This unique hiking guide to the southern Appalachian mountains leads readers to explore the rich forest ecosystems and other natural communities visitors encounter along the trail. Drawing on years of experience guiding forest walks throughout the region, Steph Jeffries and Tom Wentworth invite hikers and nature lovers to see their surroundings in new ways. Readers will learn to decipher clues from the tree canopies, forest floor, and other natural features to appreciate more fully the environmental factors that make the southern Appalachians home to an amazing biodiversity.
These thirty popular hikes in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia range from short walks along Blue Ridge Parkway pull-offs to longer day trips in the region's backcountry. Offering spectacular mountain scenery and natural wildflower gardens, these trails are the perfect place to gain a new appreciation for the natural communities of the region.
* A summary including distance, difficulty, and GPS coordinates for each hike
* A narrative description of each hike, including the unique natural features waiting to be discovered
* Detailed instructions to keep you on the trail
* Best seasons to go for wildflower and foliage views
* Contact information for each area
* Photos and maps to orient you
* An illustrated guide to southern Appalachia's most common trees and shrubs, including tips on identification