Looking for some late Fall Hikes? Or maybe planning a long distance hike in the Spring? The Benton MacKaye Trail (BMT) is a footpath of nearly 300 miles (480 km) through the Appalachian mountains of the southeastern United States. Running from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Davenport Gap on the northern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (the Smokies), the BMT passes through some of the most remote backcountry in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina, including eight federally designated Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas.
Named for Benton MacKaye, the Massachusetts forester/regional planner who proposed the Appalachian Trail, this trail features remarkable changes in terrain and too many modern intrusions. While the Appalachian Trail follows the eastern crest of the Appalachian Mountains, the Benton MacKaye follows the western crest.
One of the more “famous” parts of the trail is the 265 foot swinging bridge crosses the Toccoa River. Most Backpackers stop here for a quick photograph.
There are many sections of the Benton Mackaye to do. However, it’s a 300 mile hike from start to finish for those looking to do a long distance hike. The Section Map on the BMT’s web site, can help for those looking to section hike the trail.
When I hiked part of this trail last Febuary, it was cold but rewarding. Some very nice waterfalls that made the hike worth every cold night I spent in the Georgia Mountains. For more information on this trail, go to the Benton MacKaye Trail Association web site.