Appalachian Trail - Southern Section is a 17.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Bryson City, North Carolina that features hot springs and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from March until May.
(Other than wondering around Clingman's Dome this was my first encounter with the Appalachian Trail.) Three of us hiked from the Nantahala Outdoor Center north about 2.5 miles into the Appalachian trail, turned around and hiked back. This is the reason I want to start section hiking the "AT", it's absolutely beautiful! This trail walks you up from the road to about 400 feet (when we turned around) and is in excellent shape. It's a clearly hiked path and a very nice workout. I would suggest this to anyone that is not familiar with hiking mostly because, well, it's more than a walk into the woods. The rocks formations, the view, the landscape, are all unbelievable. Park your car by the center and make a day trip out of it, I'll be back for sure.
All down hill fro the bald where we started. Thought I had hit record. It was 9.1 mile steep downhill to the NOC . Nic change from mostly uphill from Fontana Dam. We went 29 miles in 4 days and 3 nights. Pretty tough especially the stretch up to the bald . It was killer but the view was out of this world .the NOC was great . Good hike but feet, knees and hips are sore.