga Lakes is an essential travel companion for all outdoor enthusiasts seeking recreational opportunities in the mountains of eastern Tennessee. Expertly researched and created in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, Appa...
Parks & Forests

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This bundle contains 2 maps
Customer Reviews
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Asheville, North Carolina, United States

Poorly oriented and dangerously out of date

So, I started a hike in the Denis Cove area (F-7) on the west side map. I intended to begin on the Laurel Fork trail, but the trailhead was nowhere to be found from the Day Use area of Denis Cove Campground. Nevertheless, I persisted and eventually picked up a trail which had multiple stream crossings and several significantly technical sections which belied the trail's "moderate" rating. Rather than going out and back as I initially intended, I decided to take a right onto Tracy Ridge and head up to the AT. Step after step, mile after mile, I looked for the trail in its purported location next to the forest service road. It did not appear until relatively close to its intersection with the AT, but the remains of a former trail were apparent in the other direction. Several landmarks on the way to the AT were improperly placed, such as a gate. In olden times this would be less critical, but given Avenza's accuracy with GPS and my budding doubts about this map, such mistakes were unsettling. When I did hit what this map clearly marked as the Appalachian Trail, but which looked like a service road, I followed it to the top of a knee-busting ridge, only to find it terminate at a radio tower of some sort. No more AT. Since I was neither on Springer Mountain nor Mount Katahdin, I figured there had to be a trail somewhere. Low and behold, after much searching I did find one old white blaze and the remnants of a trail, which I followed to a point where it intersected -- wait for it -- the actual Appalachian Trail. How do you mislocate the AT? Perhaps by not mapping it for years? I proceeded along the AT, intending to take the Coon Den Falls trail back to the campground, but as I reached the point at which the trails intersected, according to the map, there was no trail. There was a small branch of a trail leading into the woods, so I figured I would follow it in the hopes of finding yet another defunct trail which was still mapped, thereby getting me to my car by nightfall. National Geographic and Rhododendron carolinianum met to slow my progress in this direction to an absolute, and often literal, crawl. Yet the map insisted I was on the trail. With darkness falling, I decided to find the quickest route out of this thicket and back up to an actual, you know, trail in order to make sure that the search party which would likely be dispatched in the morning would not have to go too far afield to find me cold, hungry, and embarrassed. Having regained the AT, I continued on it for plus or minus half a mile when, much to my surprise, I found the well marked, totally a thing, Coon Den Falls trail. Proceeding down the trail with my headlamp on (which I packed even though I'd never have to actually use it but I can assure my wife that I carry such things) I came to find that this "moderate" trail was also quite a challenge to descend, at least in it's upper section. There were several sections which required traversing pitched, moss covered rock outcroppings -- a task to be done gingerly in the daylight and which conjured up thoughts of a medical evac in the dark. When I did finally reach the campground, the host introduced me to his new kitten and said that he was, in fact, minutes away from calling the sheriff to report a missing hiker. I have used Avenza with other maps -- such as those produced by the NPS and the USDA -- and have been more that satisfied with how well it works. The map is obviously the problem here. I would not recommend buying this map under any circumstances.

Stephen L.
Mocksville, North Carolina, United States

Low resolution

The map has such low resolution that details are indiscernible.

Powhatan, Virginia, United States

Not as much information as others

I like the NatGeo maps a lot. However I was disappointed with this map as it doesn’t have the mileage between the trail heads like Map No. 786.

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