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Backpacker Magazine – February 2008

Backpacker's Readers' Choice Awards 2008

America's 100 Best Hikes–chosen by you.

by: The Backpacker Readers

Shenandoah National Park, Charles Gurche
Shenandoah National Park, Charles Gurche
Hemphill Bald Loop, Tim Johnson
Hemphill Bald Loop, Tim Johnson


Top Contributor Southeast
Tim Johnson
Morganton, NC
Age: 33
Miles hiked per year: 150
Killer trip report: Little Lost Cove Cliffs Loop, near Asheville, North Carolina. "This is by far my favorite. It's only about 45 minutes from home, and only 4.5 miles long, with beautiful scenary–great to convert a nonhiker."
What makes a great hike: "Variety. If I can see waterfalls, wildflowers, and views on the same hike, that's the best."
Can't live without: Trekking poles
Dream trip: "Everest basecamp. I have no desire to climb the mountain, just hike to the bottom."

Top 5 Downloads
1. Panther Creek Trail, Chattahoochee National Forest, GA Winding through a protected botanical area, this 10.8-miler–with great spots for swimming and fishing–meanders past gurgling streams, up steep bluffs, and alongside roaring waterfalls.
2. Charlies Bunion Loop, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC
3. Matthews Arm Loop, Shenandoah National Park, VA
4. Cohutta Mountain Loop, Cohutta Wilderness, GA
5. Hemphill Bald Loop, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC

1. Mt. Greylock via the Appalachian Trail, MA At 3,491 feet, Greylock is the highest point in Mass–we're talking five-state views on a clear day. This 15-mile stretch weaves in and out of hardwoods and finishes at a towering war memorial.
2. Hurd Corners to Morgan Stewart shelter, via the Appalachian Trail, NY
3. Fall Trails Loop, Ricketts Glen State Park, PA
4. Devil's Path, Catskill Mountains, NY
5. Mt. Katahdin via the AT, Baxter State Park, ME

Top Contributor

Dalton, NH
Age: 56
Miles hiked per year: 1,600
Killer trip report: A detailed 7.4-miler that hits the summits of Pierce and Eisenhower in the classic Presidential Range.
What's with the nickname? "I used to be a magician in Hollywood."
Mystical powers: "Last winter alone, I saved three groups in peril. And I find gear all the time–five Nalgenes, a 20°F bag, cameras."

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