9 Best Hikes on the Appalachian Trail for Beginners


Welcome to the Appalachian Trail, a 2,194-mile long footpath that traverses 14 states and offers some of the most stunning views in the US. 

It is a 75-mile hike that takes about eight days to complete, but you can also do shorter sections of it. 

Springer Mountain, Georgia 


This is a 29-mile hike that takes about three days. It is one of the more secluded sections of the trail, with some of the best fire tower views in the East.

Nantahala Mountains, North Carolina 


It is a classic southern backpacking trip that showcases the diversity and beauty of the Appalachian Mountains.  

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee 


This is a 17-mile hike that can be done in an overnight trip. It is a relatively easy section of the trail, with gentle slopes and open meadows. 

Iron Mountain Gap to Cross Mountain, Tennessee 


This is one of the most popular and accessible sections of the trail, with over 100 miles of hiking options. 

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia 


This is the historical and spiritual midpoint of the trail, where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers meet.  

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia 


It is also one of the most visited and well-maintained sections of the trail, with paved paths, stone steps, and bridges.  

Bear Mountain, New York 


This is one of the most challenging and spectacular sections of the trail, with a 9-mile hike that takes a day to complete. 

Franconia Ridge, New Hampshire 


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This is the northern terminus of the trail, and the highest point in Maine, at 5,267 feet.

Mount Katahdin, Maine


Next: 9 Attraction Points on the Appalachian Trail by the Numbers

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