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Backpacker Magazine – November 2012

Trail Mix: Great November Hikes in the East

Your region's go-now guide: Explore New York City, hike four states in 24 hours, and perfect days in NC, GA, and NH.

by: Graham Averill (Max Patch), Nathan Pipenberg, and Rachel Zurer (Mt. Ascutney, New York City)

Yellow Birch in Harriman SP (Photo by Superstock/ AGE Fotostock)
Yellow Birch in Harriman SP (Photo by Superstock/ AGE Fotostock)
Mt. Ascutney (Photo by Tim Seaver)
Mt. Ascutney (Photo by Tim Seaver)

Perfect Days

Manchester, NH
Mt. Ascutney 
Get views of Vermont’s Green Mountains from the lookout tower atop this 3,144-foot summit. The 5.2-mile trip features two waterfalls and plenty of late-season solitude (wear orange; it’s hunting season). Then get an even more spectacular panorama from the air with a hang-gliding lesson or tandem flight ($149; flymorningside.kittyhawk.com)—the acrophobic can play outdoor laser tag instead. Trip ID 1341091

Asheville, NC
Max Patch Loop
Now that crowds are thin and the summer haze is gone, use the Appalachian Trail as the backbone of a 2.8-mile loop over and around Max Patch, a high-elevation bald that provides a grassy perch for observing the Black Mountain Range’s 6,000-foot behemoths (extend the trip to Roaring Fork for a 7.6-mile day). After the hike, cruise north to the tiny town of Hot Springs and soak in one of the only naturally occurring thermal pools in the region (pool rental starts at $11 depending on time and size; nchotsprings.com). Trip ID 1819690

Atlanta, GA
Benton MacKaye Trail
Experience a hilly section of this 300-mile trail on a 3.8-mile romp past oaks and hardwoods to views of the Blue Ridge from 3,091-foot Wallalah Mountain. Stop in Buford for a swing on a treetop zipline and obstacle course before the day is done ($45; treetopquest.com). Trip ID 399077




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