Charlies Bunion is a rock outcropping that was originally known as Fodderstack. The current name was derived when Charlie Conner went hiking one day with Horace Kephart, one of the early proponents of a national park in the Smokies, and author of Our Southern Highlanders. When they paused for a rest on the rocks Conner took his boots and socks off, exposing a bunion that resembled the surrounding rocks. Looking at Conner’s feet, Kephart remarked, “Charlie, I’m going to get this place put on a government map for you.” And so he did.

We started this hike by driving through the park to get to the Newfound Gap parking area.  This is where the road crosses the Appalachian Trail, and there are some awesome views.
Maybe someday we’ll hike the whole thing, but 1,972 miles was a bit much for one day.  We just went the 4 miles in and back.

 It was a gorgeous day!

With awesome hiking companions.

We took a short break at the Icewater Spring shelter.
And a longer break at Charlies Bunion.

The trip back was just as nice.

Now we can all say we’ve hiked the Appalachian Trail!