Paddle an Outer Banks island, hit a new trail in Tennessee, stargaze in Pennsylvania, and grab nine more adventures.
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.
Snake along hidden inlets as you follow the shore of America's largest inland peninsula.
Check out the River Trail in South Carolina, the Florida Trail, or a loop in Mississippi and Virginia.
Our favorite high-risk, high-reward adventures in North America.
Our trail scouts' top local hikes
Hike to life-list hot spots without waiting in life-list lines. These under-the-radar trails deliver everything but the crowds.
Jump-start your hiking season on these spring-ready trips from around the country.
See Shenandoah's tallest waterfall, traverse secluded ridgelines, score cliff-top panoramas, swim beneath falls, and walk through wildflowers and oak stands on the Florida Trail.
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.
For sheltered scenery high above the trees, there's no better place than a fire tower. Try one of these editor-approved hikes to backcountry rooms with a view.
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.
We traveled to Fjordland and discovered that nothing compares to skiing glacier-clad mountains above deep-water fjords. Plus: 20 winter adventures, from California to New York.
Find the best skiing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and winter camping trips in the U.S.
The best hikes near Knoxville, TN.
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.
Contemplate the south's wild side on the trail that launched America's greatest wilderness champion.
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.
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.)
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.
Think you know all there is to know about these famous peaks? Get an insider's guide right here.
It's not the tallest peak in the Smokies, but spend a night on its summit (no tent required), and you'll agree it's the finest.
A unique route linking historic homesteads yields an exciting Smokies adventure for hikers and history buffs alike.
From secret spots to the perfect campsites, this insider's guide has the goods on the Smokies.
See glowing plankton, mushrooms, and bugs on these brilliant adventures.
Nine ways to get your cascade fix from Tennessee to Montana.
Smelling the flowers doesn't require slowing down your trek (though you might want to) through the explosion of wildflowers that cover the Great Smoky Mountains each year.
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.
Discover the best hike in every state, as voted by BACKPACKER readers. Plus: your essential gear, most desirable tentmate, worst-ever adventure movie, and our picks for the best reader-submitted photos.
Drowning in beauty
Trek the best spring blooms from the Ozarks to the Olympics with these two, three, and four day treks.
Check out the steepest trail, the best swimming hole, and the wildest vista in America's most popular national park.
Whether you are after fishing holes or skinny-dipping, Backpacker tracked down the best campsites in the country
Get ready to feel puny--and profoundly grateful--on three hikes through ancient forests.
16 wild ways to find backcountry solitude and big-time scenery. All this, and you can bring the ice chest, too.
Push yourself on any of these challenging hikes
There's a science to why we love waterfalls: When water crashes earthward, it releases negatively charged ions that--you can't make this stuff up--some researchers think can reduce anxiety. Spring is when cascades' spigots open full bore, so head off on these three beguiling treks for a dose of nature's backcountry Rx.
A downright goofy dome marks this highpoint.
Mellow temperatures, low water and autumn colors make for a perfect time in the Smokies
A thousand-foot-deep gorge is the centerpiece of this tri-state park.
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 Tennessee.
If you're a backpacking purist, Tennessee's new Cumberland Trail was made for you.
In winter, the glasslike menagerie of icicles in the Cumberland Plateau will send a chill down your spine.
Once an impassable, swampy "ghost river," now a paddler's dream.
Hike from Kentucky to Tennessee along an inland peninsula.
Waterfalls and swimming holes aplenty.
Why choose between breezy peaks and cool streams when you can have both at Big Frog Wilderness?
Great Smoky's Gregory Bald features an amazing crown of wild azaleas.
Big South Fork provides Utah-quality arches in Tennessee.
In a park full of natural wonder, the route to Maddron Bald hits the high points.
Forthwith, interesting tidbits about Great Smoky's largest forest dwellers.
There are scads of bears in Great Smoky Mountains National Park -- so don't forget these tips.
Here's your insider's guide to The Great Smokies, probably the epitome of a true backpacker's national park.