Appalachian Trail East is a 30.8 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located in the state of NC that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Horses are also able to use this trail.
This hike outlines the entire eastern stretch of the AT from Newfound Gap to Davenport Gap. You can leave a second car or arrange for a shuttle to pick up at Davenport Gap or Big Creek Ranger Station. The implications of making extended winter hikes at these elevations can't be overstated. If you are not experienced in winter backpacking, this is not recommended.
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the true natural wonders of the American Southeast. The park here is expansive, and there are more sights to see than the average adventurer could soak up in a lifetime.
I was a part of a group of three that completed the Appalachian Trail through the park in May of 2016. The hike was challenging due to the distance, the weather and the elevation changes we experienced during the eight day hike.
The trip resonated so profoundly with me that I even wrote a book about the experience. My retelling of the story and experiences in the park are better suited for print. The book can be purchased on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Longest-Mile-Great-Smoky-Mountains/dp/1533374058
Needless to say, this trip was a monumental experience.