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A revised edition of one of Countryman's bestselling hiking guides, featuring several new trails and new and improved maps.
The Great Smokies and Blue Ridge mountains are the most visited natural areas in the United States. The mountain ranges of North Carolina--from the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains to the southern foothills--offer an abundant variety of terrain, scenery, and wildlife to those who explore them. Distinguished by steep gorges, spectacular waterfalls, lush forests of rhododendron and laurel, and the blue haze that hangs over distant views, North Carolina's mountains are a popular hiking destination in every season of the year.
The authors of this guide have explored more than 350 miles of trails through the mountains of their home state to choose 50 of their favorite day hikes, ranging from 1 to 15 miles. The hikes vary in difficulty and offer something for hikers of all abilities. Many trails are conveniently accessed from the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, and several are handicapped-accessible. Each hike description includes directions to the trailhead, hiking distance, and estimated hiking time; detailed trail descriptions, safety precautions, and topographical maps; options for longer and shorter hikes on adjacent trails; and folk stories, historical anecdotes, and natural history information.