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Southern Appalachian Loop Trail

Southern Appalachian Loop Trail

The Southern Appalachian Loop Trail measures over 350 miles in length. First pieced together by Matt Kirk, the SALT, is currently 99.4 percent complete. With the exception of a sliver of undeveloped land on the state line between North Carolina and South Carolina in Transylvania County, it’s already open to the public for hiking. As a loop, you can start and finish at just about any point along the way and hike back around to where you started.

Southern Appalachian Loop Trail

Southern Appalachian Loop Trail map as drawn by trail pioneer Matt Kirk

The route highlights the beauty of the Southern Appalachians, from its staggering biodiversity and abundance of waterfalls cascading down from the Blue Ridge Escarpment to the high-elevation spruce forests and panoramic mountain balds in the Smokies. Several connecting trails afford each hiker an opportunity to choose his or her own adventure throughout the mountains of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.

In the summer of 2012, Kirk made his first successful thru-hike of the SALT by linking sections of the Foothills, Bartram, Appalachian, Mountains-to-Sea and other regional trails.

Southern Appalachian Loop Trail

The sun rises over the Smoky Mountains at Clingman’s Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee – the high point of the Southern Appalachian Loop Trail

Directions: As a loop, you can start and finish at just about any point along the way and hike back around to where you started. The route highlights the beauty of the Southern Appalachians, from its staggering biodiversity and abundance of waterfalls cascading down from the Blue Ridge Escarpment to the high-elevation spruce forests and panoramic mountain balds in the Smokies. Several connecting trails afford each hiker an opportunity to choose his or her own adventure throughout the mountains of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.

The Adventure Collective

The Adventure Collective publishes a series of outdoor adventure sports guides to adventures in Asheville, Boone, Brevard, Chattanooga, Charleston and The Great Smoky Mountains.

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