must be restrained or on a leash at all times while in developed
Nantahala National Forest
Length: 2.8 miles
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.