Looking for trail suggestions

8:51 a.m. on April 28, 2013 (EDT)
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I am planning a week long trip with my brother and my 2 nephews, probably for this fall. They live in AL, and I am in CT. We are thinking about meeting up somewhere midway like NC. They are occassional backpackers, and only average like 6-8 miles a day , ocassionaly 8-10. Nephews are 12 and 11. They backpack maybe 2-3 times a year.

Total party will be 2 adults, 2 kids, 1 dog, maybe 2.

I am just starting to try and find a section of trail somewhere that would be a good fit. Looking for something in the moderate to easy category, and I want this to be an enjoyable trip for them and not make it feel like a forced march. Somewhere where dogs are allowed is a must. Somewhere fires are legal would also be prefered. Preferably the trail will not be the AT.

Looking for something in the 45-50 mile or so range. It can be a loop, series of trails, or a continuous trail. I am a well experienced backpacker, so navigation concerns etc are not a problem.

Look forward to hearing your suggestions. If you want/need more info just ask.

8:54 a.m. on April 28, 2013 (EDT)
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Oh, forgot to add. If there are places for some good fly fishing, or fishing in general on or in close proximity to the trail that would be even better.

12:45 p.m. on April 28, 2013 (EDT)
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Hmmm, moderate to easy and NC don't mix well. My first thought is Shining Rock / Art Loab trail. It is not well marked but I know you well enough from this website to know that won't be an issue for you. There are a few climbs but nothing really bad. Looping around that area might be more fun than maybe doing the Art Loab end to end (water can be sketchy on the southern sections).

 

Also consider the well documented stomping grounds of Tipi: Citico and Slickrock / Joyce Kilmer. Again, it's an easy place to get lost due to poor signage and not many good maps but has a great mix of river side trails and a few scenic vistas. However, it is pretty tough hiking in general.

If either of these seem interesting I would be glad to help with more details.

 

Another good fall destination that doesn't get much use is Big South Fork TN. 

I've never been but I hear Dolly Sods WV is really nice too.

1:40 p.m. on April 28, 2013 (EDT)
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Thanks Patman! I will definitely look into those areas. Do you know which maps best represent those areas? I am sure I will be getting ahold of you for some details in the coming weeks.

We are thinking like the 2nd or 3rd week of October currently.

5:05 p.m. on April 28, 2013 (EDT)
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Rambler,

I second Patman's suggestion of the Shining Rock Wilderness/ Art Loeb area. I go to that area all the time. It is beautiful. The Davidson River is in that area and is a fly fishing mecca!

7:17 p.m. on April 28, 2013 (EDT)
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What is the best map of the shining rock/ art loeb area?

9:11 p.m. on April 28, 2013 (EDT)
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National Geographic Pisgah National Forest Ranger District (# 780).

5:03 p.m. on April 29, 2013 (EDT)
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Closer to you would be Monongahela National Forest in WVA. Great fishing, dogs likely allowed, as well as camp fires.  Might be pretty cold in October though....

7:18 a.m. on April 30, 2013 (EDT)
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Cold/cool weather isn't an issue, if anything it's preferred. Are there any specific trails you recommend there Seth?

4:55 p.m. on April 30, 2013 (EDT)
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Rambler,

Here is a trip report that I did last October of the Shining Rock/Art Loeb Trail area in Pisgah National Forest.

http://www.trailspace.com/forums/trip-reports/topics/134709.html

The colors in mid October are amazing. Make sure that wherever you go you are aware that higher elevations hit peak color earlier than lower elevations. The Shining Rock area is all around 6,000 ft.

6:14 a.m. on May 2, 2013 (EDT)
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Thanks for sharing that Ashleigh, i had forgotten all about that trip report. Looks really nice. Next step to get the map and come up with a plan.

9:07 a.m. on May 3, 2013 (EDT)
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Another great thing about that area is that Asheville is about 45 minutes from there. It has tons of restaurants, 10+ fantastic craft breweries, and tons of other fun stuff to do. GSMNP is also not too far from there. I am not sure if you are into climbing or not, but if you are there are also lots of climbing opportunities in that area. If you don't want to make a long drive, there is also a small town right at the base of Pisgah NF, Brevard. They also have a brand new Oskar Blues Brewery.

October 30, 2014
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