SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
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 Backpacker.com


Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – October 2005

Best Damn Weekend Ever: Hike & Paddle the Benton MacKaye

Link two classic Southern rivers on a trek along the newly completed Benton MacKaye Trail in Tennessee and North Carolina.

by: Christopher Collier

PAGE 1 2

Tennessee's Ocoee River is among the most beloved whitewater paddling destinations in the United States. The nearby Hiwassee River is one of the top tailwater trout fisheries in the South. In the past, their proximity was nothing more than a footnote; there was no way to do both rivers without getting into a shuttle vehicle. Now? Their link-a new section of the 290-mile Benton MacKaye Trail-makes for one of the coolest 4-day adventures anywhere below the Mason-Dixon.

Named for the man who originally envisioned the Appalachian Trail, the recently completed BMT runs across the spine of the western Appalachians, hooking west where the AT runs north. And the new trail has something its venerable cousin lacks: light traffic. This quieter and more primitive path rolls past a wildly overgrown Southern wilderness of immense, moss-draped boulders, pristine creeks, and riverbanks thick with rhododendron. And it's all about as crowded as a sixth-grade dance floor.

The freewheeling 35-mile southeast Tennessee section features the two rivers as its adventurous bookends. Set up camp 100 miles north of Atlanta on the Ocoee's banks at Thunder Rock Campground, in 640,000-acre Cherokee National Forest. You'll be a mile or so upstream from the site of 1996 Olympic whitewater events, and downstream from where scores of freestyle kayakers do tricks in a rapid called Hell Hole. Join them in a funyak-a one-person raft that can take a paddler with basic skills through Class III-IV whitewater. A guide leads the way (details below), showing you how to read the river and choose lines, and how to ferry and surf in rapids.


PAGE 1 2


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

Reader Rating: -

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

Trailhead Register
Who Has The Lowest REI Member Number?
Posted On: Apr 17, 2014
Submitted By: hikerjer
The Political Arena
Knife control?
Posted On: Apr 17, 2014
Submitted By: Scot
Go
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 MyRockyMountainPark.com.

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:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions