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  1. #1

    Default Looking For Good Hiking Spots

    I was thinking about doing a 30 mile trail maybe up in the Appalachian Mountains. But no climbing or anything just a nice week long camping trip and low prices for each night. I have Hiked almost every where in the Smokey mountains. And I am looking into some of the Appalachian trails, they look nice and challenging. So if you could send me or reply with links to sites or numbers to call. Planning it for next summer or so. And will I need to bring guns or bear spray?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Virginia Trails

    My own experience with the Appalachian Trail is limited to sections in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Within a day's drive of the Smoky Mountains, I think I'd be looking to visit the sections in west central Virginia along the Blue Ridge and through Shenandoah National Park. This entire section is travelled enough by humans, that the bears should have learned to stay clear by now.


  3. #3

    Default NC, TN, and VA along the AT

    Hello Ahmed,

    While I'm not a veteran of a single mile hiked on the Appalachian Trail (AT) I have spent much time in the vicinity of the AT in northwesternmost NC, northeastern TN, and where it enters far SW Virginia. I graduated from Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, in 1978 and enjoyed recreational travel in the region along with geology degree field trips then and since.

    I'm having a bit of trouble determining your plans, but it looks as though you would NOT be backpacking inasmuch as you mention wanting to keep costs low. With that, I assume you'd day-hike and then overnight in either commercial campgrounds or motels.

    The sections of the AT between the Nolichucky River, just outside of Erwin, TN, north over and along Unaka, Big Yellow, and Roan Mountains are about as high an elevation as the AT has anywhere along its length. Those sections are also fairly remote. The AT is very remote from US 19E through and across US 321 and US 421 and on down to Damascus, VA. From Damascus farther north, the AT reaches another high point in VA, near to Whitetop Mountain and Mount Rogers and the Grayson Highlands State Park in VA.

    Activities worth considering in addition to the excellent hiking include rafting or kayaking the Nolichucky River near Erwin, TN, where the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) runs a shuttle service with the van ride to the put-in being right at the take-out at the riverside. There was a nice commercial campground beside the NOC center there the last time I was over there, but it's been a good 7-8 years. Easy cycling has become very popular out of Damascus, VA, where the AT and the Virginia Creeper Trail (VCT) cross. The VCT is a rails-to-trails conversion featuring a 17 mile all downhill glide from Whitetop Station at the crest of the Blue Ridge near the triple-point border of NC, VA, and TN on back down to Damascus. Shuttle services rent you a fat tire cruiser in Damascus and drive you up to the gap, then it's a wonderfully relaxing and scenic 2-3 hour descent back to Damascus. There are even cafes, etc, along the way, and some two dozen trestles have been refurbished to carry you across gorges and stream crossings. Damascus itself is a little "Boulder, CO of the East" with a plethora of mountain bike shops and vendors serving the AT hiking community. In fact, consider making your trip coincide with the annual "Trail Days" weekend in Damascus, the middle weekend of May each year. There's an AT through-hikers alumni gathering and parade and fair each year, an event which has morphed into a blocks-long (good spirited) water fight between the hikers and the townspeople, harkening back to the times in the 1970s when townies were known to throw water on the through-hikers passing right up Main Street in an attempt to clean them up a bit. We happened upon it this past May, and it will be an annual event for us from her on out.

    Sorry, I don't have any current info on commercial campgrounds or motels, but given the fact that much of the area in general is within one National Forest or another, dotted with State Parks, and given the tourist orientation of the mountains, the region is chockablock full of Mom-and-Pop motels and small commercial campgrounds. I have the good fortune of having access to a family mountain home near Blowing Rock, NC, around an hour's drive from everywhere I mentioned herein, so overnighting is not something I have to keep current on. The towns closest to the AT and VCT would include Erwin and Roan Mountain, Elizabethton, and Hampton, TN, Elk Park, Banner Elk and Boone, NC, and Damascus, Abingdon, and Independence, VA.


  4. #4


    I would camp on primitive camping grounds along the trail. And when I say keeping costs low I mean for a hotel to stay in after i finish the trail.

    Thank you!
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 10-07-2008 at 08:29 PM. Reason: Merged Posts

  5. #5

    Default I understand

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahmed21 View Post
    I would camp on primitive camping grounds along the trail. And when I say keeping costs low I mean for a hotel to stay in after i finish the trail.

    Thank you!
    So, it's a backpacking trip.

    Again, lack of experience leads me to only guess there are few 30 mile stretches of the AT in my region without some sort of civilization. Still, the noted intervals, while interspersed with some highway crossings, mostly in the gaps, are pretty doggone remote. In fact, if you hear banjo music, walk faster, much faster...............


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