This section of the AT starts in North Carolina and finishes in Erwin, Tennessee. We parked at Uncle Johnny’s Hiker Hostel in Erwin and he shuttled us up to Spivey Gap which is about 11 miles away by trail.
There’s a bit of a climb out of Spivey Gap and a couple short climbs further on in the hike but for the most part it’s downhill with an elevation loss of 2000 feet from the highest point. There are plenty of stream crossings in the first half of the hike. No Business Knob Shelter (yes, that’s the name of it) is almost exactly halfway through this hike.
The last two miles of this hike is pretty much all down. There’s a long series of switchbacks descending into Erwin. To make up for this at every left turn (heading northbound) there’s a rocky overlook of the Nolichucky River with occasional views of Erwin as well.
With day-sized backpacks, this hike took us just a bit over 6 hours with two stops for food and one stop for a tragic shoelace emergency (thanks random thru-hiker with a lighter!)