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Backpacker Magazine – March 2014

From the Field: East

Our trail scouts' top local hikes.

by: Sarah Stewart

(Photo by Rich Pope) See Mt. Tammany from the Minsi summit (Mile 2.1)
(Photo by Rich Pope) See Mt. Tammany from the Minsi summit (Mile 2.1)

DeSoto State Park Loop, DeSoto SP, AL

Brittney Hughes
Fort Payne, AL

Glimpse waterfalls and early-blooming wildflowers on this 4.2-mile figure-eight in Alabama’s Appalachian corner on the Red, Orange, and Blue Trails. At mile .7, reach 6-foot Laurel Falls beneath a hardwood canopy. Cross lichen-covered sandstone, where pale-pink elf orpine blooms in rock depressions, en route to 5-foot Lost Falls at mile 1.7. Nab 25-foot Indian Falls at the start of the second, 1.8-mile loop along West Fork Little River. Trip data 

Awendaw Passage, Francis Marion NF, SC

David Loveland
Mt. Pleasant, SC

Snag a rare, dry-land perspective of a salt marsh on this 7-mile section of the 425-mile Palmetto Trail. Hike 2 miles under pines to Awendaw Creek, a tidal expanse of golden-hued spartina grass flanked by low-hanging oaks. Watch for egrets, herons, osprey, and—especially at low tide—fiddler crabs and oystercatchers. See the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic before entering a longleaf pine forest for the final 2 miles. Trip data

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