Want to hike the trails

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If you are looking for an epic trail to hike, there isn't one more worthy than the legendary Appalachian Trail. Initiated by Benton MacKaye, a founder of The Wilderness Society, this trail has become a classic wilderness experience. It extends over 2, miles through 14 Eastern states, so a "thru-hike" can take several months.

Don't have time for a thru-hike? You can witness the many splendors the Appalachian Trail offers in small chunks. Whether you have an afternoon or a couple weeks to delight in a wild journey, there are many paths for you to explore. This part of the trail at the southern end of the A. From northern Georgia to southern North Carolinaforests of mountain laurel lead to grassy peaks which drop into quiet, shady valleys of oak.

Although this section is a longer journey, it is generally the first one for thru-hikers who prefer to enjoy milder southern climates in spring and can begin to fully prepare for the most challenging sections at the northern end.

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Although this section features some of the best fire tower views in the East, it remains one of the more solitary jaunts. As the country's most visited national parkthis is a classic Southern backpacking trip. Reservations are required for shelters and campsites, and weekdays are generally less crowded.

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Trails are steeper, longer, and higher here than in Shenandoah National Park. Weather in spring can include rainstorms, snowstorms and even hailstorms. With plenty of scenic views and foot waterfalls coupled with swimming holes, this could be the ideal overnight hike. But such delights require a more difficult hike - up about 7, rocky feet.

You can set up camp right by a stream for easy access to water too. Details on the route can be found here. Although this is a longer journey, it is the easiest part to hike, presenting stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley as it runs parallel to Skyline Drive.

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You can stop into Big Meadows Lodge, spot wildlife like black bears and white-tailed deer and stay overnight in a hut. With less climbs, lots of nearby shops and hundreds of miles more of additional side-trails in the park, this section may be the ideal lengthy one for beginners. Blue Mountain's ridge offers glorious views of Pennsylvania's farm landscapes at numerous points of interest including the Cliffs, Bake Oven Knob, and the notable Pinnacle. At the heart is Hawk Mountainknown for hosting thousands of migrating raptors every fall, and an excellent day trip for Philadelphia-area Wilderness lovers.

The section from Port Clinton to Lehigh GapBreak has five deated shelters and campsites if you're planning a multi-day adventure, or it can be hiked in shorter parts. The Kittatinny Ridge towers over a thousand feet above the Delaware Riveroffering rich views of the area. Dip your toes into Sunfish Pond, the southernmost glacial lake on the A.

There are over a dozen hikes off the A. If you want to get a slice of "trail magic," plan to hike this section in June, when most thru-hikers are passing through and can regale you with their tales of awe. The A. This is a short but very steep section of the trail, able to be hiked in a single day or afternoon. For a side trip, the 3. This stretch of the trail, from Salisbury to Jug End pictured at leftwinds through old-growth forest, by waterfalls and over Mount Everett.

You can camp at one of the eight deated shelters or camping areas. If you want a shorter glimpse of this area, you can access dayhikes from Route 41 in the Housatonic Valley, including the six-mile Race Brook Falls Trail. If you want a lengthier journey, this area also hosts the long-distance Taconic Crest and the Taconic Skyline trails. By contrast, this section is one of the most difficult, but efforts are rewarded by some of the most beautiful surroundings.

Proper preparation is vital as some of these areas are tundra. As you pilgrimage from Kinsman Notch to Gorham, you will pass dramatic vistas of valley lakes as well as six huts available for rest. Starting at Monson, Maine, the A. The first 30 include the foot Lower Wilson Falls, sugar maple forests, rocky rivers, and panoramic views of the Barren-Chairback Range.

Four shelters and numerous campsites offer plenty of places to stay overnight.

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This stretch ends a short distance from Gulf Hagas, a slate gorge filled with waterfalls. Go in late summer to avoid bugs, or plan for a nine to 12 day adventure to experience the entire span. Article No time to hike the Appalachian Trail? Try these 12 easy section hikes. Don't have time for a thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail? That's ok. Here are our suggestions on some not-to-be-missed sections of the trail. Springer Mountain, Georgia 75 miles eight days This part of the trail at the southern end of the A. Nantahala Mountains, North Carolina mile hike three days Although this section features some of the best fire tower views in the East, it remains one of the more solitary jaunts.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee four days As the country's most visited national parkthis is a classic Southern backpacking trip. Mau-Har Loop, Virginia 14 miles overnight With plenty of scenic views and foot waterfalls coupled with swimming holes, this could be the ideal overnight hike.

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia miles ten days Although this is a longer journey, it is the easiest part to hike, presenting stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley as it runs parallel to Skyline Drive.

Blue Mountains, Pennsylvania 40 miles one way four days Blue Mountain's ridge offers glorious views of Pennsylvania's farm landscapes at numerous points of interest including the Cliffs, Bake Oven Knob, and the notable Pinnacle. Anthony's Nose, New York 2.

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Taconic Highlands, Massachusetts Presidential Range, New Hampshire 88 miles nine days By contrast, this section is one of the most difficult, but efforts are rewarded by some of the most beautiful surroundings. Best 30 of the mile Wilderness, Maine What's New Next.

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Want to hike the trails

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