Our 8 Favorite Hikes in the Southeast

Our 8 Favorite Hikes in the Southeast

There are many interesting things to do in the Southeast United States, making it an ideal region for your next hiking trip. In the Southeast, we have the picturesque Gulf Coast, vast Atlantic Ocean, and the rugged Appalachian Mountains in our backyard. Not to mention all of the beautiful lakes, rivers, and other outdoor attractions to enjoy.

This collection of the best hikes in the Southeast has some of the finest trekking experiences available. From mountains to swamps and everything in between, you'll have your pick of great hikes. Get out there and try them all!  Here are eight of the best hiking spots that will help you get started.

1. Alum Cave Trail to Mount LeConte; Smoky Mountains, Tennessee

  • Difficulty: Difficult

  • Length: 10.5 miles

  • Completion Time: Approximately 7 hours; some hikers stay overnight in the cabins near the top of the mountain

The difficult Mount LeConte ascent is one of the most popular in the region. This wonderful trek is a must-do for anybody wanting to see the finest of the Smoky Mountains. It has stunning vistas, well-maintained trails, and a cave to offer spectacular views.

After 1.3 miles, you'll reach Arch Rock, one of the trail's most visible features. The trail runs right beneath the natural arch, providing a fantastic viewpoint for photographs.

2. Whitaker Point Trail; Ozark National Forest, Arkansas

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Length: 2.9 miles

  • Completion Time: approximately 1.5 hours

Whitaker Point, arguably Arkansas' most famous hiking path, has been featured in movies and on magazine covers, attracting hikers from all over the country.

Hawksbill Crag, which appears like a hawk's bill from the side, is a stunning trek to a rock outcropping. This is also a popular spot to capture photographs. Located near Pettigrew, Arkansas, the out-and-back trek is 2.9 miles long and isn't overly difficult.

Whitaker Point

When you reach the rock formation at the end, which has a view of Whitaker Creek, you'll be taken aback by the breadth of the Ozark National Forest.

3. Blood Mountain and Freeman Loop Trail; Blairsville, Georgia

  • Difficulty: Difficult

  • Length: 5.7 miles

  • Completion Time: 3-4 hours

An outstanding hiking trail, the Blood Mountain, and Freeman Trail Loop is a stunning path that goes through magnificent terrain with distinct features. The journey takes hikers through deep forest to rocky paths and stunning vistas, with several mountain crossings.

Blood Mountain View

Blood Mountain

You will climb Georgia's highest Appalachian Trail peak, and follow the trails to breathtaking vistas at the Blood Mountain summit before looping back.

This route has some of the most severe climbs and descents, so make sure you have sturdy footwear.

4. Eagle Falls Trail; Cumberland Falls State Park, near Parkers Lake, Kentucky

  • Difficulty: Moderate to difficult

  • Length: 1.8 miles

  • Completion Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on hiking experience

The Eagle Falls Trail combines a moderate to fairly difficult trek with a fantastic return. The joy of seeing Eagle Falls is well worth the effort. You are going to want to make sure you have your hiking boots for this one!

This lollipop-shaped trail takes you to picturesque Eagle Falls on a mile-and-a-half adventure. You'll find many caverns to explore along the route if you take your time to search, and depending on the season, you might also have a view of Cumberland Falls.

5. Corkscrew Sanctuary Swamp; The Everglades, Florida

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Length: 2.25 miles

  • Completion Time: 2-3 hours

Corkscrew's Boardwalk is known for the beauty of its natural area, which includes a renowned boardwalk that takes you through pine flatwoods, marshland, and finally into North America's biggest old-growth bald cypress forest.

Corkscrew Boardwalk

Visitors will discover a lovely, untouched wilderness that has been there for approximately 600 years. Hundreds of otters, alligators, white-tailed deer, birds, and turtles live in the woods.

6. Providence Canyon Perimeter Loop Trail; Providence Canyon State Park, Georgia

  • Difficulty: Easy to moderate

  • Length: 2.5 miles

  • Completion Time: 2 hours

The Providence Canyon region is known as "Georgia's Little Grand Canyon" due to its distinct geologic features. Because of the Park's high elevation and geological location, the soils are extremely soft and erosive.

The canyons plunge 150 feet deep and expose the colors of iron ore, kaolin, sandy clays, manganese, and mica. Be sure to bring your sunglasses because the view at the top is sure to amaze you!

7.  Pantherton Backcountry Loop; Glenville, North Carolina

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Length: 7.8 miles

  • Completion Time: About 5-7 hours

The Panterton Backcountry Loop is a favorite trek, with many hikers choosing to overnight here.

One of the many trails in this region, this path is the most impressive. Waterfalls, vistas, plentiful streams, and accessibility are all features of this memorable trek.

Panthertown Valley, known as the "Yosemite of the East", is located just outside of Brevard, NC just west of Lake Toxaway in Cashiers, NC.

Don’t forget lots of snacks for this epic hike!

8. The Great Channels via Brumley Mountain Trail; Abingdon, Virginia

  • Difficulty: Moderate

  • Length: 6.5 miles

  • Completion Time: 4-6 hours

Because there is so little parking, this well-known path is often crowded. But don't let that deter you from coming early and experiencing this one-of-a-kind trek. The path is lined with lovely wildflowers and incredible slot canyons.

The Channels are one of the most intriguing ecosystems in Virginia, made up of a succession of deep sandstone fissures carved into sandstone outcrops on the mountain's peak.

The best hikes in the southeast are waiting for you to explore! Whether you’re looking for a long, scenic hike or simply want to go out on an adventure during your next vacation to the southeastern United States, this list has some of the best hiking spots around.

Learn everything you need to know about your new hiking route before going out on it. Prepare for any condition and weather that you may encounter during the season you will be visiting by wearing the appropriate clothing and bringing the most suitable hiking equipment.

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