Hiking the Appalachian Trail

You don’t have to be a hiker to know about the Appalachian Trail. One of the longest hiking trails in the United States, this Maine-to-Georgia mountain excursion has been the subject of memoirs, movies, and mainstream media. Every year millions of hikers attempt to make the “thru-hike” north or south, but only around 15% make their destination.

Appalachian Trailblazers

appalachian trail - fall foliageThe popularity of the Appalachian Trail exploded just before the new millennium, but the hike itself has been around for decades. The trail began with Benton MacKaye, a forester who first wrote of his planned path in 1921. The first section of the trail opened in New York several years later. Early metal markers pointing the way South still exist from these early trailblazing efforts. Today hiking conservatories have unified the trail with white trail blazes. Similar blue blazes show the road to campsites, shelters, and scenic overlooks off the beaten path.

Home Sweet Home

Lake Nantahala is home to many scenic views, rugged hiking trails, and protected forest spaces; but nothing else in our backyard is quite as famous as the Appalachian Trail. A 60 mile portion of the 2,180 mile Appalachian Scenic National Trail passes through the Nantahala region. Our nearby neighbors in Franklin, NC became an official Appalachian Trail Community in 2010 for their work in protecting and tending the trail. North Carolina is also home to another famous Appalachian Trail stop: Hot Springs, NC. The hot, bubbling natural springs outside of Asheville make a perfect stop, whether you’re hiking in the wilderness or taking a day trip to the northeast.

Adventure awaits in your backyard. Hike past cascading falls and stunning views of the North Carolina mountains on the Nantahala section of the Appalachian Trail.

photo from flickr

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