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Trip Finder: Appalachians

Your favorite Appalachians hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

High Knob Trail, VA
When an arsonist burned down the fire tower atop 4,223-foot High Knob in southwest Virginia in 2007, locals quickly galvanized around an effort to rebuild. It’s no surprise why: The five-state, 100-mile view over the rolling hills of George Washington National Forest will make your knees quiver more than the 5.8-mile (round-trip), 2,000-vertical-foot hike. Take the High Knob Trail from the trailhead in Brandywine Recreation Area on WV 33. Reconstruction is set to begin this spring.
HISTORY Groveton Loop, VA
“The cost of freedom and ideals was paid for handsomely here in Virginia,” says Dwayne Hoffman (above). Explore the sites of two Civil War skirmishes (the Battles of Bull Run) in Manassas National Battlefield on a 6.2-mile loop through field and forest. Start at the Stonewall Jackson memorial and pass an old hospital and two memorials to the Battles of Bull Run. According to local legend, the ghosts of fallen soldiers still haunt the Groveton Confederate Cemetery.

FLORA Colbert Creek to Mt. Mitchell, NC
Start this 14-mile out-and-back on the difficult Colbert Ridge Trail in the Carolina Hemlocks Recreation Area. After 3.8 miles, take the Black Mountain Range Crest Trail. Hike it in August to see the meadows lit with orange tiger lilies and a profusion of waist-high pink turtlehead. Follow the blossoms up 6,647-foot Mt. Craig. “The flowers shoot out of the rock up there,” says Gabriel Butler (below). Continue to North Carolina’s highpoint, 6,684-foot Mt. Mitchell, then hike back.

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