Hiking the Appalachian Trail can be whatever you want to make of it. After all, the trail spans over 2,100 miles and is housed within 14 states. So, while a multi-day thru-hike might be your thing, it’s totally understandable if you want to stick to the day hikes. Any Appalachian Trail map is going to show you some of the spots to check out along the most popular routes. But, if scouring over a full map of the Appalachian Trail isn’t in the cards for you, here are some of the best day hikes that you should be sure to check out.
Cove Mountain Located in Tennessee, the hike up Cove Mountain is about 7.5 miles and gains an elevation of about 2,000 feet. The trek will include making your way across wooden bridges and even passing by a waterfall. Some of the other sites you can expect to see are the James River, the Town of Buchanan, and Purgatory Mountain. You’ll also get a good sighting of Cove Creek Valley.
Angel’s Rest Don’t confuse this hike with the Angel’s Rest located in Oregon. This 4.5 mile hike is located in Pearisburg, Virginia. Though it isn’t very long, the trek does gain about 1,600 feet of elevation, which is sure to make you break a sweat. However, it’s well worth it when you reach the top and can take a rest atop the iconic boulder. The views of the New River and the town of Pearisburg aren’t too bad either.
Kelly’s Knob If you’re looking for a more challenging day hike, check out Kelly’s Knob, which is also located in Virginia. This journey will lead you through the forest canopy to the knob, which is situated between Johns Creek Mountain and Clover Hollow Mountain. It’s a bit of a longer hike at 6.5 miles round trip, but you’ll have plenty of time to take in the sights around you as you go.
Blood Mountain Blood Mountain, while it may sound daunting, is actually one of the best hikes in all of Georgia. It actually is said to have got its name from a battle between two Native American tribes. So, don’t worry. You’re unlikely to shed any blood on this mountain nowadays. Instead, you’ll enjoy some stunning scenery along its 4 mile loop.
Raven Cliff Falls If you’re in North Carolina, you won’t want to miss Raven Cliff Falls. The trail is packed with smaller waterfalls that all lead to a stunning 40-foot cascade that stems from atop a daunting cliff. Along the 2.5 miles to reach the last waterfall, you’ll be greeted with blooming flowers, vibrant green moss, and towering trees. This is a relaxing trail nestled in the forest canopy that is sure to make your top list of Appalachian Trail hikes.