Appalachian Trail (AT) Happiness: Prettiest Place on the Trail
This post is likely to start a bit of a lively debate as there are many amazing places along the Appalachian Trail (AT). Also the time of day, the season and the weather on a given day have a lot to say about how a particular place looks. A disclaimer as well, as of this writing I’ve only seen about a third of the trail (approx. 750 miles) so I’ve got a lot more to see to make any kind of definite statement here. I’m also happy to take your suggestions and pictures on this subject, as always, love to hear from you all.
The view above is just a random hillside in southern Massachusetts near Mt. Everett. Along the trail from Georgia to Vermont we got many big views, these include Blood Mountain in GA, Clingman’s Dome on the clearest day I’ve ever seen in the smokies, Mt. Albert, Rocky Top, Mcafee’s Knob, Mary’s Rock, Jug End and too many others to name. This list of course misses all of the little unnamed spots we hit at the right time on the right time in the right weather that just stun us in the moment.
I will say that one of those perfect moment spots for me was Mt. Unaka. It was a special morning, we’d screamed challenges at the hill the night before at the end of a long day. The climb was steep and hard but the payoff was a summit reminiscent of Middle Earth. Making the summit and finding this magical place I just sat down and let it embrace me, one of the truly special moments for me on the trail.
There have been amazing sunsets and sunrises while on the trail and the best one I didn’t even try to photograph. I woke up in my hammock one morning and thought the shelter nearby was on fire. When my sleep filled eyes adjusted I realized that it was the sky, not the shelter on fire. The sky was burning, pink and orange more brightly than anything I’ve ever seen. It was a spectacular show of color that I almost couldn’t believe was real. I thought about going for my camera that was packed up under the hammock and then I gave in to the reality that I didn’t want to miss a second of the amazing show being put on by nature so I just laid in the hammock and marveled at the show. Below is a horribly poor substitute for some of the sunrises I have seen on the trail.
You get a lot of trail talk about amazing places you’re about to come upon. One of the most talked about is Max Patch, a huge bald with three-hundred and sixty degree views. Personally I didn’t find Max Patch all of that exciting and even less so once we missed the first blaze on the base of it and got lost for twenty minutes.
However once I got near the MA/CT border I started hearing about Sages Ravine. Partially because it was brutally hot and humid and you could get in the water there. In this case the spot matched up to it’s billing. The Ravine is another magical spot, deep in shade on a hot summer day, a small river with short little waterfalls running into cold pools where you could sit down in the water and cool off, fabulous.
I failed to photograph my favorite spot as I went through, a little fall splits around a natural rock bench so that you can sit there with water spraying you on either side with your feet in the river. Sages Ravine will be forever burned into my brain and one of my best AT location memories.
I’m sure I have some more amazing places to see as I head into my next 400 mile leg through MD, NJ, PA and NY. Below are just some random photos of pretty places I’ve encountered along the trail, enjoy and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane
OTHER PIECES YOU MIGHT ENJOY