When I was about 5 years old, my parents took me on my first big hike up Sugarloaf mountain in northern Maine. I barely remember the climb that first time, or the way that the steep pathways stretched out before us. I didn’t remember the way that the shade felt damp and cool, with just brief moments of sunshine sneaking through the web of leaves. But I’ll never forget the view from the top.
When we stepped out of the edge of the forest, a field of wild flowers laid out before us. It was like a place I could never have imagined, and never will forget. I haven’t climbed it since then, so my memory of the way up relies on pictures and the way my parents described it. I’ve climbed so many mountains since then, that each seems to blend into the other in my mind.
The East Coast is covered in some of the most amazing hikes I’ve ever been on, each with their own challenges. Hiking is really popular in our area, because we’re only a few hours from the Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Mt. Katadin in Maine to southern Georgia. It’s one of the most difficult and lengthy hikes in the world, so those who decide to take it on are no joke.
Whenever I travel somewhere new, I look for hikes in the surrounding area so that I can really take in the scenery. It doesn’t have to be anything super long or difficult, and it’s actually kind of nice to get a mixture of both if I can. I’ve hiked a lot of mountains, but there are still so many I want to see. Here are some of my must-see hikes on the East Coast!
Location: New Hampshire
Elevation: 6,289 ft.
As the largest mountain east of the Mississippi, Mt. Washington means serious business. I’ve made it all the way to the top of Tuckerman’s Ravine, which is the basin before the summit at about 5,000 ft. But I’ve actually never made it to the top. As you get closer, the temperature drops very quickly, and things can get pretty dangerous. The weather changes in an instant, and the last thing you want is to get stuck up there. So the last 3 times I’ve climbed it, I had to turn around unfortunately. But someday I’ll make it to the top!
ART LOEB TRAIL
Location: Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina
Elevation: 6,000 +/- ft.
This trail is made up out of 4 large peaks, totaling in about 30 miles of terrain. There’s a slim chance I could hike all of it, but I would love to see atleast 2 of the peaks. This trail is known for its rolling hills and big sky views, with paths that vary from easy to extremely difficult. The surrounding area is beautiful as well, making it the perfect spot for a mini vacation!
JACKS RIVER TRAILS
Location: Northern Georgia
This trail is unique compared to the others on my list, because the view isn’t found in the elevation. The view is found all along the trail, which winds endlessly around creeks and rivers, eventually bringing you to Jacks River Falls, which is an 80 ft. crystal clear drop. If you don’t have a full day to spare, there are shorter routes that can take you directly to the falls as well.
SASSAFRAS MOUNTAIN TRAIL
Location: South Carolina
Elevation: 1,900 ft.
What interests me most about this hike is the fact that they call it a “one way trip”. It’s deemed to be very difficult, and experienced hikers recommend that you park one car on each end, and try to travel with 2-4 people atleast. The trails themselves run through some very thick forest, so the view at the top would be amazing in the fall.
LOOKING GLASS ROCK TRAIL
Location: North Carolina
Elevation: 1,696 ft.
This trail is extremely versatile for beginners and experts alike, and is one of few dogs friendly trails in the area. It’s surrounded by other trails that forms a giant spider web across Brevard, NC and the surrounding towns. I would love to explore different parts of each of them, but I would definitely wait until summer due to the difficulty rating. There are also many streams and rivers along each trail, and parts of it are accessible by bike.
What hikes are on your list? Have you completed any of these?