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Backpacker Magazine – August 2008

Trip Finder: Waterfall Hikes

Nine ways to get your cascade fix from Tennessee to Montana.

by: Steve Johnson

Hyalite Creek, MT (Photo by Josh Gage)
Hyalite Creek, MT (Photo by Josh Gage)
St. Peter's Dome, WI (Photo by Paul McMahon
St. Peter's Dome, WI (Photo by Paul McMahon
Gregory Bald Loop, NC (Photo by Tim Seaver)
Gregory Bald Loop, NC (Photo by Tim Seaver)
Superior Hiking Trail, MN (Photo by Terry Donnelly)
Superior Hiking Trail, MN (Photo by Terry Donnelly)


Honey Creek Loop, TN
The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area spans 125,000 acres of gorges and bluffs near the Tennessee-Kentucky border. The Honey Creek Loop is a short but challenging six-mile strike to its four best drops. Perhaps inspired by erratic Moonshine Falls, the path staggers back and forth across the creek, then cuts into a canyon some call the East's only slot. Camp on a flat site by the Big South Fork, and curve south back to the trailhead.

Gregory Bald Loop, NC
This 16-miler is blessed with two Smokies icons: balds and falls. Follow Twentymile Trail past its namesake cascades before climbing steeply to the Upper Flats tent site. Day two is a scenic ascent to the 15-acre crest of Gregory Bald. Descend to the Sheep Pen Gap campsite, nestled in a glade with a spring nearby. End with a seven-mile cruise down Dalton Ridge.

Appalachian Trail, GA
At 729 feet, Amicalola Falls is the state's biggest drop. Warm up on Amicalola Falls State Park's 600-step stairway to its base. Then hoof it eight miles on the AT Approach Trail to Springer Mountain Shelter. Trek 7.6 miles through oaks to overnight at Long Creek Falls. Roll seven miles to Gooch Gap on day three. End with five miles to Woody, Georgia.

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Reader Rating: -


Mar 28, 2012

I think it's comical how those of us in Oregon want to keep the back country all to ourselves. However, when places like Bend,or Hood River in The Columbia River Gorge don't get on the list for "Americas Best Adventure Towns" people flip their lids about how these places need recognition

May 27, 2011

We Oregonians are so happy that you left our state off the list!! Thank you!!!

Sharon Elsey
May 26, 2011

Just wondering if you have ever been in Maryland. We have so many state and county forest areas here, 2 major waterfalls - one of which is enjoyed by boaters tremendously at Swallow Falls. I never ever read about our area and it is one of the most beautiful areas around. Just a note to let you know again. No worries.

Matthew Davis
May 26, 2011

Has anyone from Backpacker ever been to the Finger Lakes region of NY? It's got an amazing number of waterfalls and the FLT / NCT goes by many of them. I know that and I've only been there once!

Apr 25, 2010

We are looking for a 1-3 day hike w/in a few hours of Ithaca. Any suggestions?

You want waterfalls?
Sep 12, 2008

In New York state in the parks around Ithaca You have more waterfalls per square mile than almost anywhere. These provide swimming holes and breathtaking beauty just outside your back door.
D.K. Schmidt
Ithaca NY


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