Pisgah National Forest (NC)
On the crowded East Coast, rife with urban sprawl and development that’s constantly encroaching upon outdoor spaces, it can be difficult to find areas suitable for multi-day backpacking trips that allow you to both enjoy the solitude of remote spaces and put in enough miles to feel like you’ve done some exploring. Here are 10 East Coast locations perfect for long backpacking trips (clicking on the name will take you to a map of the area):
Dolly Sods Wilderness (WV): This true wilderness area located in Northeast West Virginia does not have trail blazes and is as primitive a spot as you’ll find. Great for multi-day loops.
The Appalachian Trail (East Coast): Running North-South from Georgia to Maine, the Appalachian Trail is just hours from any East Coast location. Water is less accessible at times, and unless you take two cars, one at the start and one at the finish, your trip will have to be an out and back. However, if you’re a fan of expansive vistas, The Appalachian Trail is second to none.
Shenandoah National Park (Virginia): Although the Appalachian Trail also passes through this Virginia National Park, side trails are accessible and can be a great for multi-day trips. As a National Park, there’s more trail traffic than other East Coast options.
Ocala National Forest (FL): If you enjoy fishing and have little fear of 10-foot reptiles, Ocala National Forest in Florida is a great spot for a multi-day up and back trip. Seasons are extremely important here, because during the dry season you’ll find that water, and fish, are scarce and ticks and chiggers are in abundance. Check with the forest about conditions before going.
Pisgah National Forest: Located in western North Carolina, Pisgah National Forest is located along the Blue Ridge Parkway and is a great location for a mountain backpacking trip. Great vistas, but spots for camping and water are sparse.