Gorge on views that don't quit on a high stretch of the Appalachian Trail.
Paddle an Outer Banks island, hit a new trail in Tennessee, stargaze in Pennsylvania, and grab nine more adventures.
What off season? Bundle up and reap the benefits of colder weather in these snowy playgrounds.
Leave it to our seasoned map contributors to find solitude in America's most-visited park. This exclusive trip planner serves up routes guaranteed to get you off the tourist trail and into deep wilderness.
Your region's go-now guide: Explore New York City, hike four states in 24 hours, and perfect days in NC, GA, and NH.
Your region's go-now guide.
Jump-start your hiking season on these spring-ready trips from around the country.
Climb past a glimmering highland lake to a lofty southern bald.
More than 150 of you entered our contest to become a BACKPACKER field scout. Meet the winners.
Looking for a mellow weekend with swimming options? We have you covered.
Our prolific map contributor has thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and notched more than 90 bag nights while scouting routes for BACKPACKER.
Trace the watery divide between the Carolinas.
Top a Yosemite-like dome in a sea of green.
Hike these long trails in North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, and Florida, and paddle three days in the Everglades backcountry.
For guaranteed solitude in the park's southwest reaches, explore this quiet loop during the off-season.
Can you ever really have too much of a good thing? Once you've seen the biggest tree, largest glacier, and deepest canyon, nothing else compares.
The only thing better than enjoying the life-list scenery in the country's premier national parks? Getting that same scenery, minus the crowds. Find it in these 10 backcountry hotspots, along with no-hassle permits, choice campsites aplenty, and solitude to match the world-class terrain.
Hike from forest floor to a rocky ridge linking twin summits in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Hike from a wildlife-choked river valley to soaring mountain views.
Your favorite Appalachians hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.
Your favorite parks, weekend getaways, peak ascents, campsites, and more in the Appalachians.
The best hikes near Asheville, NC.
The best hikes near Charlotte, NC.
The best local hikes in the southeast, as chosen by the area's best hiking clubs.
Pack a camera for this lollipop loop to one of the best mountain views in the park: a sit-awhile panorama, atop a 5,565-foot knob with thousand
foot drop-offs on three sides, that stretches from Mt. LeConte to the jagged peaks of the Sawteeth Range.
Free Print & Go PDFs give you turn-by-turn trail instructions and photos embedded on a usable topo map. Also: Gear checklists, driving directions, and geo-references for finding the nearest campground, restaurant, gas station, and grocery store.
Enjoy solitude and fixed-rope scrambling on the East's highest mountain.
Climb to two killer views, see the South's best flowers, and hike to secluded falls. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)
Our army of reader-reader scouts mapped 59 local hikes from South Carolina to Northern California. See their favorites, then learn how to download tracklogs and waypoints.
Marvel at Mother Nature on these canyon hikes in Utah and North Carolina.
Head to Asheville, North Carolina for this beautiful gorge loop.
Colossal trees, sweet swimming holes, and the USA's best picnic spot.
See big water, massive trees, and tiny amphibians.
Celebrate the arrival of summer with an unrivaled circus of color.
Have a picnic on one of the Southeast's biggest balds.
Bag four scenic peaks in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
See wild, historic surprises in the Sunshine State.
See a Great White North south of the Mason-Dixon.
Haunted mountains? Vanished campers? Bloodthirsty creatures? An evil wind that lures hikers over a waterfall? We dare you to hike America's scariest trails.
Alpine views and starry skies are nice, but on these unsettling hikes you might see something really stunning.
Hike these paths before the masses find them.
Trek 18.2 miles from the South's best view to its most famous mountain.
Get national park-caliber scenery without crowds (or entry fees!) in these dead ringers for Great Smoky Mountains, Zion, and Yosemite.
Get big views and rack up long miles with these close-to-home adventures.
Check out the world's hottest hydrothermal fumarole, Glacier's grizzlies, and a venus flytryp in North Carolina.
Does your kid want to be an ice climber? How about a thru-hiker, or paddler? These cities have just what you need.
Which towns offer the ideal mix of accessible trails, inspiring teachers, and great recreational resources? We worked with The Outdoor Foundation to identify America's top 25 places to beat nature deficit disorder.
From Boulder to Juneau to Bozeman, see which cities made the cut for the best place to raise an outdoor kid, and why.
First, check out our tips for healthy hiking on steep terrain in the May 2009 issue then, put them to the test on one of our favorite high-angle trails from California to North Carolina.
Accessible national forests like the George Washington and Jefferson surround national park gems like Great Smoky and Shenandoah in a southern terrain that varies dramatically from Florida's Everglades to West Virginia's wilderness.
According to folklore, the soft light emitted by bioluminescent organisms is magical. In reality, the eerie glow results from a chemical reaction–but it still looks enchanting on a moonless or cloudy night. Here's where to glimpse these living light bulbs.
These dark-sky treks serve up perfect viewing spots for autumn's intergalactic bling in North Carolina, New Mexico, and California
The Civilian Conservation Corps is turning 75—so celebrate right by hiking its classics.
Nine ways to get your cascade fix from Tennessee to Montana.
Push yourself on any of these challenging hikes
A high point that provides an alluring combination of scenery, storms, and access.
Mellow temperatures, low water and autumn colors make for a perfect time in the Smokies
Visit Croatan National Forest, a place so wild it has more flesh-eating plants than people.
Can a place that sees 9 million visitors a year really have any surprises? You bet. We found three hikes full of unexpected history, scenery, and solitude.
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in North Carolina.
Sniff the rhododendrons and enjoy hiking the Valley Rim Trail in North Carolina's Valley River Mountains.
Some species look alike, but guess wrong and you could have a harmful mistake on your hands.
Take along your plant guidebooks for this flora-filled treasure.
History is carved in stone in this wild and scenic southern river corridor in North Carolina and Georgia.
A rugged land of sweet-smelling wildflowers, bald mountains, and stone Indians.
Hike with sea turtles, watch the dolphins play, and share the beach with ghost crabs.
Trade your flip-flops for hiking boots and explore a seaside trail.
Wind through what remains of a lost Carolina world.
Forthwith, interesting tidbits about Great Smoky's largest forest dwellers.
The bawling in the black night is the spring chorus of hooting barred owls.
Here's your insider's guide to The Great Smokies, probably the epitome of a true backpacker's national park.
The most old-growth forest in the east resides in North Carolina's Joyce Kilmer Wilderness.
It's not complete, but North Carolina's Mountains To Sea trail rivals Inman's journey in "Cold Mountain."
Drop off the lip of Linville Gorge into a world of rock escarpments, deep forests, and whitewater.
The ancient Uwharries have baffled geologists, but hikers know a good thing when they see it.