Appalachian Trail Alternative

The New York Times’s “Escapes” section had an interesting article on a new 290-mile alternative to the Appalachian Trail (AT) from the southern terminus of the AT entirely through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Benton MacKaye Trail was given the name of the man who originally proposed the AT in a paper he presented in 1921.

bentonmackaye-map.gif

Source of map: Benton MacKaye Trail Association

The Benton MacKaye Trail follows the route that MacKaye first laid out, from Springer Mountain in Georgia to to Davenport Gap on the northern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Following this route bypasses the highly traveled AT and takes the hiker through some very remote country. The Times article claims that the Benton MacKaye trail has only one tenth of the traffic of the AT.

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