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Backpacker Magazine – May 2012

Local Hikes

Jump-start your hiking season on these spring-ready trips from around the country.

Phantom Falls, CA (Photo by Adrien Patane)
Phantom Falls, CA (Photo by Adrien Patane)
Windy Mountain Loop, MT (Photo by Stacey Thurlow)
Windy Mountain Loop, MT (Photo by Stacey Thurlow)
Pike Island Loop, MN (Photo by Steffan Fay)
Pike Island Loop, MN (Photo by Steffan Fay)
Orchard Beach-Twin Island Loop, NY (Photo by MacKenzie Ryan)
Orchard Beach-Twin Island Loop, NY (Photo by MacKenzie Ryan)
Leon Sinks Loop, FL (Photo by Eli Schelin)
Leon Sinks Loop, FL (Photo by Eli Schelin)

HIKES IN THE SOUTHEAST

Asheville, NC
Appalachian Trail: Brown Gap to Max Patch

Delicate pink-and-white mountain laurel hits peak bloom in late May along this 6.9-mile section of the AT, which traces the North Carolina-Tennessee border en route to 360-degree views atop grassy, 4,629-foot Max Patch. Trip ID 42374

Atlanta, GA
Gahuti Backcountry Trail

Tunnel through thickets of May-blooming rhododendron on this undulating 7.9-mile lap circling Fort Mountain State Park. Look for the remains of an 855-foot-long rock wall believed to have been built by Native Americans (the park is named for the relic). Trip ID 8223

Knoxville, TN
Ridge-to-Waterfall Loop

The hollows and ridges of 3,500-acre Bays Mountain Park serve up a sweet sampling of Appalachian spring. On this 12-mile route, you’ll find pink lady slippers beneath trailside hemlocks, and hooded warblers, scarlet tanagers, and pileated and downy woodpeckers in the leafy canopy. Keep an eye out for black bears and beavers, too. The latter are particularly active in spring, when sap flow returns. Another highlight: 50-mile views into four states (Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina) from the 2,465-foot lookout. Trip ID 36480

Memphis, TN
Chickasaw Bluff

The 13,467-acre Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park’s blend of mature bottomland hardwoods and upland forest boasts 200 species of birds and a wide variety of vegetation. Look for blooming yellow tulip poplar trees and red buckeye in the understory on this 7.7-mile, one-way trek to 125-acre Poplar Tree Lake. Trip ID 6948

Tallahassee, FL
Leon Sinks Loop

Explore a swampy, sinkhole-laden landscape—with a network of caves and deep blue pools—beneath the shade of oaks, tupelo, and citrus-smelling magnolias (blooming April and May) on this 4.4-mile loop inside a half million-acre national forest. Trip ID 22892




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Rick J.
Jun 14, 2012

I agree with Andy B. about the quality of the Backpacker website. Lots of good information but a challenge to get around in the site plus slow response time. Needs an overhaul. And being a subscriber to the magazine, it's maddening to have the ever present pop-up urging me to subscribe. Why not offer a way to have subcribers log in and avoid that nuisance?

Rick J.
Jun 14, 2012

I agree with Andy B. about the quality of the Backpacker website. Lots of good information but a challenge to get around in the site plus slow response time. Needs an overhaul. And being a subscriber to the magazine, it's maddening to have the ever present pop-up urging me to subscribe. Why not offer a way to have subcribers log in and avoid that nuisance?

Andy B.
Jun 14, 2012

The trip ID for Phantom Falls is not right, or I'm not doing something right. Is it too difficult for you to provide a direct link to these hikes in the article??? I swear, the Backpacker website is one of the worst on the web. So much potential not realized.

AZ Hiker
Jun 14, 2012

And don't forget to read Felix! the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart (Amazon). Learn what survival items to keep in your vehicle, how to get rescued, and how to navigate your way with and without a map or compass. A fast, easy read that could save your life and will definitely make your adventure more safe and enjoyable!

daviswavis
Jun 14, 2012

What no Michigan hikes???

Richard Davies
Jun 14, 2012

"Trip ID: Get free maps and GPS data by adding the Trip ID to backpacker.com/hikes/______."

This is the web, is adding a link to each hike too much for you? You should add the link instead of requiring us to manually piece it together.

Harrison
Jun 14, 2012

Bays Mountain Park is located outside of Kingsport, TN, not Knoxville.

Harrison
Jun 14, 2012

Bays Mountain Park is located outside of Kingsport, TN, not Knoxville.

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