2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on

Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – February/March 2013

Trail Mix — East — March 2013

Your region's go-now guide: Visit a new hikers' hostel connected to 50 miles of trail in Maine's Bigelow Mountains, see the rare Oconee bell in South Carolina's Jocassee Gorges area, explore the world's longest mapped cave system near Louisville, and more.

by: Graham Averill (See This Now), Ryan Pinkard, Nathan Pipenberg (This Just In), and Rachel Zurer

Lower Panther Falls (Photo by Carl Donohue)
Photo by BP0313TRIPE_TM_Donohue_PantherFalls_bjk_445x260.jpg
Lower Panther Falls (Photo by Carl Donohue)
Oconee Bell (Photo by Rob Travis)
Photo by BP0313TRIPE_TM_Travis_OconeeBell_bjk_445x260.jpg
Oconee Bell (Photo by Rob Travis)
InstaWinner Ben Budd: Kyle Hunicke on Shortoff Mountain (Photo by Ben Budd)
Photo by BP0313TRIPE_TM_Budd_Linville_bjkINSTAGRAM2_445x260.jpg
InstaWinner Ben Budd: Kyle Hunicke on Shortoff Mountain (Photo by Ben Budd)

Perfect Days
Atlanta, GA
Panther Creek Trail
Pass five waterfalls—including 50-foot Lower Panther Falls, which tumbles down a wide, tiered ledge—on this 10.8-mile out-and-back in Chattahoochee National Forest. Start early, so you can sip crisp, white Petit Manseng at Tiger Mountain Vineyards before they close at 5 p.m. ( Trip ID 32355
Burlington, VT
Cotton Brook Loop
Don’t let snow or mud season get you down; target this erosion-resistant, 9.9-mile loop on old gravel roads on the edge of Mt. Mansfield State Forest for views of the 3,000-foot Worcester Range. Then treat yourself to a factory tour—or a scoop of Cherry Garcia—at Ben & Jerry’s, just 15 minutes away from the trailhead ( Trip ID 8335
Louisville, KY
Sal Hollow Loop, Mammoth Cave NP
Link the Sal Hollow and Buffalo Trails into a 10.5-mile loop through hardwood forest and past seasonal waterfalls across the roof of the world’s longest mapped cave system. Take a cave tour in the park, of course (options range from one hour to six; tickets required), then, on your way home, cap the 
day with a ride down the state’s only alpine slide ($5, Trip ID 26255

This Just In
Maine’s newest backcountry ecolodge connects tough climbs with cushy comforts. 
Winter in western Maine just got a little less harsh, thanks to a new hikers’ hostel connected to more than 50 miles of trail in the shadow of the Bigelow Mountains. The Stratton Brook Hut, which opened in December, is the fourth in a planned 12-hut, 180-mile trail system (see for a trip linking the other three). Creating each shelter requires considerable effort, including fundraising from corporate sponsors and brokering agreements with landowners, explains Nicole Freedman, director of Maine Huts and Trails, the nonprofit spearheading the project. It took about 14 months to construct Stratton Brook, which sleeps 44 and, like the system’s other huts, provides showers and meals. Use it as a base for a burly winter ascent of Bigelow Mountain, hitting 4,145-foot West Peak and 4,088-foot Avery on a 9.4-mile trek (bring snowshoes or mini crampons). Or try a mellower, 12.4-mile, two-night point-to-point linking the Stratton Brook and Poplar Huts (shuttles available). Winter reservations are tight: Aim for weekdays and plan in advance (call by mid-March for winter 2013-14). Contact (207) 265-2400;

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Trailhead Register
Your favorite backpacking photo
Posted On: Aug 22, 2014
Submitted By: Echo
Trailhead Register
Stick is fine
Posted On: Aug 22, 2014
Submitted By: JasonG75
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions