What Not to Miss on your Trip to the Appalachians
The United States is filled with beautiful landscapes and so much of it that many sites get overlooked.
The Appalachian Mountains, with its green hills and seasonal Fall leaves, is a U.S. landscape that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Peppered with the rich culture of the South, this is a visit that will suit outdoor enthusiast and cultural connoisseur alike.
Here are 5 experiences to go after on your tour of the ancient Appalachians, whether you want to stay on or off the beaten path.
1. Hike part of the Appalachian TrailJust because it sounds obvious, hiking the Appalachian Trail is far from banal. Running from Georgia to Maine, you could find a piece of it along the whole Eastern side of the U.S. If you hiked 26 miles a day, you could hike the whole thing in four months. But you don’t have to be hardcore to get a sense of the beautiful green rolling hills and lush landscape that stretches through the mountain chain. Find a destination close to you and head into the trails for a day hike. If you find you can’t get enough, find a camp site and make the trip into a mini expedition.
2. Watch a Civil War reenacted at the Historic Ramsey House near Knoxville, TN
You’ve heard of Easterners who reenact Civil War battle, but you may not have heard how interesting it is to watch the performance. The “Skirmish on the Holston” took place in 1864. Every year in May, reenactors gather on a nearby field dressed in period clothing. They hold special tours of the Historic Ramsey House, a ladies tea, fashion show, and period games for children. You can buy food from local vendors and make a day of it. Stick around for the real excitement when the battle gets reenacted in the afternoon. It’s a great way to experience culture and history of the Appalachians.
Don’t think of lasers when you think of this light show. This is a light show made up of Fireflies and it’s truly one of the most incredible shows nature has to offer. From 5 p.m. to midnight, the Elkmont District of the National Park shuts down and a shuttle service runs people to Elkmont for the show. During breeding season, the fireflies flash. The breed, called synchronous fireflies, is one of 14 species of fireflies in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They are the only species that can synchronize their flashing. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience not to be missed on a trip to the Appalachians.
4. Experience the tunes and tales of the mountains
All summer, visitors can find mountain musicians, storytellers, and bloggers along the Parkway performing for the crowds. The energy is high and it’s great to see the folk arts that originate from the very creative area of the Smokies.
5. Rent a cabin in the mountains
There are plenty of vacation rentals up for grabs through the Appalachians. From rustic to luxurious, you can find a cozy spot and get in touch with nature. This is the best way to get to know the land. Live in it for a bit!
Whether you want to camp and hike or make gourmet meals and sit in a luxurious hot tub in your vacation rental, you’ll find unique culture and land all around on your trip to the Appalachians.