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Backpacker Magazine – May 2009

America's Best Day Hikes: South

Take is stunning rivers and waterfalls, killer views, and amazing wildlife in Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and Texas with these hikes.

by: Alistair Wearmouth

Rhododendron Trail (Diane Johnson)
Rhododendron Trail (Diane Johnson)




Cascades National Recreation Trail, VA 4 miles (Easy)
Need to cool off, fast? This out-and-back hike near Blacksburg climbs 700 feet over two miles of rock- and root-studded terrain, quickly reaching a cold-water oasis at Cascades Falls. Here, Little Stoney Creek dumps 66 feet into a wide hollow; the spring-fed water remains chilly year-round, which keeps the swimming hole from getting overcrowded despite the easy access. Season Summer for swimming, winter to see the frozen falls
Info (540) 552-4641

Chinnabee Silent Trail, AL 11.8 miles (Moderate)
As the name of this trail implies, you won't hear more than a gurgling creek and chirping cicadas on the round-trip from Lake Chinnabee to 2,005-foot Talladega Mountain. Two miles from the start you'll pass waterfalls at Devil's Den and Cheaha Falls–and their respective swimming holes–but save your dip for after the 1,000-foot climb up Talladega.
Season March-November
Info (256) 362-2909

Chattooga Trail, SC 13.3 miles (Difficult)
The iconic Chattooga River is the domain of solitude-loving hikers and trout-loving anglers along this rugged stretch of trail (and boat-free river). The one-way route hugs the river, save for a three-mile stretch where the water picks up some class V teeth in narrow Rock Gorge. Start at the trailhead on SC 28.
Season Year-round Info (864) 638-9569

Tallulah Gorge, SC 4 miles (Moderate)
This out-and-back dives to the bottom of a 1,000-foot gorge that shelters rare regional treasures like the green salamander–and a sweet swimming hole at Bridal Veil Falls. Season April-October Info (706) 754-7970

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Reader Rating: -

Jun 11, 2012

I am looking for Ron Grimm from WV. Is that you that posted?

Oct 07, 2011

Sigh!!! I have to wonder about the accuracy of the BP magizine itself w/ all of these problems lately.

Oct 07, 2011

Sigh!!! I have to wonder about the accuracy of the BP magizine itself w/ all of these problems lately.

Sep 01, 2011

My wife and I have hiked the entire Chattooga River over a period of about 5 years. Some parts we have covered numerous times. The best trails, and most continuous, are on the SC side up into NC. Our favorite stretches are from SC 28 to Ellicotts Rock, the stretch from the gravel Bullpen Road (NC) to the river's birth at Whiteside Cove, and the trail from the Fish Hatchery along the East Fork to its intersection with the Chattooga. We have backpacked in 7 national parks out West, and the Chattooga remains near the top of our favorites list. Shhh, let's keep it on the down low.

ron grimm
Feb 17, 2011

Tallulah Gorge is in Georgia, not South Carolina. Phone number appears correct.

Also Chattooga River Trail is in both South Carolina and Georgia. Chattooga River is boundary between the two states; a portion of the trail is on the west bank Georgia, and a portion on the east bank South Carolina.

Jul 20, 2009

With all the beautiful trails in north Georgia, you pick 2 of the busiest. Even worse, you don't give the correct state.

Jun 29, 2009

Jun 29, 2009

Tallulah Gorge is in Georgia! NOT SC.


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