By Max Hrenda
Since its completion in 1937, the Appalachian Trail has inspired a broad community of hiking enthusiasts.
And everyone seems to have a favorite spot.
“There’s something mystical about this short section of the Appalachian Trail,” wrote Mark Peacock, on his blog, “Appalachian Treks.”
“The Appalachian Trail crosses some of the most beautiful balds in the region,” reads a review on the U.S. Forest Service’s Website.
“Many people say that this stretch of trail is the most beautiful section along the entire length of the Appalachian Trail,” reads a review on HikingintheSmokys.com.
And guess what: These and many other reviews are all about the stretch of the Trail that runs through Carter County.
“As I was setting up the map of all the area hikes and waterfalls I’ve discovered, I realized that the Roan was literally at the center of all of my Appalachian experiences,” Peacock wrote.
“Whether you are looking for just a day hike or want to set out for a multi-day excursion, Carver’s Gap is a great place to start,” the Forest Service wrote.
“I can’t speak for the trail north of Virginia, but I would certainly rate this as one of the best hikes in the Southern Appalachians,” said HikingintheSmokys.com.
Of the roughly 2,174 miles that comprise the Trail, almost 80 of those run through Carter County. The Trail enters near the northern-most part of the county, travels east, circles around Roan Mountain, then travels west into Unicoi County along the border between Tennessee and North Carolina.