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4 Underrated Hikes in Southern Appalachia

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

Okay y'all, let's see a show of hands -- how many of you have seen an incredible view on Instagram that you just needed to hike to, only to show up and realize that everyone and their mother decided that they needed to see this site, too?

Many hikers have been in this situation before. It seems like there's too many people and not enough nature to go around. These well-known trails and vistas often get treated like rides in a theme park rather than a quiet place to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.

For those of you who enjoy those trails that aren't traveled as frequently, I've got you covered. These are a few of my favorite underrated hikes in the Carolina Mountains!

Gravley Falls Trail

Length: 2 miles

Difficulty: Easy/Moderate

Located in the newly-formed Headwaters State Forest in North Carolina, Gravley Falls is a gorgeous, 20 ft cascade that can be reached via an easy to moderate trail, depending on your hiking experience. While you're there, be sure to also check out the highest point in South Carolina, Sassafras Mountain!

Eastatoe Narrows Trail

Length: 5.2 miles

Difficulty: Moderate/Hard

Tucked into the South Carolina Mountains at the foot of the Blue Ridge Escarpment, the Eastatoe Narrows carve their way through some of the most rugged, beautiful land in the Palmetto State. South Carolina ain't all just beaches y'all, and this is proof of that!

Scaly Mountain Trail

Length: 3.5 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Just outside of Highlands, NC near the Georgia border, the trail to Scaly Mountain via Hickory Knut Road has everything you could want for the perfect day hike -- mountain views, Appalachian forest goodness, and a moderate trail that will leave you feeling satisfied!

Pinnacle Knob Trail

Length: 3.3 miles

Difficulty: Moderate

Situated in the rolling mountains of North Georgia, the Pinnacle Knob Trail meanders through a lovely forest to a stunning overlook with views of the Appalachian hills. Clayton, GA is nearby and is definitely worth exploring.

For more photos and explorations, be sure to follow The Wandering Appalachian on Instagram and Pinterest! Be sure when you're discovering new places to practice Leave No Trace principles. Take only pictures, and leave only footprints. Happy wandering, y'all


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