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Backpacker Magazine – September 2012

Trail Mix: East

Your region's go-now guide

by: Steve Johnson (Heroes), Nathan Pipenberg (Pack Your Perfect Days), and Rachel Zurer

Janes Island (Kevin Moore)
Janes Island (Kevin Moore)
McAfee Knob (James Carroll Richardson/AGE Fotostock)
McAfee Knob (James Carroll Richardson/AGE Fotostock)

Perfect Days

Mobile, AL Pine Creek Trail
On this mellow 3.7-mile lollipop loop, scrub pine gives way first to lush wetlands, then the famous white sands of the Gulf shore—where you can swim, snorkel, and spot endangered loggerhead sea turtles. Afterward, explore more of inland Alabama via horseback during a one-hour guided ride at Oak Hollow Farm ($30/person; Trip ID 34995

Providence, RI Block Island
Visiting all of Block Island, 13 miles off the coast, is a triathlon of sorts: First, catch the high-speed ferry from Newport ($17 round-trip; Next, rent a bike ($30; to explore the island’s glacier-carved geology on your way to the trailhead, 2.8 miles away at Rodman’s Hollow. From there, a 3.5-mile (round-trip) hike passes blackberry bushes en route to oceanside bluffs. Trip ID 278848

Roanoke, VA Tinker Cliffs
This 6.6-mile out-and-back ascends almost 1,700 feet on the Andy Layne Trail before leveling out as it joins the AT, where the 60-foot Tinker Cliffs offer views across the Catawba Valley clear to McAfee Knob. On your way home, stop in Catawba for all-you-can-eat fried chicken and Southern-style sides at the Homeplace Restaurant (get there by mid-afternoon to beat the long lines; Trip ID 525894

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