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North Carolina Hiking Trail Finder

This site is designed to provide quick access to informative North Carolina hiking websites. Hiking enthusiasts like you have posted excellent North Carolina hiking and backpacking pages on free web servers -- only to be ignored by search engines. The purpose of this site is to provide a way to find these personal hiking pages, and make your research easier.

  • Beech Creek - Chimney Rock Loop Trail good photos, some basic info. This is a really good site by Tony Presley, although it doesn't have the detailed trail description type info we look for. But you ought to check it out...Tony has his priorities straight.


  • Blue Ridge Parkway laundry list; thorough laundry list but no real details, good for search ideas. Site by NC Natural.


  • Boone Area Hiking club this is the "Chargers & Rechargers" hiking club, headquartered in Boone, hikes mostly in NW part of the state. Good group of folks.


  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore US National Park Service site. Not a heck of a lot of info for the hiker, but a useful site nonetheless.


  • Charlotte Area Carolina Bergs is a Charlotte area club formed in the 70's by people wanting to make friends with others who enjoy outdoor activities. The Bergs invite and encourage anyone with an interest in great outdoors to join the club. Membership is varied with families, married couples and singles of all ages. The types of outings that are regularly led are hiking, backpacking, canoe/kayak paddling (flat & whitewater), biking (street & mountain), skiing (cross-country & downhill), camping, and whitewater rafting. Most day trips are within hours of Charlotte to the mountains of North Carolina, South Carolina, or Virginia. Weekend trips can venture to as far away as Georgia for a black water swamp experience or to West Virginia for a ski trip. Some are fortunate enough to take one to two weeks for a ski trip to Colorado or a backpack trip to the desert area of Arizona. Looks like a good bunch.


  • General this is the hiking section of the northcarolinaoutdoors.com site by Paul Holcomb, which is the best all-around NC hiking site we've found so far. Click this one for sure.


  • General Free ebook here...this is a link to the USFS North Carolina's Annual Recreation Publication in pdf format. If you have a hi-speed connection or plenty of free time to stare at a download progress bar, you can grab the entire book at once. On the other hand, this page conveniently allows you to download smaller sections, one at a time, as you need them. It's quite a book, listing all USFS campgrounds and describing many recreation opportunities available in North Carolina's four national forests.


  • General -- North Carolina Waterfalls Hiking You'll find photos, directions to the falls, descriptions and ramblings about the areas and trail narratives. Very good site by Rich Stevenson.


  • General -- Western North Carolina Craggy Pinnacle, Mount Pisgah, Moore Creek Falls, Potato Knob, Mount Mitchell...all the usual suspects are on this site, plus dozens of trails you probably never heard of. It's supported with some of the best online maps and photos you'll find. An outstanding resource for hiking in the western part of the state; site by Jordan Mitchell.


  • General North Carolina Sierra Club website. Yes, they are political, and we don't understand why they fight to save the wilderness, then turn around and crash through with steel tipped hiking poles in both hands. Doesn't make much sense; then again, politics seldom do. Anyway, they do promote some good stuff and organize numerous worthwhile outings, and hey, it's better than joining the North Carolina Wilderness Housing Development Golf Course and ATV Trail PAC.


  • General interesting N2Backpacking.com site by Steve Goodrich. Good site to click around; lots of interesting stuff.


  • General -- North Carolina Waterfalls short page with links to waterfall photos by Jon Maloney. Many are small, little-known falls along hiking trails...and the link below...


  • General here's the TrailsofNC.com site, which provides short but solid write ups with photos, directions and info on about a dozen key trails, with new ones being added continuously. As of May 2007, the site features write ups on trails found at Blue Ridge Parkway, Eno River State Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Hanging Rock State Park, Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Mingo Falls Trail (a short 1/2 mile deal in the Swain Mountains), Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area, Swift Creek Bluffs Nature Preserve, Tom's Creek Falls Trail (McDowell Mountains), West Point on the Eno Park, and White Pines Nature Preserve. We'll keep an eye on this site and let you know how it grows -- right now well worth a click if any of the above interest you.


  • General - Southwest NC The best part of Jon Maloney's site isn't necessarily the waterfalls (see link immediatley above) but this one, which has some 30+ trails scattered throughout SW North Carolina, including Mountains-to-Sea Trail, Pilot Rock, Sam Knob, Bartram Trail, Art Loeb Trail, Bennett Gap, Cat Gap, Farlow Gap...you name it. As mentioned elsewhere, I like the way Jon provides mile by mile details; his reports are worth printing out and taking along.


  • General - Western NC Here's a blog by a gentleman named Mark Peacock that focuses on hiking in the Appalachian highlands of Western North Carolina, Eastern Tennessee, Great Smokies, etc. Good blog offerings range from hike descriptions to random observations about the region and some excellent photos. Has a good indexing feature on the lower right hand side of the site that will enable you to call up each entry on a given location or topic. Good stuff, well worth looking at.


  • General - Blue Ridge Mountains this is the MountainTrailHiker.com website by Ted Murray, heavy emphasis on photography. Good site for getting a visual for key hiking destinations in NC. Has some brief descriptions, and some video as well.


  • Graham County Area A large portion (68%) of Graham County is located within the boundaries of the Nantahala National Forest which is administered by the United States Forest Service . Hiking trails abound in all parts of the county. There are over 40 trails varying in scenery, terrain, and degree of difficulty. The trails range from mountain top panoramas to lake side vistas. Real good site maintained by Tom Livingston of Robbinsville, NC. Includes descriptions (Tom says they're brief but we think they're just fine) directions, all sorts of info.


  • Great Smoky Mountains NP hiking site subsection of the HikingtheCarolinas.com website. Excellent, excellent site. If you are headed to the Great Smoky Mountain NP, you must click this one. Well done. Nice photos, descriptions, you name it.


  • Highlands Area here's a nice guide to some day hikes in the vicinity of Highlands and Cashiers. It's on the HighlandHiker.com site, a respected retailer in the region. Click to this page and you'll find helpful directions/descriptions for five popular hikes: Chattooga River Head Trail, Granite City Trail, Satulah Mountain Trail, Sunset Rock Trail and Whiteside Mountain Trail. Good info here.


  • Jackson County Area this is a laundry list page by CampingNC.com which only lists a dozen or so trails but has good info and directions to get your hike started.


  • Linville Gorge "The Grand Canyon of North Carolina." Nice overall introduction to the region on the NCNatural.com website.


  • Looking Glass Rock - Pisgah National Forest 6.8 mi trail with 1600'+ elevation change. Described in mile marker detail (with tenths) by Jon Maloney. Directions, details, you name it. Worth printing out and taking with you.


  • Mt. Mitchell This page describes the Old Mitchell Trail from the Visitor Center to Mt. Mitchell, and the Deep Gap Trail from Mt. Mitchell to Cattail Peak. Has map, description, notes, and superb photos. Outstanding page by Arnt Flatmo of Norway.

  • Mountains to Sea Trail official page of the North Carolina Mountains to Sea Trail, which, as the name implies, connects the Appalachians with...can you guess? Nice site, links to maps, narratives, you name it.


  • Nantahala National Forest loaded with hiking trails. We need to refine this link; in the meantime, you'll have to navigate to the hiking info yourself. Sorry about that. Anyway, great hiking area.


  • Nantahala National Forest -- Joyce Kilmer Trail It is an easy 2 mile figure 8 loop that travels through one of the few remaining tracts of virgin hardwood forests in the Appalachians. 3800 acres of this primeval forest were dedicated as a living memorial to poet Joyce Kilmer.


Stopped in Charlotte and bypassed Rock Hill...

My lovely wife Sandy has a "Hike North Carolina" sweatshirt that she seems to wear whenever and wherever we go hiking. Mt. Rainier? Hike North Carolina. Sedona? Hike North Carolina. No problem, other than the photographs tend to create confusion for the geographically challenged.

North Carolina offers such varied terrain...dunes, cypress swamps, piedmont, sand hills, ridge and valley, until finally, the great heights of the Appalachians...it can be quite confusing even for a geographical whiz. I, for instance, understand North Carolina thoroughly: Stick to the beaches, it's much easier hiking than the mountains.

All kidding aside, the book to start with for those unfamiliar with a lot of hiking opportunities is Randy Johnson's Hiking North Carolina from the FalconGuide series. This covers all the "key" hikes, with enough details so that you can't get lost. Unless, of course, you saw that picture of my wife at the North Carolina glacier. Seriously, it's a very helpful book, with a little of everything.

If you've already got a good handle on what the state has to offer, and you think you've done the key hikes, the grand-dad of all NC guides is North Carolina Hiking Trails by Allen De Hart. It's not for the novice or faint of heart. Two other, more specialized guides include Trails of the Triangle: 170 Hikes in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill Area, also by De Hart, and my personal favorite, Robert Leonard Williams' 50 Hikes in the Mountains of North Carolina: Walks and Hikes from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Great Smokies. The former is a must-have for any avid hiker in the land of Duke and Wake and whatnot, and the latter is typical of the 50 Hikes series...great book, great trails, great descriptions, lousy photos. Of course I didn't see anybody wearing a "Hike Arizona" sweatshirt.

If you knew that the lyric above, "stopped in Charlotte and bypassed Rock Hill" was lifted from the Chuck Berry-penned Promised Land, give yourself 4 slackpacker trivia points. If you thought of Elvis's version, add 1 point; Freddy Weller's, add 3 points.

-- Rick Bolger

Want to add YOUR North Carolina hiking page? It's free, it's easy, and there are no strings attached. Please click the "submit a site" button, above left, for instructions and complete information.

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I found it cd by Brady RymerGot kids? Recently caught this guy, Brady Rymer, at a show in the northeast. Infectious to say the least, a fun, energetic sing-along type thing had the audience singing and grinning from ear to ear. Now don't ask why, but I bought the CD (my own kids are teenagers) and now I can't get these tunes out of my head. If you've got kids between the ages of 2 and 7 or thereabouts, you'll just love this music. So much better musically and lyrically than the usual drivel recorded for kids, that mind-numbing stuff that drives you nuts. If you don't have kids, you'll have to think up some other excuse for buying it. And when you do, let me know, because my daughters think I'm crazy. Not sure where'd you find it in stores, so here's a direct link to Amazon.com for I Found It! and again, the singer's name is Brady Rymer. Just great stuff, excellent gift for pre-K kids. Below is a preview, just click the little Youtube thingy if you're interested...

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