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The section of the Benton MacKaye Trail along the Mounatains-To-Sea Trail to Newton Bald.

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Point to Point

5,048' 1,539 m


2,412' 735 m


2,711' 826 m


142' 43 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (14°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Commonly Backpacked · Fall Colors

Section Of

Need to Know

For more information, visit the Benton MacKaye Trail Association's website.


Points of Interest along this section: This covers the section shared with the Mountains-To-Sea Trail from the intersection with the Deep Creek Trail to Newton Bald. The MTS Trail goes from Clingmans Dome to the North Carolina Outer Banks, a distance of about 1000 miles. Campsite #57 Bryson Place is the location of Horace Kephart's cabin. Kephart was instrumental in the establishment of the park and made famous the phrase, "the back of beyond". A bronze plaque near the trail commemorates his contribution. George Masa, a close friend of Kephart and an explorer and Ashville photographer, accompanied Kephart on many of his journeys. Masa catalogued the peaks of the Smokies and researched the names given to them by the Cherokee. He also scouted out the route for the AT throughout all of North Carolina. Masa Knob stands adjacent to Mount Kephart in the Smokies.

Trail Description: The BMT heads downstream from the junction of the Pole Road Creek Trail at mile 242.0 along the side of Deep Creek for only 0.6 miles before heading up the Martins Gap Trail at mile 242.6. At mile 242.1, just a short distance downstream along Deep Creek is Burnt Spruce Campsite #56. Bryson Place Campsite #57 (reservations required) is at the Deep Creek Trail / Martin's Gap Trail intersection at mile 242.6. The Martins Gap Trail climbs steeply up Sunkota Ridge to Martins Gap at mile 244.1. Here the trail intersects the Sunkota Ridge Trail which follows the ridgeline. Turn left uphill on the Sunkota Ridge and continue to climb steeply toward Newton Bald. At mile 249.0 the Sunkota Ridge Trail intersects the Thomas Divide Trail. Turn right on the Thomas Divide Trail to the Newton Bald Trail Junction at mile 249.3. A short distance up the Newton Bald Trail is the Newton Bald Campsite #52 at mile 249.9 (5000').

Campsites: There are three campsites along Deep Creek very close to each other, the Pole Road Campsite #55 (reservations required) at mile 242.0, Burnt Spruce Campsite #56 at mile 242.1, and Bryson Place Campsite #57 (reservations required) at mile 242.6. The next campsite is up on top of Newton Bald at mile 249.9

Water Sources: Water is available along Deep Creek, then is scarce until you reach the Newton Bald Campsite at mile 249.9. There is a spring about 150 feet down the east side from the campsite. So stock up on water before leaving Deep Creek. All water should be treated. The stretch of the BMT between campsite #57 on Deep Creek and campsite #52 on Newton Bald is essentially dry for about 7 miles. You might luck out and find an occasional seep in wet weather, but don't count on it.


Shared By:

Richard Harris

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Campsite at Newton's Bald.
Nov 7, 2020 near Cherokee, NC
Camp 56
Sep 10, 2017 near Bryson…, NC
Camp 52 (Newton Bald) offers decent views when the leaves are off the trees.
Apr 17, 2017 near Cherokee, NC
The trail can appear to be lost in the leaves in the fall.  The leaves are dry up on the ridgelines.
Nov 25, 2017 near Cherokee, NC
Camp #56 Deep Creek
Sep 23, 2017 near Bryson…, NC
On the way to Camp 56
Sep 23, 2017 near Bryson…, NC



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