Backpacking North Carolina: The Definitive Guide to 43 Can't-Miss Trips from Mountains to Sea

Backpacking North Carolina: The Definitive Guide to 43 Can't-Miss Trips from Mountains to Sea

by Joe Miller


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Joe Miller brings us the first-ever stand-alone guidebook to backpacking in North Carolina, a state long known as a terrific backpacking destination. Covering 43 of the best trips the state has to offer, Backpacking North Carolina provides all the information necessary for beginning and experienced backpackers alike to enjoy hiking destinations from the mountains to the coast. Each trip description offers key maps and navigation information, including water sources and camping spots, as well as trip highlights and special considerations. Miller offers tips for enriching the experience, such as filling dark nights with stargazing and other activities, and gives advice for backpacking with children. Offering his expertise in a way that emphasizes the accessibility of backpacking, Miller encourages a wide range of nature lovers to give it a try, perhaps for the first time. Several "best-of" lists are included, featuring trips with exceptional nature study opportunities, water recreation, and easy excursions for beginners. Backpacking North Carolina takes the reader deep into a state full of natural wonder and adventure.

Backpacking North Carolina has all the essentials for planning your trip, whether a quick weekend getaway or a longer adventure:

Trips for beginner and expert backpackers alike
Helpful essays to introduce each trail and its features
Gear and safety advice for year-round backpacking
Major points of interest highlighted on each trip
Family-friendly trails and easy bailouts for when hiking with children
Detailed trail maps and directions to trailheads
Elevation profiles for each hike
Estimated hike times and level of difficulty
Camping permit requirements
GPS coordinates for water sources and good camping spots
Bullet lists of best trips for fishing, bird watching, waterfalls, and more

Southern Gateways Guide is a registered trademark of the University of North Carolina Press

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807871836
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 03/21/2011
Series: Southern Gateways Guides
Edition description: 1
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 588,512
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Joe Miller is an outdoors and fitness writer based in Cary, N.C. He produces the outdoor recreation blog and is author of 100 Classic Hikes in North Carolina.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

Backpacking Then and Now 3

Backpacking in North Carolina 4

Weather 6

Hunting 7

Trip Planning 7

How to use this Book 11

Backpack Checklist 17

Best Trips by Category 19

Resources 29

Locator Map 31

The Trips

Blue Ridge Escarpment/North

Black Mountains 37

1 Black Mountains: Mount Mitchell/Colbert Ridge Approach 38

2 Black Mountains: Mount Mitchell Trail 42

3 Black Mountains: Woody Ridge/Crest Trail 46

Grandfather Mountain 50

4 Grandfather Mountain: Profile Trail (west approach) 51

5 Grandfather Mountain: Daniel Boone Scout Trail (east approach) 54

Linville Gorge 58

6 Linville Gorge 59

7 Linville Gorge: East Rim 63

Wilson Creek 66

8 Wilson Creek: Hunt Fish Falls Loop 67

9 Wilson Creek: Harper Creek/North Harper Creek Loop 71

10 Wilson Creek: Schoolhouse Ridge Loop 74

Other Trips in the Vicinity

11 Doughton Park: Basin Cove Loop 78

12 Stone Mountain State Park 83

13 Montreat: Graybeard Mountain 87

Blue Ridge Escarpment/South

Shining Rock Wilderness 95

14 Shining Rock: Sam Knob Loop 96

15 Shining Rock: Ivestor Gap 100

16 Shining Rock: Daniel Boone Loop 104

Great Smoky Mountains

Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Smokies) 109

17 Smokies: Mount Sterling 109

18 Smokies: Cataloochee Valley 113

19 Smokies: Clingman's Dome Approach 118

20 Smokies: Deep Creek Loop 122

21 Smokies: Shuckstack/Lost Cove/Lakeshore (short loop) 127

22 Smokies: Shuckstack/AT/Eagle Creek/Lakeshore (long loop) 127

Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail (AT) 133

23 AT: Carvers Gap to us 19E 133

24 AT: Max Patch (short trip) 137

25 AT: Max Patch to Hot Springs 142

26 AT: Hot Springs to Rich Mountain Loop 146

27 AT: Standing Indian Loop 150

Southern Mountains

28 Panthertown Valley 157

Fires Creek 161

29 Fires Creek: Rim Trail 162

30 Fires Creek: East Rim 166

31 Fires Creek: West Rim 170

Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness

Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness 177

32 Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness: Naked Ground Loop 177

33 Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness: Slickrock Creek Loop 181


34 South Mountains State Park 189

35 Uwharrie National Forest: Birkhead Wilderness 193

36 Uwharrie National Forest: Uwharrie Recreation Trail 196

37 Umstead State Park 200

38 Falls Lake: Mountains-to-Sea Trail 204

39 Eno River State Park: Mountains-to-Sea Trail 210

40 Raven Rock State Park 214

41 Crowders Mountain State Park 218


42 Croatan National Forest: Neusiok Trail 225

43 Hammocks Beach State Park: Bear Island 229

Index 233

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Finally, a backpacking guide for ALL of North Carolina! Joe gives us everything we need to enjoy a night (or longer) under the stars all across the state. His refreshing writing style makes this book as much fun to read as it is useful in the field.—Kevin Adams, photographer and author of North Carolina Waterfalls: A Hiking and Photography Guide

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