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Hiking,camping, Backpacking And The U.s.'s National Trails


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Ive been a long time fan of hiking, camping and am now getting into backpacking (from now I'll say H.C.B.). Ive hit a lot of state parks and national parks in my time and am now looking to take on the two main antional trails, The Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail.


So anyone who has an interest in the hobby, has some good suggestions for places to go, or has or will tackle the National Trails, I'd love to hear whatever you have to say. And as always any of our esteemed foreign correspondences are free to talk about their interests and perhaps how the H.C.B scene is in their country (who knows maybe we Americans could tramp around your backwoods for a while?).


Im not sure if anyone else on the site is into this sort of thing, I guess I'll find out if anyone takes this topic up...


Oh and if any mods think this should be moved to another section (Totally Off Topic?) that your call of course.


Edit: I did a little more research and was pleasantly surprised to learn there were even more trails! Heres a list:


National Scenic Trails: (1) Appalachian Trail (2) Pacific Crest Trail (3) Continental Divide Trail (4) North Country Trail (5) Ice Age Trail (6) Potomac Heritage Trail (7) Natchez Trace Trail (8) Florida Trail

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Hi there Doc...


I'm in my late 40's but still have a goal to hike the entire AT some day. However I'll do it in snippets.


I've only day hiked on the AT in NC, TN, and VA. My favorite section from these is Grayson Highlands in VA. It is near Mt. Rogers.


While hiking one day on the AT in Grayson there were a group of men backpacking. As we hikers do, we talked a bit. These guys get together a couple times a year to backpack different places around the US. This was there 3rd(?) trip to Grayson. They said on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the finest) they rated Grayson an 8. That included their trips to the Rockies. In fact they deemed the AT through the Grayson area, the Rockies of the east. There are lots of rocks and balds; it is beautiful and magical. In August the hillsides are filled with wild blueberries to feast on. Also, wild ponies live in this area, which adds to the magic. They were introduced in the 70's to help control vegetation.


Another favorite AT area of mine is Roan Mountain on the NC/TN border. Absolutely magical. I swear gnomes live among the pines and moss. Roan and it's neighboring Bald Mtn. is a botanist's fantasy, so I've read. Apparently plants grow together in this area that aren't supposed to grow side by side (or sumthin'). IN June the mountainside of Roan is covered, literally, with blooming rhododendrons. In September the Bald side flourishes with wild blueberries.


If you come to NC, visit Mt. Mitchell. It is not on the AT though (I don't think). But it is the highest point east of the MS in the lower 48, though there has been some debate that Roan or Bald is higher.


I have done quite a bit of hiking in the Smokies as well, but again, not all on the AT. I've only backpacked in New Mexico. Due to health reasons I wasn't able to continue backpacking. I hope I'll be able to in the future.


I love to hike. :)




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I love to go backpacking. When I lived in the US, I went several times a year, mostly in the Allegheny Reserve in PA. Couple of years ago I went in ZheJiang province in China. Pretty much the same except there were monkeys and bamboo. It's a pity I don't have the freedom to go as often as I used to.

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I grew up in VA near the AT and have hiked bits of it, but don't know enough to really give any recommendations. But when I moved out to the NW, I did a backpacking trip in the north cascades and wow, that was like nothing I'd seen out east. It's so much more dramatic and breathtaking out there. The bits of the pacific crest I've seen are all amazing.

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