My first Smokies hike of 2016. I managed to make the drive without getting a speeding ticket like the last time I hiked in the Smokies. I arrived at the Jakes Creek Trailhead a little bit after 8am for my hike up to Miry Ridge Trail. I hit the trail and passed through the old, abandoned vacation homes. I noticed a foundation that I don't recall seeing before
I had a very short section of new trail that I needed to hike between the junction with the Cucumber Gap Trail and the junction with the Meigs Mountain Trail. The trail signs in the area state that the section is .1 mile,
At the crest of the Miry Ridge Trail I found a faint manway and followed it and bushwhacked to the summit of Dripping Springs Mountain.
As I approached the intersection with the Panther Creek Trail I could see my next destination through the trees: Blanket Mountain.
At the summit of Blanket Mountain is the site of an old firetower and lookout's cabin. There's not much left, just the concrete foundations of the tower