County North Carolina
Lead South Trail
Directions: The turn off for
access to the middle of the Hangover Lead Trail is located
about 12-13 miles north of Robbinsville on U.S. 129 North. As
you travel north on U.S. 129 you will be driving above
Santeetlah Lake and then the road turns down hill and
parallels the Cheoah River. Be alert for a bridge that
crosses the Cheoah River. It is the only bridge
crossing the river before the bridge at Tapoco Lodge.
If you get to Tapoco Lodge you've missed your turn.
After crossing the bridge stay on the main used portion of
the Forest Service Road. It is about 7 miles to the Big
Fat Gap parking area. On the way you will pass the Bear
Creek Hunting Camp and the Orr Cemetery.
The name Hangover does not refer to over
indulgence the night before. It is a geographic term
for the underlying rock structure of this mountain area.
A lead is a long ridge or ridge spur that
leads to higher ground. In this case it leads to the
Hangover with its magnificent views of the surrounding lakes
and mountains. It is well worth the time and effort to
hike this trail.
||Hangover Lead South
- Trailhead: The trailhead is adjacent to
the parking area at Big Fat Gap. The south
portion of the trail begins in the southwest
corner of the parking area by the Forest Service
information sign. There is no car camping
or tent camping in the car park area. There
are tent camping sites that can be found a few
hundred yards down the Windy Gap Trail.
- Distance: This is not a very long
trail. It is approximately 2.8 miles to the
terminus of the Hangover Lead South Trail at the
Haoe summit of 5,249 feet. There are several
trail junctions at the parking area or along the
way: Hangover Lead North, Big Fat, Deep Creek,
Windy Gap and Haoe Lead Trails..
- Difficulty: This trail is rated as
moderate to strenuous, or even rugged if
backpacking a heavy load. There are a
couple of steep, and sometimes muddy, pitches
that need to be negotiated.
- Use Guide: The Hangover Lead South Trail
is highly recommended for novices or experienced
hikers who are in good condition. It would be a
challenge for smaller children. With a group at a
casual pace, allow 6 hours for the round trip to
the Haoe summit. For the more aggressive hiker,
3½-4 hours should be sufficient time. Bring
water and protective clothing if your trip is
going to be more than a few hours.
- Description: The trail is easy to follow
and well used. There are signs at the trail
junctions. You will traverse several gaps
that are adequate camping areas. At
approximately 2½ miles you will come to the
Saddle Tree Gap camp area. The trail to
the right (south) leads to the top of Haoe and
the junction with the Haoe Lead Trail. The
trail to the left (north) leads to the Hangover
Lead overlook which offers a panoramic view of
the area. The Deep Creek Trail junction can
also be found at Saddle Tree Gap.
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These pages are from the people of Graham County, North Carolina.
For additional information on Graham County Adventures
the Travel and Tourism Authority
go to the Visitors Information Center
of the Travel and Tourism Authority Webpage
call 1-800-470-3790 or 828-479-3790 Fax 1-828-479-4733
This page is maintained by Tom Livingston, Robbinsville, North Carolina