Local Hikes: Southeast

Climb to two killer views, see the South's best flowers, and hike to secluded falls. (Click linked trips for GPS waypoints, photos, and more.)

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(Map by Andrew Matranga.)


(Map by Andrew Matranga.)

1. Favorite multiday: Tricorner Loop

This 31-mile Smokies trek is an instant classic. It rises from dense, colorful undergrowth—ferns, trilliums, and rhododendrons—through Christmas-scented firs to the tops of 5,000-foot ridges. Hone your map skills: You’ll bushwhack to eight peaks taller than 6,000 feet. Tip: Thru-hikers crowd trails in April.

2. Classic day: Mt. LeConte

Climb 13 miles up and over this 6,593-foot summit on the Appalachian, Boulevard, and Alum Cave Trails.

3. Best wildflowers: Art Loeb Trail

Take a long weekend in mid-May to backpack this rolling 30.1-mile point-to-point through freshly blooming dogwood, magnolia, azalea, and trillium. Camp on grassy Black Balsam Knob. No fastpacking allowed.

4. Premier falls hike: Raven Cliff Falls

Hike 2.5 miles and see four thundering falls. Raven drops 60 feet through a granite slot.

5. Killer view: Blood Mountain

Peer into the most mountainous parts of three states from the summit.

6. Best foliage: Signal Mountain

Take the Cumberland Trail to an upper-deck view of blazing Tennessee River Gorge hardwoods.

Quick City Escapes

Amazon’s best-selling guidebook authors choose killer dayhikes near…

Atlanta from Marcus Woolf

Afoot & Afield Atlanta: A Comprehensive Hiking Guide, Afoot and Afield, $19

> West Lake and East Lake Trails, Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve

> Park Loop, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield

> Ocmulgee River Trail, Oconee NF

Charlotte from Jennifer Davis

Best Easy Day Hikes Charlotte, Falcon, $10

> Rocktop Trail, Crowders Mountain SP

> Lakeshore Loop, Lake Norman SP

> Fall Mountain Loop, Morrow Mountain SP

Nashville from Johnny Molloy

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Nashville, Menasha Ridge Press, $18

> Meriwether Lewis Loop, Meriwether Lewis National Monument

> Flat Rock Cedar Glades and Barrens Hike Trail, Flat Rock Cedar Glades and Barrens State Natural Area

> Narrows of Harpeth Trail, Harpeth River SP