The ~300 mile Benton Mackaye Trail is a roughly paralleling route of the southern Appalachian Trail farther to the west. Its southern terminus is also on Springer Mountain in Georgia and its northern terminus is the Big Creek Trailhead in Great Smokey Mountains National Park a few miles from the AT crossing in Davenport Gap. The trail bears the name of one of the founders and visionary of the Appalachian Trail.
We began our trek at the Northern Terminus
In late October we were lucky to enjoy a great deal of autumn color, even though it was unusually warm. Our hike was somewhat interrupted by a late season hurricane that forced us to double zero in Blue Ridge, Georgia in a hotel with no power!
The BMT is rugged and remote
In my opinion, it is far more challenging than the paralleling AT. It traverses long ridgelines and is seldom traveled with few options for easy resupply. A definite gem of the Wild East!