3. Appalachian Trail: Davenport Gap to Max Patch Road (18.7 miles)
If you love Smoky Mountain National Park backpacking trails that are both challenging and scenic, you are sure to love this section of the Appalachian Trial. Not only will you hike past several old homesteads and logging camps, you will also experience a nearly 3,000-foot increase in elevation. That is quite a climb.
Because this trail is so long, we definitely recommend that you consider breaking this up into a two or three-day excursion. Not only will this help make sure that you are well-rested to finish the hike, it will also give you enough time to enjoy all the scenic beauty found along the trail.
In your backpack, we recommend you not only pack plenty of water, but you also consider packing a few water-purifying tablets to make sure that you have enough fluids to stay hydrated.
Keep in mind, this is not a loop trail, so if you don’t want to hike the full stretch, you can turn back at any time.