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Rocky Top via Lead Cove Professional Review and Guide
"This hike is the epitome of the old adage, “You reap what you sow.” You will burn a lot of calories on the climb to your destination, but the view is as good as views get. Leave the lowlands via Lead Cove Trail to intersect Bote Mountain Trail up to the Appalachian Trail, pass through Spence Field, and climb farther still to the storied Rocky Top.Leave Laurel Creek Road behind and step into history on the Lead Cove Trail, for what is a hike in the Smokies without a little history? Lead Cove derived its name from the ore that was extracted in the 1800s. Soon you pass an old homesite that lingers among the cool forest of the cove. Keep climbing somewhat steeply, leaving the bottom land behind to arrive at Sandy Gap and the Bote Mountain Trail at mile 1.8."
--Johnny Molloy, Day & Overnight Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Menasha Ridge Press).
We actually came to Rocky Top via Spence Field as a side trip. This portion of the trail had great overlooks especially from the top to Rocky Top which was almost a full 360 view. The trail get pretty steep at times, but well worth the trip
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