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Well, let's try to start from the beginning: The following pages cover a bunch of the hiking trails which wind through the Cherokee National Forest, and the Nanthahala and Pisgah National Forests. Cherokee is all the mountains in east Tennessee that are not in the Smoky Mountains National Park, and Pisgah and Nanthahala are the same mountains, they're just on the North Carolina side of the state line.

Since I started this site, I have also lived in Virginia, Colorado, South Carolina and Utah. Needless to say, I have hiked lots of new trails in each of those states and the surrounding states. However, I don't feel comfortable adding them to this hiking section because I don't think I can write about them with as much authority as I can these trails in Tennessee and North Carolina that I have hiked for many years. That having been said, though, I have hiked a lot of other trails especially in Colorado and Utah that you might want to learn about. If so, you can check out my Trip Reports where I have begun to maintain Trip Reports of my hikes along with lots and lots of pictures from the trails. You can also read my Colorado Trail Journal. My trip reports can be really useful if you're looking for information on trails in Utah, because I only recently started keeping trip reports for my hikes. However, even where I don't have detailed trip reports of my hikes before I moved to Utah, I still have lots and lots of pictures of trails, so you may be able to get an idea of what you can expect from a particular trail.

In many of the Trip reports in Utah I have also added GPS track data for the trails. These track logs can be downloaded and then added to your GPS or mapping software so you can see exactly where the trail went and some of the trail data for the hike. I'd like to do this for the Tennessee and North Carolina trails also, but we'll have to wait until I move back.

I also discuss several of the trail books and maps that I've found helpful, along with their quirks (there are always quirks!).

And lastly, I'm posting pictures from many of the trails and vistas to give you an idea of what to expect and to try to entice you to go spend a weekend in the woods.

Let's see...you'll notice that I'm not going to talk about any of the trails in the Smokies. Yes, I grew up about an hour from one of the best parks in the world, but I can't stand going there. There are some really great trails in the park, but the place has become infested by tourists. When I go hiking, it is my form of escapism. Escaping means getting away. I find it hard to convince myself that I've gotten away from anything when I pass 20 or more people as I hike a 5 mile trail. Admittedly, not all the trails in the Park are like this, but it's often too much trouble to have to negotiate traffic just to get to a secluded trail. What this means is that the trails you'll find listed here are the vacant ones. Oh, you'll see a few people (2 or 3) when you hike these trails, but they'll be the die-hards. The people on these trails will be people who truly enjoy the mountains, and simply want the opportunity to do just that. There aren't any tourists. There aren't any screaming kids. And there isn't any society.

There aren't any nearby Park Rangers to get you out of trouble if you get into it, either. There aren't any bathrooms for when you "really HAVE to go." There aren't any camper hook-ups. The closest phone is probably 30 miles away, and your cell phone will NOT work. Many of the trailheads are on dirt roads, at best. And the extensive wildlife is NOT accustomed to hanging around people.

Sound terrible? Sound like too much trouble? Then go to the Park. And all the rest of you, read on, and I'll see you on the trail!