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Thread: Best Hikes In The Appalachian Mountains

  1. #16
    Senior Member
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    The trail I am thinking about bypassed the summit of the Priest. I think it did go by some waterfalls. The west end intersected the ATl near a shelter. I cant remember a lot of details on the East end, I think it split off from the AT right around where the trail leaves the vestiges of development and heads into the woods. We were on a section hike and the weather conditions were "potentially hazardous" so we used this route to bypass the summit. We came back a year later and did a key swap hike from highway to highway on a far nicer day. Given that this was in 2002 it could have been relocated.

  2. #17
    Senior Member Barkingcat's Avatar
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    I think I know what you may have done -- probably approached The Priest from the southwest using the trail that heads over Little Priest, as it connects the AT near the shelter, in conjunction with the back end of the Crabtree Falls Trail, which has a number of very nice waterfalls and cascades separate from the main Crabtree Falls, and possibly another trail connecting either Route 826 or 827. You might have been able to fashion a loop hike using these trails and part of the AT, and avoided the summit of The Priest, which would have been further east, from near the shelter.

    Those are some fine, open woods in that area -- all hardwoods, if I recall -- and would have been easy to traverse off-trail, too.

  3. #18
    Senior Member SpencerVT's Avatar
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    I was down in the North Carolina / Tennessee this summer and climbed a number of peaks down there. I agree with what others have said that the trails seemed to be built very well, - with meandering switchbacks, and are incredibly smooth by Northeast standards.
    My wife and I took the Snake Den trail up the to AT and then climbed Mt Guyot in Tennessee which requires a short bushwhack at the end. Mt Guyot is the highest trailless peak east of the Mississippi. The Snake Den trail was absolutely amazing and an incredible amount of work must have went into making it smooth, compacted, excellent switchbacks and drainage, and never getting too steep despite the massive elevation gain which it accrues. I would highly recommend this trail, although it is quite long.
    Spencer
    Bigfoot

  4. #19
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    My job at work fell through but I wound up doing a marathon drive/hike/drive down there the past 3 days. I wasn't able to get all the way to Mt Mitchell but did a nice 13 mile loop with two peaks taller than Washington (which essentially was my goal - climb something higher than I have ever climbed). I did not encounter any wonderful gravelly flat ridge walk on my route. I found most of my loop pretty comparable to trails in NH, with the exception of better footing. The section of Black Crest Ridge Trail I did was actually somewhat rough and steep with some tiny "scrambles" and tree roots. The trail I took down was a mixed use path for hiking and horses. It had switchbacks similar to the upper parts of Garfield Trail or thereabouts. The last 3 miles was basically a fire road with huge sweeping switchbacks, most of which was golf ball to softball sized rocks covered in 8 inches of leaves - which really sucked! Was slow, tedious walking where I thought I'd be blasting out of the woods.

    What a great area! Tremendous amount of variety in the landscape, vegetation, trail conditions, etc. In one hike I was reminded of the Whites, the Catskills, the Taconics and Greylock, and even the Adirondacks. With no leaves the views were excellent but there were also plenty of outlooks with fine views. I'll definitely go back when I have more time to relax and explore.
    NH 48 4k: 48/48; NH W48k: 46/48; NY 46: 5/46

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