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How Charlie’s Bunion Got Its Name

One of the most popular hiking destinations in the Smokies is Charlie’s Bunion. This unique overlook provides breathtaking views and is accessed via the Appalachian Trail from Newfound Gap. The unique name is said to come from a local resident of the Smokies, Charles W. Conner.

As the story goes, Conner was hiking with renowned Smokies enthusiast Horace Kephart to the rocky overlook then known as Fodderstack. When they stopped to rest Conner took off his boots to reveal a bunion on his foot. When Kephart saw it he thought it resembled the surrounding rocky outcrop and supposedly said, “Charlie, I’m going to get this place put on a government map for you.”

The hike to Charlie’s Bunion is just over 8 miles roundtrip with a peak elevation of 6,000 feet. This strenuous hike is not recommended for novices. If you’re able to make the trip it’s well worth the effort.  Panoramic views of Mount Guyot and Mount Kephard await at the top of the rocky outcrop. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether it resembles a bunion or not.

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