Mountain Hiking Vacation in the South-East of America
The Appalachian Mountains are the largest range in the eastern United States. This long mountain range extends from Alabama/Georgia all the way up through the ‘New England’ states, before entering Canada. The Appalachians are home to the most-visited national park in America, the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, as well as the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.
There are hundreds of trails for up-hill hiking and backpacking in the south-eastern United States, and below are summaries and links to most of these:
Alabama: Your best bet for up-hill hiking is in the eastern part of the state, in the Talladega National Forest, which is separated into the three Ranger districts of Talladega, Shoal Creek and Oakmulgee. For more information on hiking in Alabama’s Talladega National Forest, reference the following links:
Georgia: The northern part of the state is home to the Chattahoochee National Forest, which contains the state’s highest peak, Brasstown Bald at 4,784 feet (1458 meters) above sea level, as well as the Cohutta Wilderness and John’s Mountain Wildlife Management Area amongst others. There’s also up-hill hiking at James H. (Sloppy) Floyd State Park. For more information on hiking in Georgia, reference the following links:
Tennessee’s Appalachian mountains include the Bald, Holston, Smoky, Stone, Unaka and Unicoi mountain ranges, and is home to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (shared with North Carolina), the Cherokee National Forest, Roan Mountain State Park, as well as the lesser known Rocky Fork State Park, and Frozen Head State Park (and areas to its north). These parks contain numerous trails for excellent up-hill hiking. For more information and details on hiking in Tennessee, follow the link below.
North Carolina: Along with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (shared with Tennessee), this state is home to Mount Mitchell State Park, Pisgah National Forest, Grandfather Mountain State Park, Elk Knob State Park, Chimney Rock State Park and along with the lesser known Gorges State Park, South Mountains State Park and the Nantahala National Forest, which all provide excellent trails for up-hill hiking. At 6,684 feet (2,037 meters) above sea level, the Black Mountains’ Mount Mitchell is the highest peak in Eastern North America. For more information and details on up-hill hiking in North Carolina, follow the link below.
West Virginia is filled with the Appalachian’s hills and mountains, with probably the best place for up-hill hiking being the Allegheny Mountain range which is home to the highest peaks in West Virginia, including the highest peak, Spruce Knob at 4,861 feet (1,482m) above sea level. Along with parts of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, West Virginia is home to the Lost River State Park, Greenbrier State Forest, Watoga State Park, Seneca State Forest, Kumbrabow State Forest as well as the Monongahela National Forest. Lots of great uphill hiking and backpacking… For more information and details on hiking in West Virginia, follow the link below.
Virginia is home to some of the country’s great national reserves in their region of the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains ranges, namely the George Washington National Forest, the Jefferson National Forest and Shenandoah National Park. Mount Rogers is the highest peak in Virginia at 5,729 feet (1,746m) tall, which can be hiked as a spur off the Appalachian Trail. A great place for uphill hiking and backpacking… For more information and details on up-hill hiking in Virginia, follow the link below.
Of course, for the serious backpackers/multi-day hikers out there, there’s the Appalachian trail (AT) which stretches more than 2,000 miles (3,250km) across 14 US States, from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. For more information about hiking the AT, please reference the following links:
Also note that the International Appalachian trail continues north into Canada. There are also sections in Greenland, Europe and Morocco.
Please note that the entire section above is a “work in progress” with more detailed information coming as soon as possible.
Back to the Hiking in North America and the Caribbean home page…