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recommendations for lodging and A.T. day hikes

Monterey
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recommendations for lodging and A.T. day hikes

We will be visiting North Carolina in August for a family wedding in Raleigh. We'll have 4-5 days before the wedding and planned to head for Asheville or Boone/Blowing Rock. We'd like to do some day hikes on the Appalachian Trail. Any recommendations on:

-- Lodging in or near Asheville that is budget priced but with a little charm? Would we be better off staying in a smaller town?

-- Day hikes on A.T. and/or Smokey Mountains?

-- Any other don't miss day trips or activities in the area?

Thanks!

florida
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1. Re: recommendations for lodging and A.T. day hikes

I would rent a cabin in the Maggie Valley area. Try vrbo. com to find a cabin. This is a great centralized location for hiking and outdoor events in the Smokies.

It is about 45 minutes to Asheville for the big city events, lol. You can find lots to do in Asheville.

Boone/Blowing Rock is more expensive. It is a beautiful area. The higher elevation means cool weather.

If you need more advice I would be happy to help you out.

Edited: 13 July 2010, 05:07
NC
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2. Re: recommendations for lodging and A.T. day hikes

I think the best hikes are south of Asheville. I'd headquarter in either Brevard or Hendersonville. You can hike at Dupont State Forest, the Cradle of Forestry ( Pisgah National Forest)...still easily get to the Blue Ridge Parkway and you'll be half an hour from Asheville if you want to go there. Brevard area is known as Land of the Waterfalls. Many of the hiking opportunities there take you to some spectacular falls.

There's a great Visitor's center in downtown H'Ville where you can get area info and maps. The downtown there is charming and has good eateries.

Best wishes.

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3. Re: recommendations for lodging and A.T. day hikes

i agree with previous post on maggie valley. close to park and areas on south. with usually rent a cabin in maggie vrbo # 308193. beautful views and very private.

Tennessee
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for Chattanooga, Blowing Rock, North Carolina Mountains
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4. Re: recommendations for lodging and A.T. day hikes

AT out of Boone-Blowing Rock. Check AT guides. Roane Mt., TN is nearby and a good day hike on the AT.

Boone-BR is an excellent place to visit. Moderate priced lodging is Holiday Inn Express or Country Inn & Suites, both in Boone and 7 miles from BR.

Monterey
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5. Re: recommendations for lodging and A.T. day hikes

Thank you all - very helpful. Our plan now is to take Amtrak from Philadelphia to Raleigh, rent a car and head for the mountains. On the basis of your recommendations, we'll probably spend a couple of days in each of these areas. Many thanks for your suggestions.

Cullowhee, North...
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6. Re: recommendations for lodging and A.T. day hikes

The AT has a few great areas for day hikes like from Newfound Gap to Charlie's Bunion in the Smokies. Just north of the Smokies you have Max Patch Bald near Hot Springs. Roan Mountain on the NC TN border kind of west of the Boone area is also nice. Then there are also great spots near Franklin.

I would also highly suggest the Shining Rock Wilderness Area south of Asheville, closer to Waynesville along the Blue Ridge Parkway. While not on the AT, the hiking there is superb.

The question one would need to ask themselves is are you wanting to do more hiking and a day trip to Asheville or wanting to be in the town/city and maybe do a hike. To get to many of the trailheads, especially in the Smokies, staying in Asheville will be at least an hour plus to the trailhead. If hiking is the main reason, then stay anywhere from Maggie, Cherokee, Bryson City, Dillsboro, Franklin, Brevard for the southern mountains or head to Boone, West Jefferson, Valle Crusis for the northern AT hikes.

Monterey
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7. Re: recommendations for lodging and A.T. day hikes

Great suggestions, especially clarification about which locations are best as base for hiking.

thanks!

Tampa, Florida
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8. Re: recommendations for lodging and A.T. day hikes

We just got back from Hot Springs and for hiking, we preferred Lover's Leap (on the AT) right in Hot Springs better than Max Patch (about a 40 minute drive from Hot Springs.) The Lover's Leap trail follows the river then heads up the mountain for spectacular views.

The Laurel River Trail was also right outside Hot Springs. This is a very level trail that follows the river and you can swim anywhere along the river. Very secluded and quiet.

Our favorite, though not on the AT, was Dupont State Forest and the many waterfalls there. You can swim at the base of High Falls and Hooker Falls.

9. Re: recommendations for lodging and A.T. day hikes

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