Thru-Hiker's Guide to America

Mountains-to-Sea Trail Points of Interest
By E. Schlimmer
  |  Gorp.com
Excerpted from Thru Hiker's Guide to America by E. Schlimmer

IN THE WEST
The Appalachian Mountains of the South are home to nearly 200 peaks exceeding 5,000 feet, which should keep your legs and lungs occupied for quite a while. These gorgeous evergreen- and rhododendron-clad summits have cooler temperatures than those in the valleys below, and significant snow in winter. However, ground-level ozone, a nasty beetle infestation, and acid rain are destroying this ecosystem and making far-reaching views a thing of the past.

IN THE EAST
In summer, cooler temperatures are found on the far eastern end of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, among sand dunes, shorebirds, and whales.

HIGHPOINTERS TAKE NOTE
You’ll climb the highest peak in Tennessee (Clingmans Dome, 6,643 feet) and the highest peak in North Carolina (Mount Mitchell, 6,684 feet).

BIG, BIG ROCK
Stone Mountain, located in Stone Mountain State Park, rises 600 vertical feet above its enormous base and offers excellent views of northwest North Carolina and southern Virginia. Nearby scenic Stone Mountain Falls drop more than 150 vertical feet.

SOUTH HARPER CREEK FALLS
The South Harper Creek Falls area, in Pisgah National Forest, is home to wonderful waterfalls in an amphitheater-like setting of bare rock. You’ll pass five other scenic waterfall areas on the MST, too.


Article © McGraw-Hill. All rights reserved.

advertisement

Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »