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Backpacker Magazine – January 2011

Trip Finder: Southeast

Your favorite Southeast trips—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

by: Marcus Woolf

Table Rock, Foothills Trail, SC (Pat & Chuck Blackley).
Table Rock, Foothills Trail, SC (Pat & Chuck Blackley).


WILDLIFE Wetlands Trail Circuit, FL
Locals claim to see more gators and Florida red-bellied turtles in a day at Hillsborough River State Park than during a week in the Everglades. Find out for yourself on a seven-mile circuit connecting the Rapids, Baynard, Florida, and Wetlands Restoration Trails. Walk beneath a crown of live oaks, palms, and magnolias so thick they can block the sun. Best time for wildlife: March through May. Look riverside for fallen trees and rotting logs—they make ideal gator-sunning spots.

SUMMIT VIEWS Backbone Trail, LA
“This is a must for hikers living in South Louisiana,” says Travis Blair (above). “You’ll find rugged hills, rock outcrops, and a beautiful sandy stream at the Kisatchie Bayou trailhead.” Follow the 7.6-mile point-to-point over some of Louisiana’s hilliest terrain, crossing sandstone bluffs with views of wilderness pine forest. From the rocky ridge, the trail drops to the clear waters of Bayou Cypress and passes through swampy creek drainages.

FALLS & SWIMMING Bartram Trail, GA
At its confluence with the Chattooga River in the Chattahoochee National Forest, Dicks Creek Falls pours through notches in the wide, rocky streambed and gathers in shallow pools. The falls then plunge 60 feet over stair-stepped boulders into an Olympic-size swimming hole. From the south side of GA 28, this 9.1-mile, one-way hike winds along the hilly, rhododendron- and mountain laurel-draped banks of the Chattooga River to the roaring falls.

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