Best Day Walks in the Appalachians

by Dimitri N.

The Appalachian Trail in the Eastern United States is often regarded as a hiker’s ultimate challenge: the trail crosses several states and adds up to 2181 miles of magnificent views. Throughout the trails history, there have been numerous hikers who managed to cover the entire distance in just one season: they are known and looked up to as ‘thru-hikers’. But for those with less than seven months at their disposal, there are other ways to enjoy the beauties of the Appalachians. You can attempt to hike its whole lengths in several summers (which in the AT jargon is called ‘section hikers’) or just concentrate on the most scenic hikes and make weekend trips from the nearby towns. If you happen to fancy this last option or you are a newbie to the subject, here are some of the best day walks in the Appalachians you can try:

Clingmans Dome and Mount Collins, Smoky Mountains

by marcy reiford

This hike is situated in the Smoky Mountains National Park, generally regarded as the most beautiful section of the Appalachians. The 6.8 miles round-trip takes you atop three of the highest peaks in the Appalachian Chain (Mt. Collins, Mt. Love and Clingmans Dome) and at about 6600 feet above sea level. There is also a road taking you close to the Clingmans Dome summit, which you can access from Cherokee, NC.

Mount Washington, White Mountains

Mt. Washington represents an important reference point for AT hikers. Part of the White Mountains in New Hampshire, the peak makes a wonderful day hike. There are several trails that take you up to the summit, however none of them is longer than 9 miles. The one starting at Pinkham Notch is the most populated, so choose this one if you are hiking by yourself.

Antony’s Nose, Hudson River

The Hudson River is not just one of the numerous rivers crossed by the AT: it also marks the lowest elevation point of the whole trail, just 124 ft. however, you’ll still have to gain about 500 feet during your hike to Antony’s Nose. Quite an easy hike considering that in the clear days you’ll be able to admire the NY skyline.

Charlies Bunion, Smoky Mountains

by Ashbash!

Here’s another drive from Cherokee that eventually results in a splendid hike. With a total elevation gain of 1640 feet, this hike might as well be considered as strenuous, but the views will categorically compensate for the effort. You’ll enjoy plenty of panoramic views of the Smokys along this trail, as well as lovely flora, with several varieties of colorful wildflowers.

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