Hiking in North Carolina
Hikers and backpackers: be warned! Entering North Carolina’s territory may put you in a very uncompromising situation, lest you have all the precious time in the world to savor all the ridges and slopes that the state has to offer. As if the fact that North Carolina is adorned with four national forests (that translates to 2.9 million acres of preserved land), ten national wildlife refuges, 35 state parks as well as beaches and national parks, won’t give these adventure-seekers, their walk of a lifetime. Listed in this article are few of the best hiking trails in the state.
Highly recommended for starters, and for those who may want a very temporary escape from the cutthroat world are short hikes which are usually less than six miles in length but can be classified according to their levels of difficulty. A sample of this trail is the Rabun Bald which is only four miles in length and is located in the Georgia – North Carolina border. Climbing Rabun puts the hikers into a viewing pleasure, giving them an impressive panoramic scene of the area. Also categorized among the short hikes in the Joyce Kilmer Old Growth Loop or Joyce Kilmer Memorial Trail, and has been labeled as the best short hike in North Carolina. This hiking paradise is only two miles long and is one of the few remaining virgin hardwood forests in the Appalachians. The trail’s name was actually honored by the poet Joyce Kilmer who wrote the famous poem, “Trees.”
For those who just want to discover more about nature regardless of skill level in hiking may consider the following trails. First in the list is the 13,000 acre Stone Mountain State Park, located 45 miles north of Statesville, which many have considered as a serious trail. Although a successful climb atop this park rewards its hiker with spectacular views and a sigh of relief (and redemption), a streak of caution should always be imbibed to prospective climbers since many have unfortunately reached their demise due to steep cliffs and edges of the mountain.
On the positive side, hiking through the trail means a barrage of visual poetry, from the trees to the waterfalls and the wildlife are purely majestic, even the manmade stairways prove to be an important site. Just near Charlotte is the King Pinnacles which is part, and the highest peak, of the Crowder’s Mountain State Park. The fact is that only a few hikers have tried to reach the summit because it takes a longer hike to reach its summit, but what’s behind these difficult trails is a rewarding beauty waiting for the persevering and patient hikers. King Pinnacles is home to endangered plants like the Mountain High-bush Blueberry and the Bear Oak. Check out other hiking trails that are worth trying: Big Yellow Mountain, The Roan Highlands, Max Patch, and Plott Balsam Mountains.